One of the most popular parts of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror conventions is the cosplay competition. People from all over the world create their own costumes from their favorite characters to compete for prizes, money, and sometimes just for the recognition. It’s like being a big kid, with a bunch of other big kids! For any black girl nerd who ever considered cosplay, the issues arrive when considering who to dress up as. Many women of color do in fact cosplay, but end up portraying the “black version” of superheroes, anime, and video game characters.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
|Actress Heather Langenkamp and I at Monster Mania in Hunt Valley, MD in 2012.|
If we look like BFF's, it's because of Heather's warm heart.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Try as I might, I cannot seem to muster a thoughtful piece on every, single blaxploitation horror film. I thought I could to a large extent, but that goal was pretty unrealistic and I had been trying to hold myself to a standard that was just out of orbit for any human being. So what do I do with these other films? I would recommend them only for some considerate discourse on gender representation, not because they were particularly good in my opinion. Harry Benshoff argues that some blaxploitation horror films "tend to uphold male-dominated (hetero)sexuality and participation in the genre's usual demonization of women and nonpatriarchal sexualities." With good reason.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
"...a horror film made in the early 1970s that had some degree of African American input, not necessarily through the director but perhaps through a screenwriter, producer, and/or even an actor" that explored "race and race consciousness as core structuring principles." Additionally, these films looked at "how the concept of African American agency historically negotiated the generic structure of the horror film during the years of the blaxploitation film craze" between 1969 and 1976.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
I first approached Hellraiser with amusement, not fear. Who was this hysterical woman being held captive by these mythical creatures? Not quite monsters, one donning pins on his noggin. Angels to some, demons to others. And what about this box?
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
As a film student in 2005 studying filmmaking, part of my journey to completing a senior thesis was discovering the awesomeness that is Kasi Lemmons. I wanted to find an obscure director in Hollywood that I could grow and learn from during this academic endeavor, gaining an understanding what it is to become a great director. In my class, many students opted to use such subjects as Hitchcock, Spielberg, Fellini, and Scorsese who are practically clichés in the film community. I scoff at film students studying these renowned content creators whose body of work is etched in every issue of Variety magazine and plastered on the walls of old movie theaters everywhere. It screams to me that you’re not even trying when you elect to choose a filmmaker to write a project about who is such a significant part of pop culture, that they are also featured as a ride in Universal Studios.
Sunday, July 13, 2014
"I'm an alien from outer space... I'm a cybergirl without a face a heart or a mind..."
One of the catchiest songs I'd heard in a very long while, Janelle Monae's "Violent Stars, Happy Hunting" was in a genre of its own. It seemed that we were on the verge of assaulting popular consensus of Black womanhood, no matter who was ready. Metropolis: Suite 1 (The Chase) was Monae's definitive break into a wider audience. I heard a few of her lesser known singles as straight R&B/Pop prior to how we know her now. Her melodic patterns, layered lyrics, and forward imagery has kept me on board. Monae represents an offshoot of my own personal affinities which made her personae oddly familiar.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Written and directed by University of Michigan alum and writer on the former ABC series Detroit 1-8-7 Phonz Williams, Patty Cake is an eerie three minutes full of tension when Patty and her mother (Tiffany Snow and Tyler Lewis) can't seem to see eye to eye.
It's a solid short but suffers from pacing due to its time limit.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Rosemary's Baby is a bestselling horror novel that sparked a movie and a modern day mini-series. The story revolves around Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband Guy Woodhouse. Rosemary thinks life for them is headed in the right direction when she becomes pregnant and her husband's career takes off, but in actuality it is the beginning of a nightmare. She experiences a rough pregnancy, and her husband becomes distant, not to mention she starts to become suspicious of her overly friendly neighbors. Unbeknownst to Rosemary, her husband decided to sacrifice his family for a successful career and collaborated with their new neighbors. Rosemary is overtaken by paranoia and eventually discovers a plot against her formed by witches to sacrifice her baby. This story takes us on a psychological thrill, filled with hallucinations, witchcraft, and suspense. Rosemary’s Baby takes the joys and excitement of becoming pregnant and twists it into a disturbing and frightening experience.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Ever since The Craft (1996) gave us Rochelle, I think many young brown ladies who used the film as the staple, go-to for sleepovers hoped for more characters like her. Unfortunately, not much enhancement or regression has occurred in seeing Black female characters on screen using the dark arts for their will. The exception of American Horror Story: Coven's Queenie and even Marie Laveau has been cautiously entertaining at best and disarmingly stereotypical at worst.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Praxilla of Sicyon is a New York City based gothic horror photographer, screenwriter, and book/film/music reviewer for online publications such as The Offering: Heavy Metal. Her eclectic artistry delves into and is inspired by classic horror, metal music, and African cultures. Both of her screenplays for two horror shorts, Stranger and Coma were directed by Jeremiah Kipp and star Lydia Darly from Exorcist: The Beginning.
Praxilla is forward, forging an ideology that offers a brave future for women of color in the horror industry. With a mission that asserts to "breathe new life into horror," we were more than happy to sit down and discuss the importance of her presence in this genre.
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