PODCAST: THE BAD SEED AS CULT FILM
This month, Dr. Scahill was asked to be guest on the cult movies podcast Midnight Mass, by hosts Michael Varrati and iconic San Francisco drag performer Peaches Christ. Scahill had worked with Peaches on the documentary Scream, Queen!: My Nightmare on Elm Street, and had been interviewed by Varrati for a piece on the mental health benefits of horror.
Dr. Scahill was approached because of his expertise on evil children in horror cinema. The Bad Seed (1956) was the original "revolting child" in cinema, and Scahill devoted an entire chapter to it in his book The Revolting Child in Horror Cinema: Youth Rebellion and Queer Spectatorship (2015). In The Bad Seed, adapted from a novel and play of the same name, a young Rhoda Penmark commits multiple murders, and gets away with it due to her deft performance of child innocence. In the podcast, Dr. Scahill offers insight into the sad life of the closeted and deeply self-loathing author William March, who viewed his homosexuality as a pathology akin to the sociopathology that his character Rhoda exhibits.