Marcy

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Character
Name: Marcy
Occupation: College Student
Title/Rank: None
Location: Unspecified
Status: dead
Relationships: Jeff (boyfriend, later ex)
Paul (friend, one-time sex partner)
Karen (friend)
Bert (hostile acquaintance, ?[1])
Fandom: Cabin Fever
Other: Born: c.1981 (Original film)
          c.1994 (2016 Remake)

Played by: Cerina Vincent (Original)
                  Nadine Crocker (Remake)
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Marcy is a primary character in both the original Cabin Fever and its 2016 remake.

Canon Background

The canon provides little background information about Marcy, except that she attended college (a period which she apparently didn't enjoy[2]) with friends Jeff, Paul, Karen and Bert. She has been in a romantic/sexual relationship with Jeff for some time by the commencement of the Cabin Fever story. She has met his parents and it's implied she gets along well with them[3].


Characterisation

While superficially appearing quite shallow in the canon material, character studies within the fan community have found Marcy to be one of the most complex characters in the film. This complexity is often acknowledged, explored and developed in fan works.

Marcy was canonically implied to be extremely promiscuous and for many fans of Cabin Fever, this was her most memorable character trait. She has often been regarded as a shallow coed obsessed with sex. However, she has also shown herself to be especially selfless and kindhearted. When Karen fell deathly ill, Marcy was the most remorseful about exiling her from the cabin. Later, Marcy tried to help and comfort Karen, even though doing so placed her in enormous risk of contracting Karen's illness.

Her personality deviates significantly between the original Cabin Fever and the remake. In the original she shows a strong will and a feisty temprement towards adversity. In the remake she seems more prone to becoming depressed and resigning herself to unpleasant fates. Also her appearance in the original implies an upper-middle-class, fashion-concious woman with high-rolling ambitions, whereas in the remake, her heavily tattooed and pierced body implies a rebellious, 'rock & roll chick'-type.

The fandom tends to maintain her promiscuity as a central part of her character and a major factor in shaping her relationships. However, it also explores her character in many other ways by recounting her responses to various emotional trials. Mostly, she is shown to be a resilient, emotionally deep, clever, proud woman, who has a tendency to sometimes be overly controlling, and whose strong sexual appetites occasionally lead her to make regretable mistakes.

Fandom

History

Marcy's leg-shaving scene (depicting Cerina Vincent's portrayal from the 2002 film) - fan art by Tyler_Gall101
Marcy was not especially well-liked during the early days of Cabin Fever fandom. Many fans were vocally critical of what they saw as her shallow, self-absorbed nature, her indecent promiscuity (specificaly, the fact that she chose to seduce Paul in the middle of a life-and-death crisis), and what many percieved as careless and stupid behavior. Many fans disliked her because her seduction of Paul was seen to be leading him (a fan favorite) astray and thereby sullying the romantic subplot between him and his love interest, Karen.

Her gruesome "leg shaving scene" would become the most infamous scene of the entire franchise and many fans percieved her behavior throughout this scene to be confoundingly stupid. Supporters of Marcy have noted that her behavior by this point has nothing to do with a lack of intelligence and more to do with her state of extreme emotional distress, which under the circumstances, is understandable.

The fandom's attitude towards Marcy seems to have grown much more favorable in the years since the original movie's release. The subsequent years of discussion and fan exploration of the source material has brought to light subtle aspects of Marcy's portrayal in the film that indicates she is far more intelligent and strong of character than she initially appears.

Arguably, one of the major factors of her rise in popularity over the years is the oft-noted personable nature of actress Cerina Vincent and her willingness to answer Cabin Fever fans' questions at the various fan conventions she attends.

