Friday, October 31, 2014

Black Women Celebrating Halloween!

My confession about Halloween follows a pretty strict separation from it because my upbringing wasn't so keen on its pagan origins. The more American deviation being about entertaining scares and kid-friendly fun just wasn't excuse enough to handout candy or feel comfortable getting dressed up. By the time I became an adult, the damage was already done. But I loved horror movies, so Halloween would always have me in its grasp in some form.

I celebrated by marathon-ing Halloween-themed movies and the franchise and eating candy in front of my television instead of being a Cheerio from Glee and knocking on strangers doors/attending a party. I listened to the Halloween score while I took long strolls to the store, auburn tree lines, golden blowing leaves, and the cool air complementing my much better Fall wardrobe. I had to sneak my own, private celebration.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Sisters Of Halloween

Dear Halloween film franchise,

I need(ed) you to do better. The other horror franchises of acclaim are not out of the woods when it comes to a variety of representation, but compared to some, your approach to casting any characters of color is abysmal. I guess it wasn't "safe" enough or not even a thought to discombobulate the neat narrative of suburbia's all-white occupancy. An essential thought that is woefully inaccurate.

There is no consistent way of summing up Black female representation in the franchise because it just passes the non-existent barometer of having any at all. There is a huge leap from one of the earliest roles in the franchise to the entertaining yet face palming latest (and hopefully last). It being Halloween season and all, these ladies needed a spotlight for a moment so they aren't forgotten in polite, proper context conversation.

Gloria Gifford as Mrs. Alves  in Halloween II (1981)


Monday, October 27, 2014

Horror Hollywood's Unsung

Since beginning this venture, I have grown to be enamored by, respect, and admire the Black women in the horror genre who aren't highlighted enough in retrospectives and historical horror work. It's so important to know that these women have stories to tell and that there is an incredible life left to live if agents stop calling. The work they've demonstrated in genre film is truly memorable, and I'm relieved that there are more people going in depth to discuss the effort these women put forth in the entertainment industry. Beautiful, talented, visible,  you need look no further in asking if Black women's presence in horror has had any impact.

Vonetta McGee

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Black Women Horror Writers: Interview with Lynn Emery

This post is a bit of a deviation from my usual horror author posts.  But there is a reason. (At least there is this time.)

Lynn Emery considers her work to be in the thriller genre, and I agree with her assessment. The reason I wanted to feature Lynn on the Female Horror series of blog posts is due to how the media views the subject matter she writes about.

Voodoo, and those who practice it, is so often seen in movies and television as evil and frightening to the general public. So I felt that Only By Moonlight was the perfect title to read and review in order to present another side of the topic; one that places these practices in a positive light. For many people—some of my family included—conjure magic, hoodoo, and the like are a way of life. Maybe one that is not always understood by current writers and filmmakers. And because of that lack of understanding, these beliefs can be vilified and turned into fodder for horror books and movies.

Emery does it right. She presents a series of books featuring LaShaun Rouselle, called “a voodoo priestess” by those around her. In practice, LaShawn is a Catholic and draws much of her strength and focus from her religion. There are several scenes where she grabs her rosary and prays for guidance before going out to confront evil.

Lynn was kind enough to speak with me about her writing process, success, and what voodoo means to a native Louisianan.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

TVOne's The Fright Night Files: Like, Halloween & Horror For Black People


Has there ever been a made-for-television horror movie centralizing an all-black cast? Emphasis on made-for-television. TVOne, a cable network described as a "trusted storyteller and voice of black culture" seems to be expanding its programming horizons in honor of the Halloween season with its "first, original horror film", The Fright Night Files. This television anthology flick displays Lynn Whitfield looking to best Serling and Elvira as our hostess Madame Mabry for the evening, telling three tales that are over the top and too similarly tangled in themes of love, romance, and obsession gone awry. Describing this project as intriguing goes without saying. Here is an offering of a brief synopsis and assessment of each story.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sci-Fi Sunday: You Me & Her (2014) Trailer

A clever concept with a promising premise for maximum effort in character study, I only wish I saw its world premiere at Etheria Film Night this past July. You Me & Her (2014) is very much a story that could orbit into the mainstream if big studios weren't so preoccupied with over budgeted, blow 'em up science fiction fare they're convinced only males are interested in. The synopsis reads:

When 30 versions of one person pass through the wormhole at the Department of Parallel Resettlement, Anna discovers she is the worst possible version of herself.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recommendations For October Movie Nights

Months before one leaf even turns a shade duskier, I am asked about what scary movies to watch, which is hardly an easy question for me to answer. The irony. It would feel like one, big rubdown of my ego of what I think is the best which might not be your flavor. Additionally, there are so many films to choose from. Where would I start? So considering this being the time of year that even the "normies" are looking for a cheap cinematic scare, here's a handful of films I make sure I watch that compliments the burgundy tree lines and cool air.