Picks Of The Month

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Black Horror Film 5KNIVES Premieres In NYC


The enigma behind #WhoKilledStephanie will finally be revealed for those in or near New York City when filmmaker/actor Kar Logan's 5Knives unfolds at Gamba Forest in Brooklyn. "A modern day Clue for the millennial generation," Logan (@karyewest) says 5Knives "is a murder mystery set in an apartment with five friends trying to get to the bottom of a murder. After a wild party, Barry (played by Logan) wakes up to find a bloody knife in his possession. One by one the other party guests wake up, each with a knife as well, and soon discover the body of a dear friend." Lots of paranoia, confusion, and emotion run rampant as the true story of what has transpired is a bloody, hostile journey audiences will enjoy.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Dark Tapes (2017): Movie Review


I'm a sucker for found footage horror. Let me clarify; I immerse myself in each film under the umbrella (provided the acting and chemistry is a strength) and the story that unravels. Most are effective at creating the illusion that what you're witnessing is a reality. Of course we know it isn't. I even forgive the concept of fear never overriding the compulsion to pick up the camera and keep recording. Kevin Wetmore in Post-9/11 Horror In American Cinema spends a lot of time discussing the bridge between the World Trade Center attacks in 2001 and the rise in popularity of "the pseudo-documentary as horror film." Some eye witness accounts from NYC that day confessed to their own impulse to grab a visual recording device. The whole idea of documenting terror is something not as uncommon as an audience might imagine.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Blaxploitation and Gothic Horror in The House on Skull Mountain


For many lovers of horror, the Gothic and by extension, the Southern Gothic, is the redheaded stepchild of the genre. Few modern and recent converts to horror appreciate what is lovingly called “quiet horror” by its enthusiasts. Too slow, too dull, too unexciting. Not enough real scares to be even considered horror. But to those of us who love and appreciate the tenets of Gothic, Southern and traditional, there are few things that can compete with it’s creeping subtleties; its moody lingering nuance, and its introspective terrors that come from knowing more is out there.

The same can be said for Blaxploitation horror. While it has its connoisseurs, and I’d like to include myself among them—Blaxploitation horror has an inordinate amount of detractors. Poor sound and image quality, lack of big name actors, and newbies to movie making are what critics call out most on these movies. Instead of seeing them for what they were at the time of filming—a way for blacks to take center stage in a genre they loved. Once that relegated them to tertiary roles with little screen time. Put these two genres together, the Gothic and Blaxploitation, and you have a movie that checks several boxes for me, The House on Skull Mountain (1974).

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

3 Summer Horror Movie Releases Featuring Women Of Color


It is not a breaking revelation that women of color have a ways to go in definitive starring or major supporting roles in horror films. Most specifically the ones with wide releases that have the biggest opportunity to impact massive audiences. We're still living in/measuring The Get Out Effect, and fighting to see art reflect the lion's share of our realities is an evergreen push. One day when I do lists like these, I would like to be overwhelmed by the visibility in front and behind the camera. And I'm hopeful that we'll get there one day but for now, I'm woefully underwhelmed and reminded why lists are a rarity in these parts.

In regards to some of the upcoming summer fare, three horror films have women of color in the forefront. Three in the opinion owned by me that may be worth your time and money. At the very least, these have my focus on one of the ways we're gonna talk about horror this summer.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Horror Author Dicey Grenor: Comicpalooza & More


Are you going to be in the Houston area this weekend? See and meet fantastical scribe Dicey Grenor at 2017's Comicpalooza: The Texas International Comic Con on May 12-14th!

George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas
Houston, TX, 77010

Dicey is participating in three panels:

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fund This: Mary Belle & The Mermaid


Filmmaker E. Bonnie Boykin, the creative responsible for one of 2016's most delightful gems from the independent horror circuit Afterbirth (watch here) is back developing another project that's much darker than her inaugural piece. Mary Belle & The Mermaid is a horror-charged, pro-Black fem folktale about "a struggling artist's stroke of luck [turning] into a murderous obsession with a morbid river folktale."

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Horror Blackademics: Rooney Elmi's Black Femininity as the Monstrousness Video Essay


Rooney Elmi is the founding editor of Svlly(wood) magazine, a print and digital publication that produces experimental, alternative texts in film criticism, commonly from marginalized voices. We discussed her thoughtful work in more detail in a past interview that's a great introduction to Rooney's scholarship.

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