Graveyard Shift Sisters


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Buy Black, Buy Horror: Alternative Holiday Shopping

Thankfully, there are now so many online stores catering to the horror fan in your life, there's no reason not to tailor their holiday gift and make it extra special. Deep in this pile, there are a few women of color running virtual shops with horror-themed goodies that are honestly, too good to pass on. Below are some of my favorites, old and new. Are you a woman of color who loves horror and sells original work based on it? Let me know and I'll promote the (un)holy holidays out of it!

Smell Wickedly Alluring

Shop Ten Three Labs
Owner Cara

What To Buy
Stranger Thing's Eleven - "heavily-syruped waffles with cinnamon and butter" (body fragrance)

The Exorcist's Regan - "sandalwood, patchouli, and incense, with spruce, rosewood, ylang ylang, and sweet pea blossoms" (body fragrance)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Audre's Revenge FIlm: Flesh (2016) Movie Review

A young Black woman immersed in the punk/alternative scene turns to sinister behavior as the breaking point of her experiences with discrimination and invisibility come to an inevitable boil.

Written and directed by Monika Estrella Negra

If there ever was a way to imagine what a Black woman-centric version of Maniac (1980) would look like, Monika Estrella Negra's direct approach with her inaugural project Flesh certainly sets the blueprint. Its poetic, experimental tone cuts emphatically at the jugular of social anxieties, the frustration, and the anger that (queer) women of color face. Specifically Rae's presence (played with effective menace by Ester Matthews Alegria) in her alt-social/creative environments and the hierarchy of whiteness, to the hypocrisy of its anti-establishment veneer, is still ever present and overshadowing with a distinct, alluring nuance.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Finding Wonder & Creating Meaningful Scares: Interview With Genre Filmmaker Tricia Lee

Tricia Lee is a Canadian genre filmmaker that has made an impressive imprint on horror fans and industry insiders alike. Her award-winning resume that spans the globe has recently made waves with her latest, Blood Hunters, "about a single mother who wakes up in a medical facility to find that everyone is dead and she's nine months pregnant" with some pretty grisly creatures lurking about. During her busy Blood Hunters press push at FrightFest this past September, Tricia was gracious enough to chat with us about her deep appreciation for Neil Marshall, squishy effects, and creating compelling women characters.

Did you watch a lot of films growing up? If so, what were some of the ones you would credit as inspiration for what we see in the films you make?

I loved watching movies when I was a kid. I remember watching a lot of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola movies when I was in high school and I had a mild obsession with the mafia and mafia movies at the time. But the largest influence on the features I’ve made so far is Neil Marshall. I went to school for a year in New Castle Upon Tyne in England and I worked at the movie theatre where Dog Soldiers premiered. I didn’t know who he was at the time, or how much his work would inspire my own career, but I remember the director was at the big premiere at my theatre. I watched Dog Soldiers over 10 times because I had to monitor the theatres as part of my job. I studied that movie inside and out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

20 Years Of The Craft: Why We Needed More Of Rochelle

The Craft (1996) is a film that came out around the time I turned 13. A freshman in high school and firmly established as a minority within a minority in my predominantly white/European immigrant working-class suburb right outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was a painful observation. I was constantly confronting micro-aggressions about what kind of Black person I was supposed to be, and wasn't, from all of my peers. I was the weirdo. And I found myself socializing with other weirdo's who were the pop culture nerds, especially those who liked genre films and TV (The X-Files and Buffy The Vampire Slayer consumed my life for many years) as much as I did.

But my racial difference only highlighted the rise of a reaction that one particular friend, in retrospect I realize wasn't much of one, consistently searched for from me. As if my nerdiness, introvertedness and his incomprehension that I didn't fit his concept of a Black person was a code to crack. It was twenty years ago and I still remember this high school hallway conversation all too vividly. He just had to tell me about the Black girl in this new movie called The Craft. And how Rochelle (the Black girl, played by Rachel True) was told by Laura Lizzie (Christine Taylor) after she bravely confronts her as the victim of Laura's harassment that she doesn't like "negroids." Instead of being observantly taken aback, he dished this unwanted spoiler with delight and amusement. As if blatant racism, fictional or not, was something to laugh about.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Black Horror Films: Slasher Flick, White Knuckle Tackles Gentrification

The slasher film, long formulaic, somewhat predictable, evergreen in its entertainment value with the subjectively right combination of compelling story and meaty characters will see its inspired evolution with Xavier Coleman's Brooklyn-based mystery, White Knuckle. This short details the story of three new and old Bedford-Stuyvesant residents who try to unveil the identity of a serial killer roaming the blocks in order to snuff out gentrifiers.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

#SciFiSunday: Interview With Fantasy Writer Abiola Bello

In September, I went to the Triskele Literary Festival in London, a writer’s collective of independently published writers who combine their wisdom to assist others. It was full of authors from all over the United Kingdom there to share work and ideas. There, I met Abiola Bello and was instantly drawn to her, partially because we were two of the few people of color there, and partially because she had a warmth and vibrancy that was infectious.

So I had to talk with her. Abiola's singsong British accent was animated as she chatted with me about her YA (Young Adult) fantasy series Emily Knight, I Am. She’s also one of the founders of The Author’s School, which was a finalist for the Great British Entrepreneurship Award this year. More on that in a bit.

First, let me introduce you to her work and her views on publishing.

I left her responses in British English, (uni = university) so please don’t think I’ve gone crazy and lost my ability to spell.

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