Friday, December 27, 2013

The Enduring Women in Blaxploitation Horror

Pam Grier in Scream, Blacula Scream
I thoroughly enjoyed Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present by Dr. Robin R Means Coleman. The title is self explanatory as she offers a rich, historical frame for Black artistic participation in the American horror film genre. With a 'know your facts' approach, the chapter that gave me considerable insight into Blaxploitation, "Scream, Whitey, Scream -- Retribution, Enduring Women, and Carnality: 1970s" extends to the reader a phrase I've never entertained that is found in the title; the Enduring Women.

In contrast to Clover's Final Girl, Coleman argues that "1970s horror films featuring Black women handled the Final Girl with noteworthy variation" with characters who were multiplicitous; "highly sexualized" and fought back, not "up against some boogeyman; rather, often their battle is with racism and corruption" which Coleman insists is a never ending battle. They are "resilient" and "fight on behalf of men" implying the black unity ideologies that were prevalent in 70s Black Power Movement consciousness. This "fight" was commonly in the name of justified vengeance due to the death at the hand of a literal and symbolic (white) oppressor found in a horror films like Sugar Hill (1974) and non-horror such as Foxy Brown (1974).


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays from the Soul Cinema Macabre!

We hope you enjoy some additional Blaxsploitation horror poster art to warm your Black holiday hearts today and into the New Year!


Monday, December 23, 2013

My Favorite Blaxploitation Horror Films

We lament here much about the importance of African American history in horror. The first contemporary renaissance of filmmaking agency for Black directors, writers, producers, and actors tackling the horror genre was arguably the 1970's within the popularity of Blaxsploitation films.

Blaxploitation horror are reproduced horror tales from the classics (Frankenstein became Blackenstein, Dracula became Blacula, etc.) to re-imagined stories with old themes (vampirism, zombies, etc.) that center around Black characters and often often times Black cultural modes of expression, aesthetics, and community issues (racism, African religion, etc.).

Below are three of my top recommendations for all around enjoyment and beautifully complex central female roles that have been rare to non-existent in the horror genre since.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Black Female Horror Fans Speak Out!

This week, I wanted to focus on Black female horror fans. Before I began writing, organizing film screenings, and volunteering at festivals and on film sets, I was simply had a large affinity for horror movies over other genres. And I'm happy to see that so many more Black women are fans as much as I am:


In addition, I was curious as to what fans wanted to see in horror in the future:

And finally, what would fandom be without pointing out some of our favorite actors and characters? Thinking about this, I began to brainstorm with the idea of which Black actresses who other fans enjoy watching in a horror film or television series:

As fans of horror, which actresses of color would you love to see in horror? What kind of stories do you want to see told (theme wise, etc.) in the genre? 

How do you feel as a Black female horror fan?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

5 Questions with Filmmaker Tiffany D. Jackson

Tiffany D. Jackson is a Brooklyn, NY native who makes movies and has consulted, written and produced for various media outlets from Rocawear to National Geographic. With her diverse resume, experience, and talents, Tiffany laments that horror is her first love.


Monday, December 16, 2013

My Superlative Horror Convention Journey

My first horror convention was Horrorhound in Cincinnati, Ohio one chilly November in 2010. The munchkin next to me conspired with the taller woman next to her to ensure I booked a flight and had enough cash to split a hotel room. It's been a lifelong journey battling social awkwardness and feeling embraced. But their teensy push to come out of my comfort zone even a little bit was well worth it. I knew a few people already through our mutual love of horror and fringe cinema virtually. Meeting for the first time in person was just like seeing a friend in person you hadn't in a really long time. 


Friday, December 13, 2013

Wicked Rewind: Jason Takes Manhattan

How enchanting that my favorite random day just happens to align with my favorite month this year. Friday the 13th gives me an excuse to be all extra weird in my horror fandom and once more, sit through a handful of my favorite Friday the 13th films as well as listen to my favorite retrospective on the series. It's a formidable franchise whose staying power rivals any of the bigger 'icons of fright,' even Freddy Krueger. In 2013, a documentary was released and the announcement of a new film.

My favorites are some of the most contested, debated, reviled, and rage-inducing for many invested in the franchise. Which I admit is more fun than annoying because everyone (for the most part) has really great points, pro and con. My tried and true debate technique is taking the films that I enjoy that many people seem to hate and giving them social relevancy. What's the bigger message hidden within the bad acting, incoherent story and bad one-liners? Because I can almost guarantee that is one of the reasons people still watch these films.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Not Another Black People Die First In Horror Movies Article

Courtesy of Pirate Cake
The more I do research about Black folks in horror the more I come across "lazy" extended blurbs about Black survival in horror movies. Yes, I'm calling out some of the more major publications who think it more suitable to go kosher and re-hash once more half truths about the African American experience in horror films. Even when they're attempting depth, it falls short simply because of the theme.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Women in Horror: Get Your Work into Print

With Women in Horror Recognition Month (WiHM) on the horizon, I thought a post on this topic might inspire you to create something horror-filled. As the horror submissions editor for Mocha Memoirs Press, I come across a great deal of stories, the majority of which are written by male authors.

(Duh, Eden. That’s why places like Graveyard Shift Sisters exists.)  Yeah, I know. Stay with me a minute.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

5 Questions With Horror Writer Melody Cooper

A native New Yorker, Melody Cooper began her writing career as a playwright.  She is the winner of the 2012 SheWrites Playwriting Festival and the Global Culture Play Award. In film, her niche is science-fiction and horror and her screenplay, The Devil You Know was a finalist in the 2012 Creative World Award and International Sci-Fi/Horror Film Festival. Another screenplay she's written, Breaking The Fourth won at the Woodshole Film Festival. She is currently directing a documentary about U.S. vet immigrants deported after their tours of duty and is represented by Abrams Artists.

I'm so happy she reached out to me to share her story as a Black female professional working in horror as well as sci-fi!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Black Horror Films: Danger Word

Director Luchina Fisher with writers Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes have teamed up to develop a new horror short titled, Danger Word!

The film is about a grandfather/granddaughter duo who have survived the zombie plague and the series of events that follow during granddaughter Kendra's (Saoirse Scott) birthday celebration. The grandfather is played by veteran actor Frankie Faison who's known in Danger Word as Grandpa Joe. Danger Word has recently made its world debut at the BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta, GA on Thursday, November 7th 2013 and nominated for Best Short.

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