Thursday, May 26, 2016

My Outcast Experience At Philadelphia's Spookiest Hot Spot

Outcast is based on the Skybound/Image comic produced for CINEMAX by FOX International Studios (FIS).

The show follows Kyle Barnes, a young man who has been plagued by possession since he was a child. Now an adult, he embarks on a journey to find answers but what he uncovers could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it.

Admittedly, I sat too close.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Horror Favorites, with Horror Comedy Auteur Mika Madness

NYC/Yonkers own Mika "Madness" Kenyah (@MikaKenyah) is an award-winning actress, writer, poet, and yes, game changer. Her years of experience in the entertainment industry has led her to developing Sugar & Spikes Casting, an agency that provides a variety of support for the aesthetically alt artist and casting directors in need of the talent. Along with her own unique sense of style and inspired love for the horror genre, Mika is breaking through on critically acclaimed shows ("Orange Is The New Black") as well as with her impressive, innovative, and funny as hell (literally) Vine videos.

What feels like the millennial Beverly Bonner (of Frank Henenlotter Basket Case fame), Mika Madness is the bright spot of red and rampage in the intersection of horror and comedy. Do yourself a favor and check out Shuga Brown the Demon Hunter to gain some laughs and appreciation for this talented artist that I have no doubt will continue to prosper with her autonomous vision.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

#SciFiSunday: Teaser Trailer For Feature Film, Brute Sanity

I'm deeply intrigued by a new, independent science fiction film on the horizon. Brute Sanity is host to a blend of sci-fi, psychological horror, and "the battle of science over tradition." I hope emphatically to see this film in its entirety as it leans towards desiring that the audience ask questions more than receive answers, a tactic I find endearing about cinema as a whole whether intentional or not.

This cerebral approach is only heightened by its star Adjovi Koene (above) who plays Keradin, "an FBI-trained neuropsychologist [who] teams up with a thief to find a reality-altering device while her insane ex-boss unleashes bizarre traps to stop her." I'm certain much discussion will be had here in regards to how Keradin's identity and the dynamics of it interweave with the obstacles she faces.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Women of Color & Horror/Sci-Fi Cosplay, Part 2

Every year the cosplay event at conventions all over the world, continues to expand. Nerds everywhere attend conventions in costume, or go all out and enter the popular cosplay contest. It's a chance to play dress up, show off your costume and special effects skills, and play your favorite characters for a day.

For some women of color though, it's hard to find characters to portray that look like us. As time passes, the days of being "the black version" of a particular character are fading. More and more superheroes, sci-fi, and fantasy characters of colors are being created and exposed. We have options now! If you want to be a part of this amazing world of cosplay, and are still stuck on getting ideas, here are a few to consider!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Black Women In Horror: Paralysis (2016) Movie Review

A photographer suffering from a sleep disorder experiences strange occurrences in her apartment which begin to blur the line between reality and the supernatural.

Written and directed by R. Shanea Williams (@rshanea722)

That isn't the best summary. But after you get a chance to see Paralysis for yourself, you'll thank me. Assessing a film usually benefits a reader by offering very little information. Magnify this sentiment when considering a short. Many of my musings about films at any length rely heavily on a "post-mortem" chat where the revelation of plot beats prompt wider insight on any given topic it inspires. What can be challenging is discussing clues as to what you may experience that reveal just enough to feign interest in the overall narrative and how it might make you feel. Paralysis is one of those films.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Get Award Winning Horror Short Small Talk On VOD

The horror community has been by far the most welcoming of the film. I submitted it to a ton of “women’s” film festivals and not a single one has wanted to touch it. One festival that rejected me offered to send a summary of jury comments for free and the comments were basically like “It was well shot and acted and all but it was about a phone sex operator and it was so disturbing and suddenly people were exploding and I don’t understand why and our audience will be so disturbed and upset.” That was the consensus of why my film was a bad choice for their festival.
-Nicole Witte Solomon on reactions to her film, Small Talk for Tits and Sass
February 19, 2015

Small Talk, a short film under the "sci-fi/horror/comedy" amalgamation manages to hit each genre tenet succinctly. The sci-fi tastes like Cronenberg and toned down Dead Alive Peter Jackson while the comedic strength is easily found with character chemistry and the horror reigns as a powerful discourse on misogyny, economics, and various other relatable themes, all from the subjective of a phone sex operator whose severe headaches are beginning to have strange connections to her most unsavory callers. In short, Small Talk is immersive, challenging, and strengthened by the emotive performance of its lead, Al (Manini Gupta). Many of us have been in service of someone in some capacity during our lives and it's never completely enjoyable.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Colors in Darkness: Diversity in Horror, Paranormal & Dark Fantasy

