Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Filmmakers You Should Know: BJ Rouse

Think of this as more of a bat signal. If anyone out there knows anything about this filmmaker, please let me know! She's slated to direct a horror feature titled Don't Look but I haven't had much luck finding the links. For now, enjoy the reel:
 

You can follow BJ's production company on Twitter (@RouseHouseEnt)

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sci-Fi Sunday: Another Look At Kee In Children Of Men


2006's Children of Men is my all-time favorite movie. As an over zealous genre cinephile, this was hardly an easy declaration to assess but a very smooth transition to acceptance transpired. Not without its reasonable critiques, Children of Men does manage to provide the weight of limitless layers to unpack what both looks into a future that is not entirely unfathomable and allows us to confront the difficult themes currently relating to our actual, personal lives that are both specific and universal. The supporting-central character of Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) is what initially drew me into seeing what this film was all about. It was one of those brief glances you take when you're not really paying attention to your television but one image just stands out and you say to yourself, 'Oh, what was that about?'

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fueling Nightmares: Fearlessness Through Freddy Krueger



What young child pays attention to commercials that aren’t bright, loud and don’t promise eternal entertainment and joy from a product in use by other young children? Thing is, whenever I saw that New Line Cinema logo appear on the television screen in the 1980s, I thought horror. With an uneasy delight, I specifically thought of Freddy Krueger. Full disclosure; a nightmare I had during this period is a milestone in my horror fandom and pending personhood. One I don’t discuss ever because it’s always seemed pretty silly if not slightly embarrassing.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The History of Blacks in Speculative Fiction: Resources

Source: Nerds Of Color
Women of color are powerful forces in speculative fiction writing. More and more are popping up each year and being lauded for their efforts. I'm not only a horror nerd, but additionally an unmovable academic one as well with heavy Liberal Arts training. Important as having a list of Black speculative fiction writers to rattle off with ease, we must know our history. With context; stories of discrimination, triumph, dates and times designed to make us think about what stories are being written now and in the future.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Independent Horror Film "Muck" Dismantling Hollywood Indian Stereotypes


Steve Wolsh’s independent horror film, Muck stars actress Puja Mohindra as Chandi, a character whose arc has nothing to do with her Indian heritage, which goes against the Hollywood norm for Indian characters. 

Puja says, “It’s rare to have the opportunity to play an ethnic character where her ethnicity has nothing to do with the story. Chandi is the main love interest of the story and a vital member of the group of friends who go on this scary ride – THAT just happens to be Indian. It sounds so simple, but it’s actually very modern, even revolutionary. It’s a testament to Steve’s vision and innovative spirit.


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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

5 Questions With A Zombie Hunter In The Desert


West coast based blogger and horror enthusiast Jamelle Shannon will probably be one of the zombie apocalypse survivalists with a well stocked bunker. In the mist of her pre-occupation with our imminent demise by flesh eaters, it was important we understand her perspective so hopefully, those of us reading will survive too.

Zombies seem to be a popular theme with you. What are some of your first memories of what made you so interested in them?

Zombies have always been on my horror/pop culture radar, but it wasn’t until I read Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide shortly after it came out that I really found them interesting. Here was a book that took the question of what to do during a zombie apocalypse and gave answers. My friends and I debated on what kind of zombie-proof fortresses we would build, what kind of supplies we would need, and who would be useful in our rebuilt society. It’s an interesting thought exercise that you don’t get when dealing with vampires or ghosts. No one talks about the impending werewolf apocalypse.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sci-Fi Sunday: Women of Color in Manga and Anime

Many blerds are big fans of anime. Manga and Anime bring us so many elements from horror to comedy. The Japanese culture in this genre blends elements of action in combination with science fiction of the past and present. We love the epic adventures, parallel worlds, supernatural creatures, and story plots revolving around Shinigamis, the Japanese death gods but sometimes it is hard to find “ourselves” among the characters. We haven’t been left out of this genre though! Here is a list of some of the women of color featured in manga and anime.

Mira Nygus-Soul Eater


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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quote Of The Day: Genre Fiction Writer Alicia McCalla

No one ever wanted me to share my stories because they thought they were too weird.  In their defense, SciFi and Fantasy just weren’t cool for black folks, especially in Detroit. In my late thirties, I was rear-ended by a truck. I just remember seeing the oncoming semi in my rearview mirror and thinking “that truck is not stopping.” I suffered whiplash and a horrible concussion. It seems that I lost my memory and it took my body time to heal.  When I came out of all of that, I just made a choice to live my life to the fullest.  I dusted off my stories and started to REALLY focus on my writing.  It took me a while but I slowly began to build my writing career by taking classes and joining professional organizations like Romance Writers of America.  At that point, I became free and I didn’t much care what family thought.  Now, I just write what I love.  I enjoy it and my family has come to accept what I write even if they refuse to read it.

Alicia McCalla on "Paranormal Wednesday" at The Paranormal Blog, February 26, 2014
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Love For The Brothers: Ernest R. Dickerson


I've been wanting to pay homage to our brothers in horror for awhile. Their unfair shake with the whole "dying first" thing in films, others and I have discussed ad nauseum. But Black men in horror have been and are so much more to the genre as writers, directors, and producers. Those titles hold power, and Black men have utilized their interest in horror to tell their stories, our stories, and continue the tradition of both countering the mainstream and bringing refreshing tales to the horror genre.

It was a pleasure to discover Ernest Dickerson long ago. He's been the man behind some of my favorite horror films and television series, making a name for himself in both the horror and film industry. A Newark, New Jersey native, Dickerson attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in the early 1980s. There he met and built a professional relationship with Spike Lee, becoming the cinematographer on his student film, Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads (1983).

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Crazy Ones: From Cry-Baby to Zombie Killer


My life has been an extended episode of Black Folk Don't. At times, it seems I purposefully throw myself into subcultures where I'll never see people that look like me: metal music, sci-fi and fantasy literature, goth subculture, alternative religious beliefs... it goes on. I admit I've had an easier time, but only if because in the21st century people tend to disguise things under a veneer of “colorblindedness”.

Really, the only place that has definitely never told me "no" is horror. When I was growing up, horror films were a rite of passage. Popcorn, blankets, cuddled up in front of the TV in the dark, remote in hand ready to stop the movie for whoever dared uttered a peep. And, for some reason, the AC was always on to make the room frigid. Maybe that was just us.

The scarier the better. 

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cinema's Black Women Werewolves


Shape shifting has to be one of the most fascinating supernatural elements to me. I've always wanted to be a feral shape shifter; bold, never questioning instinct, and downright brutal.

Yes, I mean brutal. I wrestled with my entire life as a Black woman, the unflinching perceptions of weakness and strength, rooted in both anger and daunting perseverance. I am neither or both. I love werewolves for these very complex reasons. And I still can't shake 1987's The Howling III's earthy imagery of maternity and motherhood from my five year old mind.

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