Picks Of The Month

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Horror Web Series BFFs Explores Female Bonding & More

Nostalgia seems to be the scent and flavor of my generation. We're not quite millennials and Gen-Xer's were our slightly older peers that were model road maps for branding our unique identities. While remembering when television went off the air and 7-digit phone numbers, we were also on the fringes of a new age of technology: that AOL dial-up sound, internet message boards keeping us up all night, (almost) everyone having cable TV, and remembering where we were when Diana Ross Black mothered Lil' Kim on the MTV VMA stage. I'm gonna guess that 1987 was that year you postmodern, in-limbo generationals like myself began to vividly remember your first experiences with going to see movies, starting grade school, and creating your first social bubble...

Which is why if you're reading this, there's a new horror web series on the horizon this Fall that should stop you in your tracks with just this tweet:


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Black Women Horror Writers: Interview with Michele Berger


For many of us, that word carries such weight and expectation. For Black women especially, the word “hair” can strike fear into our hearts, keep us up late at night, and empty our wallets with lightning quick ease. As such, it’s a perfect topic to explore in horror. So little of horror is written from a place of authority for Black women. When it is, the story tends toward the historical, steeped in the horrors of slavery, or even twisting the conjure magics into something evil and ugly.

But author and professor Michele Berger, who teaches classes on Sapphire’s Push and BeyoncĂ©’s “Formation” at UNC Chapel Hill has taken our hair, something that holds the power to change our mood and our mindset and brought it into horror. With her latest release Reenu-You, Berger has brought some of our worst fears into realization. Even with so many women embracing the natural texture of their hair, hundreds of thousands of women are still searching for that product that makes styling that little bit easier.

When Kay finds Reenu-You on the shelves, a product promising exactly that, she tries it. The resulting rash and sores she gets won’t heal and are in fact, spreading. She goes to the hospital where she comes across a room of other women with a similar affliction. After an initial hesitation, she speaks with them and realizes they have all used Reenu-You. They leave the hospital, unsure the doctors are willing or able to do anything about this condition that is spreading unchecked. Does anyone care? Can the outbreak be stopped? Or are Kay and her newfound friends and allies doomed to succumb to the effects of Reenu-You?


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Black Horror Girl Magic: Flashback Weekend Chicago Horror Con 2017

August 4th through the 6th in a little area just outside of Chicago called Rosemont saw a small herd of jazzed-up horror fans congregate in a Crowne Plaza hotel to celebrate the annual Flashback Weekend horror convention. This weekend was particularly special for A Nightmare On Elm Street franchise fans for a multitude of reasons. A head-spinning blend of cast members from many of the films, most notably Part 4, were the headlining guests with Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) as the gracious top bill. In addition, a special larger than life documentary was being filmed titled FredHeads.

FredHeads is a documentary about the fandom of a Nightmare on Elm Street and how it has changed the lives of so many people. The documentary will follow 3 fans as they tell their story and what their journey in the Nightmare community has been; some as fans, others rising through popularity. Along the way, we will be filming at conventions and getting as many fan stories as possible to feature as many fans as we can in the documentary. It’s about the heart and soul of horror, and what Nightmare means to people and why it is not a typical slasher film. (Facebook, Twitter)

This combination made my Flashback Weekend experience one of the most exciting, emotional, and best conventions that I have ever attended. And I almost didn't make it. 


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Horror Blackademics: Folklore & Hardcore, Deconstructing Tales from the Hood

The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 115, No. 457/458 (Summer/Autumn 2002)

Thesis: As director and co-screenwriter of the horror anthology Tales from the Hood (1995), Rusty Cundieff is responsible for dismantling strict, binary gender depictions in popular culture through his use of specific aspects of African American folklore stories which complicate narrow, harmful views of Black men in American society.

Synopsis: Tales from the Hood is an anthology horror film in the likeness of the original Tales from the Crypt (1972) movie. The wraparound story follows three young men who arrive at a funeral home run by Mr. Simms in order to pick up a supply of drugs. Mr. Simms leads the men throughout the home, coming across relics and bodies that all have chilling stories; police corruption/brutality and the vengeful undead ("Rogue Cop Revelation"), domestic abuse and the magic to destroy its form ("Boys Do Get Bruised"), a racist politician is spooked by the souls of enslaved Africans living inside of dolls ("KKK Comeuppance"), and a serial killer's chance at redemption in purgatory ("Hard-Core Convert").


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Black Horror Films: Blame (2014)

Two parents face an unspeakable dilemma after a video is discovered of their college-bound son's collusion in a violent, criminal act.

Written & Directed by Kellee Terrell

The soft warm glow of the lighting only hyper-angelicizes the first scene we're introduced to. A patriarch opens his prayer with a spirit of thanks for the family that surrounds him at a dining room table stuffed with food they will all share together in a matter of moments. His upbeat speech accentuated by noting that his son will receive a full ride to MIT. But suddenly, a disruption appears in the form of an young lady, standing behind him like a dirty cloud that'll surely corrupt this moment. A warning that all is not quite right with this Hallmark display.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sci-Fi Sunday: Oh, Susannah, How The Dark Tower Explores Black Woman Stereotypes

Art by Lady Fiszi
This summer, the first installment of Stephen King’s opus, The Dark Tower, will finally arrive in movie theaters across the country. The protagonist, Roland of Gilead will be portrayed by international superstar Idris Elba, a black British actor. Although Roland will appear on-screen differently than his novel namesake, my concern as a fan and black woman, resides in where the movie adaptation will go with Susannah Dean, the only black person in the series. The Dark Tower series exposes modern views of black womanhood and so I wonder how the movie adaptation will address those issues, if at all.

Odetta Susannah Holmes, who will become Susannah Dean, does not appear in the first installment in The Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger.  She appears in the second book, The Drawing of the Three, which tells of Roland selecting the members of his ka-tet from different worlds and whens. Susannah’s door, through which Roland enters her world, is labeled, “The Lady of Shadows.”

“The lady of shadows, does she look two faced to you Gunslinger?”--Walter O’Dim


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Four Great Horror Film Shorts You Need To See

There's never a shortage of original, engrossing horror films to consume. You'll find them in many lists that circulate online at notable spaces such as Blumhouse.com, film festivals, and of course, YouTube where it's highly likely the next Lights Out is now. Here are four horror films that all feature central Black characters and two that were created by Black women.

Little Red's Pie (2016)
Written & Directed by Rae Shaw

Little Red's Pie is a somber yet righteously vengeful spin on the Little Red Riding Hood fable many of us remember from our formative years. The classically grainy aesthetic that immerses itself in the film's tone of a haunted memory, the silent/soundtrack storytelling technique is used perfectly to capture the anachronism of the tale and maximize on the audience's emotional experience. Rising from tragedy, Little Red seeks retribution for the loss of innocence and joy. Shaw has certainly made something old new again in the most refreshing of ways.


© Graveyard Shift Sisters. All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig