Thursday, January 29, 2015

Black Women Horror Writers: Interview with Jayde Brooks

January gets you a two for one deal!

I am pleased to say I was offered an advance reading copy of Daughter of Gods and Shadows by Jayde Brooks to be published by St. Martin’s Press on February 3.  But here you’ll find a review of the book (no spoilers, though) and an interview I had with Jayde.

If you’re looking for a sweeping, dark adventure/quest novel, look no further. This story had what I love to read in a book: strong female characters and the ultimate in high stakes – saving the world. Blend that with a Black protagonist and stir in a healthy helping of African culture and you have Jayde Brooks’ new release. Daughter has its roots in 4,000 years in the past, all of it filtered through our modern day heroine, Eden. (Love that name!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Uncovering Sins Even The Devil Would Be Ashamed Of: A Comparison Between White Zombie & Night Of The Living Dead

*Originally posted at Day Of The Woman: A Blog For The Feminine Side Of Fear on February 18, 2013 by BJ Colangelo

Although it is Women In Horror recognition month, it is also Black History month. In honor of the monthly celebration, I present an analysis of two of the most prominent zombie films of all time, and the historical context of African American characters.



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sci-Fi Sunday - Born in Flames’ Adelaide Norris: A Sci-Fi Joan of Arc

Thirty years ago, an independent film tried to illustrate what a society with a new social equality would be like.  The 1983 sci-fi film Born in Flames by feminist filmmaker Lizzie Borden, is set in an alternate reality where people live in supposed harmony ten years after a peaceful Social-Democratic War of Liberation.  Unfortunately,  women continue to be harassed, underemployed and underrepresented in government.  As a result, an underground Woman’s Army is born.  Spearheaded by two lesbians, one Black and the other White, many cells form and unify through radio, music and the written word.  The film depicts the views, perspectives and merging of women from all walks of life in a rough and raw documentary style.  

Born in Flames was revolutionary for its time, and I think it is still relevant today. This film has many layers, with both a speculative as well as a science fictional representation of a parallel universe that denies oppression. One of the main characters, Adelaide Norris played by Jean Satterfield, came to the forefront for me because of her race and role in the story. Adelaide is one of the key characters who pulls the female troops together.  With the help of her mentor Zella, played by civil rights lawyer Flo Kennedy, this young Black and gay woman tirelessly researches, advises, and recruits women to fight the good fight for equality. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

This Is What A Black Female Horror Fan Looks Like


Zena, founder of The Real Queen Of Horror
 on the set of a short horror film playing a killer. Photo by LaLa Lauren Freedman.
I fully admit, sometimes my imagination gets the best of me. It's a habitual defense mechanism for navigating the world as a Black woman to do all the assuming for anyone who can't quite figure me out. I think it's ridiculous that I defy many "types" for those who share my external categories, but I'm all too aware of the world I live in. A very white supremacist one that we have to consistently fight not to collude with.

As a horror fan, I find myself in many horror or nerd-like social and professional settings where it appears to be that I don't fit. Ironically, those spaces where I do appear picture perfect, I couldn't feel more alone, isolated, and uncomfortable. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Freddy Week's #30YearsOfNightmare Recap

It's A Nightmare On Elm Street Week on Chiller! I'm not asking why or how, I'm just enjoying Freddy in all his edited-for-television glory because I can. I make no apologies for this mild obsession. I love each film on different levels and in varying ways. I've been lucky enough to tap into and drop kick my muse with some care on Elm Street's last brats here and on other respectable online film platforms.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Horror in the African Folktale

The history of the African continent, its peoples and their cultures have often loosely and inaccurately been invoked as reference material in the horror genre. It is an enduring stereotype that we have come to associate malicious sorcery as the sole narrative worth of “African Horror”. While the appeal of evil is a necessary feature of the horror film, any reference to Africa in the genre has tended to be one-dimensional in scope; aimed at developing individual (stereo)(arche) types rather than complex storylines that rely on novel ways to interpret darkness. The lack of reference to Africa in horror outside of a stereotypical framework (i.e. “voodoo savagery”) is ironic, considering the extent to which African culture and mythology have utilized the horror narrative since time immemorial.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bringing Back The Badass Black Heroine with Savage Sistas Writer/Director Dan Smith

I remember the feeling of curious hesitation and excitement while doing more research on this teaser film trailer I stumbled across last spring. A new horror movie with four Black female protagonists, overcoming one of the most dire of circumstances. Savage Sistas stood out as one of the answers to this blog's initial call. But one aspect was unwavering. Chardine Taylor-Stone put it frankly in her essay, "Where are the Black Women in Science Fiction?":

Yet, even when feeling the relief and enjoyment of encountering a character who doesn't fit the 'standard' racial profile, I cannot escape the fact that those burned into my psyche are the creation of White and overwhelmingly male writers.