Theories

  • Bert's oddly hostile attitude towards Marcy was never explored in the film, giving rise to numerous fan theories of a significant history between the two. One of the leading theories has been that Marcy had a sexual encounter with Bert at some point and that he has since resented her for refusing to sleep with him again. The theory goes that Marcy was probably intoxicated at the time, as this would seem to be the only way that she'd agree to sleep with a guy as obnoxious as Bert.
  • The extent of Marcy's canon relationship with Paul has been the cause of much debate, especially since the release of the Director's Cut version of Cabin Fever, several years after the theatrical release, which added new scenes relevant to the pair[4]. While their sexual relationship seems to begin very abruptly, observant fans have spotted numerous subtle clues that they may have developed an emotional bond in the day leading up to their affair, and that, despite the film only explicitly showing one sexual encounter between them, they may have in fact had as many as three[5].
  • Much debate and speculation has occured over what Marcy's intentions were in seducing Paul and especially her reasons for preventing him from using a condom. Among some of the darker theories is one that Marcy knew she was already infected and was deliberately trying to infect Paul, too, so that his fate would be sealed just like hers and that he would therefore have no reason to abandon or reject her as Jeff had done.
    • The fact that she retired to the bedroom after Jeff walks out on her has led some fans to speculate that her decision to seduce Paul was more planned-out than it seems at face value.
    • Fans have also speculated that when Paul subsequently encounters her wearing only a bathrobe, she had dressed in such a light manner specifically with the intention to seduce Paul yet again.
  • As with all five main characters, Cabin Fever doesn't reveal what subjects Marcy was studying at college, nor what her career ambitions are. Fans occasionally speculate as to what one or both of these things might be:
    • Medicine/Nursing. Supported by:
      • Of the five friends, she seems to be the most disturbed about killing the hermit in self-defense. If she's pursuing a career in helping people, it makes sense that she would find hurting someone (even in self-defense) especially distasteful.
      • Paul called specifically for Marcy (not Jeff or Bert) when he discovered that Karen was bleeding, suggesting that he believed Marcy was the one most likely to know what to do.
      • Marcy cared for Karen very dutifully while she was sick: bringing her food, cleaning up her vomit, etc.
      • She refused to abandon Karen when Karen needed help, even though staying with her presented a definite risk to Marcy's own health.
  • Marcy leaves the cabin before Jeff and Bert, yet she arrives at the empty house well after them. Also, Jeff and Bert take a significant detour along the way, to the crazy pig lady's farm. A fan theory about this continuity gap in Marcy's timeline is that she met Grimm in the woods and traded him sex for some of his pot. This is in-line with the canon evidence that shows Marcy was uptight when she left the cabin, she enjoys pot, and is also known to blow off steam by having casual sex. The movie doesn't specify precisely when Grimm died, so he might've still been alive at this time.
  • She mightn't have died. You don't actually see her get killed. And you never see her body after it happened. It's possible that all the flesh you see scattered around afterwards is actually from Karen. Even the foot could've been Karen's if they wore the same type of sandals.

Pairings

  • Jeff: Canon, sexually-active boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. They are couple at the beginning of the films, but tension caused by the crises they encounter quickly cause their relationship to deteriorate and eventually Jeff abandons her (ending their relationship). Jeff is portrayed as a cowardly boyfriend who seems like a catch when life is running smoothly, but who rapidly reveals himself to be completely undependable in the face of difficulty. Fanon material will often mirror this dynamic, begining their story with Jeff being Marcy's boyfriend, only for him to swiftly lose his luster as the events of the story challenge their relationship. Canon-following fanworks tend to maintain Jeff and Marcy's breakup from the source material and portray their post-breakup relationship as being acrimonious.
    • Though her pairing with Paul is far more popular in the fandom, her relationship with Jeff remains an important part of present fanon as her breakup with Jeff is arguably the single biggest reason that Marcy sought comfort in sleeping with Paul in the canon, and this is likewise that case in a great deal of the Paul/Marcy fanon material.
    • An unshot scene from an early draft Cabin Fever script indicated that Jeff and Marcy were orgininally going to be portrayed having a very turbulent relationship, oscillating between bitter fights and passionate lovemaking.

  • Paul: Canon, a one night stand with no romantic overtones. Probably the most popular Cabin Fever pairing at this time. Paul briefly serves as an emotional confidant for her in the canon before they sleep together. In fanon, he often continues this role beyond their initial sexual encounter, as Marcy continues to struggle with various difficulties.
    • In some fanfiction he is also the father of her baby, usually through their initial, impulsive sexual encounter.
  • Grimm/Justin: Non-canon. See "Theories".

Other Relationships

  • Karen: Friend. The canon material doesn't elaborate much on Marcy's relationship with Karen, apart from indicating it is a good friendship. Some members of the fandom expand upon this to suggest Karen is Marcy's best friend. This is possibly done for convenience in fanfictions as Karen is an already-fleshed out and familiar character, making her a natural choice to serve as Marcy's closest female peer.
    • In AU or Fix-It fics where Karen survives, Marcy's affair with Paul can be a cause of tension between the two.
  • Bert: Disliked, barely-tollerated acquaintance. Bert is obnoxious and juvenile and doesn't seem to be held in high regard by any of his friends, including Marcy. However, his attitude towards Marcy is especially antagonistic, for reasons not revealed in canon material. He frequently abuses her with insults like "slut", with little or no provocation from Marcy.
    • In fandom, he is sometimes suggested (or even stated) to be a former sex partner of hers (See "Theories"). Despite plenty of speculation that they may be former lovers, Bert/Marcy are rarely ever shipped by the fandom. When a previous relationship/one-night-stand is an element of a fanon work, it is usually portrayed as a deeply regretted "old shame" for Marcy, one that she is in fact so ashamed of that her other friends typically don't know about it.
    • Bert's irritating, if not downright offensive treatment of Marcy often has significant bearing on her emotional state and therefore, her actions as well, in fanon material.
    • Of all the principal characters, Bert's personality was overhauled the most for the 2016 Cabin Fever remake. His character was changed from a crude frat-boy type to an awkward geek type. As a result, his relationship with Marcy became far less hostile. Most fanon leans on his original characterisation.

Common Tropes

  • One Night Stand: Marcy has one with Paul in the canon. In fanon, her entire adult life tends to be portrayed as an anthology of these.
  • Old Shame: Marcy's impulsiveness when it comes to sex produces a few of these across the fanon. Bert is sometimes stated or implied to be one of these and Marcy has also been known to feel shame for seducing Paul[6] in fan works.
    • Marcy can sometimes feel this way about Jeff in fan works. Her opinion of him falls so low, she can eventually come to be very self-critical that she ever had feelings for him at all.
  • Hurt/Comfort: Typically the basis for a Paul/Marcy fanfic. She uses sex as a coping mechanism for her emotional pain in the canon. Fan works often imply that this is somewhat typical behavior for her. Marcy-strong Cabin Fever stories typically deal her some heavy emotional hurdles, for which she seeks some 'comfort'.
  • Angst: See "Hurt/Comfort".
  • Body Horror: Her misadventure in the bathtub and her gruesome death by dog mauling has had an enduring effect on her identity within the fandom.
  • Pregnancy: One of her impulsive sexual encounters (usually with Paul) sometimes has unintended consequences in fanfiction.

Example Fanworks

Fanfic

  • Cabin Fever: Parting Shot by HeatAndChills. A Paul/Marcy erotic AU fic where Marcy endures many painful and exciting changes to her relationships with the other Cabin Fever characters, all amid an atmosphere of heavy drinking and carefree sex. Based on the premise that the vacation from the films played out without being interrupted by any of the gruesome elements from the canon.

Fanart

Fanvids

References

  1. ^ Possibly more. See Fandom-Theories.
  2. ^ In the opening scenes of the film, she is shown advising a young boy not to go to college because "it's a f***ing scam."
  3. ^ During their visit to the general store at the start of the film, Marcy mentions buying a gift for Jeff's mom.
  4. ^ Most notably, a shot of them sharing a bed together (fully clothed), on their last night in the cabin together.
  5. ^ Fans have theorised that their appearance from the bedroom area of the cabin, close together, when Bert summons them to get into the newly-repaired truck is the aftermath of their first sexual encounter. Fans have also speculated that the mysterious appearance of Paul's wristwatch between two shots of their on-screen sex scene can be explained by the theory that the scene actually depicts two successive sexual encounters, cleverly edited together to appear as only one.
  6. ^ To the point she feels she may have taken unfair advantage of him