Some time ago in a writers group far, far away, writers, Dahlia DeWinters, Kenya Moss-Dyme, Eden Royce and Mya Lairis joined together and reveled in a mutual love of scares, thrills and ominous lit. Stories were shared and beta read, and much discussion was to be had. One reoccurring tale was of how difficult it was to find diverse works in dark lit at conventions, at the book stores and even online. Considered to be fringe at best and given worrisome looks at the worst, the decision to band together was an easy one.

The first Colors in Darkness event was planned for October 2015. The call went out seeking writers of diverse horror, paranormal and dark fantasy for the Facebook bash which covered Halloween’s Eve through to the Day of the Dead. Some of the authors chiming in to participate I knew, but many others I did not. Folk came out of the woodwork and so too did a few sponsors. It was a magical time with prizes, games, free reads and trivia. I was both surprised and pleased by the participation of the attendees and the graciousness of the contributing participants. My TBR (To Be Read) pile grew even larger during that party.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Black Women In Horror: Afterbirth (2016) Review & Talk With Writer/Director Eboni Boykin

A recent college graduate with a bright future ahead of her suddenly finds herself with child she has given birth to, but has no recollection of.

*slight spoilers ahead*

A short film with a bundle of ambition, Afterbirth carries an injection of eeriness, fun, and potent originality that the horror genre so desperately needs. Writer and director Eboni Boykin's storytelling is only strengthened by the performances, especially from Afterbirth's lead, Erika (Jacqueline Nwabueze) whose arc consists of topics like self-care, career, Black motherhood and discriminatory youth education systems, and the trials of young adulthood. All balanced with some shadowy, gruesome appearances, and sinister decisions that add even more weight as an intersectional horror text.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Black Women Horror Writers: Interview with Miracle Austin

In my quest to find other Black women writers of horror, I occasionally go outside of my comfort zone and reach out to an author for an interview. While I’ve had extremely positive experiences doing these features, it always gives me a little jitter when I hit that send button.

I needn’t have worried with Miracle Austin. She was wonderful right from the start: enthusiastic and prompt in responding. The face that she had a new release was a bonus.

Doll is Miracle’s first full-length novel and it is a fantastic start for an author who has previously published short stories. I had immediate cover love and when I realized it was a YA novel, I enjoyed the read even more. The number of diverse books for young adults is creeping up, but I still see a deficiency in the number of multi-cultural horror novels intended for younger readers.

Check out the book trailer for Doll on Miracle’s Amazon page here.

But don’t think that Doll can’t be enjoyed by adults. Austin packs plenty of magic and mystery into this story and the protagonist, Tomie, a black male high school student, has a refreshing innocence throughout. Bullying is a struggle that children face on a daily basis, and it can have deeply traumatizing repercussions, even into adulthood. I loved that these kids had a strong sense of right and wrong, even though they were tempted to cross over when the school mean girl goes to far.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Support Black Girl Nerds on Patreon!

Back in 2012, Black Girl Nerds, a blog that celebrates nerdy women of color reached my radar on a whim that's long forgotten. But I will never forget that its creator Jamie Broadnax, not only spoke candidly about things she was nerdy about, but the other aspects of life that can be trying and feel lonely. I reached out to her via email with a branch of solidarity as I too (and continue to) struggle with certain trials. Somewhere in this period, amidst a graduate degree and inconsistent blogging, Black Girl Nerds became the platform that launched my underutilized muse into the stratosphere.

With a few thoughtful rants on the site here and there, October 2013 was branded the Black Girl (Horror) Nerds month long celebration of the Halloween season. I discussed my own horror fandom journey and the women in some professional capacity immersed in the genre. The last installment is Graveyard Shift Sisters, the genesis. It was difficult producing that series. And I realized it shouldn't have been. This space exists because I wanted a haven for women of color in the horror community to feel included, like they belonged in every facet of the horror industry. I know from experience, some people were hostile to that notion. And while unfortunate, myopic attitudes never deterred me from pushing the importance of inclusivity.

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