In the midst of the many horror franchises, very few have, at the very least a somewhat noticeable and consistent Black female presence. Despite the work that needs to be fostered to have major franchises with women of color in leading and featured roles, the A Nightmare On Elm Street legacy in this ambiguous way has built a shaky foundation to consider the possibilities, albeit with supporting spots. Each of these characters were vastly different from one another, but there's no denying that anyone paying attention would surely remember each for their methodical approach to their characters.
I was very excited to find out that my first attendance at ECBACC, The East Coast Black Age of Comics convention's nucleus this year was Equilibrium: The Power of Black Women Storytellers:
From the ancient Kemetic oracles, to a loving mother sharing family history, to the modern mhadithi, djeli and griot, Black women have been storytellers for more than 10 thousand years... These women shared tales that empowered, encouraged, entertained, enthralled and propelled the listener forward into a world of the past, present, or future.
Here at ECBACC, we follow the philosophy that at every given opportunity people should speak for themselves, tell their tales and share their stories....
With the network on Twitter being instant and the call to action in its beginnings fruitful, I've been thinking a lot about the sum of how the mission of Graveyard Shift Sisters will, in its evolution, remain consistent. More specifically, I've thought about how that consistency is demonstrated through the Black women horror fans, professionals, and creatives I've gotten the opportunity to talk to. I don't know if you, the 'you' who know who you are, understand the utter importance of your words, opinions, and perspectives in this genre community. You represent an astronomical shift in the way people see horror, from hardcore fans to those who sadly dismiss it.
I've only seen Roman Polanski's 1968 Rosemary's Baby once. For me, it is not enjoyably re-watchable. It honestly scared the living hell out of me. A naive woman with whom virtual strangers make a deep investment in, prompting an invasion of space and privacy is creepy. Seeing a Time magazine in sharp focus from Rosemary's POV asking, "Is God Dead?" is unsettling yet intriguing. And Rosemary's complete loss of control and madness by the hands of others is what Polanski captures masterfully.
Rosemary's Baby is a classic for a reason. Even after one viewing, it sticks to you like that pouch that won't shrink away from your mid-section after months of exercise. I'll never forget how the film made me feel, and for that reason, I find no impulse to ever see it again.
"A few years ago while lying in bed with my eyes still closed
an idea for a book began to come to me. I was suddenly flooded with the story
line for this book, title and all. I was
shocked and couldn’t believe it because I had just broken through the worst
case of writer’s block that had lasted over fifteen years; and just for a
moment I cried tears of joy, but there is so much more to this story..."
Author Jacqueline Rainey knows no restrictions when it comes to great storytelling beyond our reality. A Georgia native now residing in Arizona, Rainey's journey has influenced her genre piece Dark Harmonie. Her poetic expression really comes out in her writing, which I would much rather not rattle on and let you experience it for yourself. For these 5 Questions, we wanted Rainey to invite us into a space of self discovery.
Long is the list of science-fiction mediated texts that deals with social issues, especially race. Vic Morrow’s character was forced to confront his bigotry in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) and the shift of social power that was the authority of Black folks as their integrity and compassion was tested for the mercy of whites in one of Ray Bradbury’s short stories in Illustrated Man, first published in 1951. The vast possibilities for what this genre allows is the reason so many of us love it. It keeps stories fresh with its ‘anything goes’ ideology.
If there's one thing to be excited about, it's seeing four central Black women characters in a horror film that, judging from the information provided, finds inspiration from the Black women in horror cinema from yesteryear. While I obviously reserve judgment on the final product considering I'm not the biggest fan of "the rednecks vs. city folk" sub-genre, the project that is Savage Sistas seems to be the promising turn I am hoping to see in the genre as far as stories and representation.
When I was taking a Black American Cinema course in college, a classmate proposed the idea of how X-Men characters and their stories are related to general themes found in grappling race in American society. This proposal can become a touchy subject. Comparing institutionalized racism/systemic discrimination/micro-aggressions people of color side-eye daily to just about anything is almost always problematic. But it also prompts deeper conversations that need to happen in order for our environments to be less wrought with these prevailing issues.
Nightbreed, a film released in 1990 was written and directed by Clive Barker. It follows the tale of Aaron Boone, a man plagued by dreams of murders he's convinced he has committed. He finds relief in other reoccuring dreams he has about a place called Midian. A place "where the monsters live" and "where his sins will be forgiven."
Describing L.C. Cruell as just a writer is a massive understatement. Even though her first comfort is penning, she has produced and directed independent film and television productions with an astuteness that is enviable. Looking at her work and resume, I was blown away. This woman is busy. Read more below and you'll see just how busy. Passionate and determined, Cruell has worked with some of the most well known women in horror and shows no signs of slowing down.