Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rue Morgue Library Women With Guts Edition Giveaway


Rue Morgue Library is all abuzz with its latest entry, Women With Guts: Horror Heroines In Film, TV And Print by Alison Lang. Just as the title states, this is a collection on the women in horror in front of the camera and behind the scenes that made discourse on the topic so ripe for discussion for so many years. Inside the soft bound cover are essays, interviews, and features on Ginger Snaps, Linnea Quigley, The Blair Witch Project, Alien, Elvira, Ana Lily Amirpour, and much more including a little something from myself. A brief geekout here is necessary because being published with the likes of Liisa Ladouceur, Alexandra West and Andrea Subissati, and Alison herself is a humbling experience. In honor of such, I want to spread the geek by giving someone an opportunity to get this must-have for free!

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sci-Fi Sunday: Real Artists (2017) Predicts The Future Of Filmmaking

Tiffany Hines in REAL ARTISTS, a Charming Stranger Films release. Photo courtesy of Charming Stranger Films
There are many young adults now in the thicket of an extremely competitive job market. An equally intense test of endurance and persistence comes from those on the hunt in the creative industry. When you're a creator, you look to build sustainable projects because who amongst us wants to sit at a desk for 8+ hours with little to no room nor control? I hear it all the time. Day job vs. passion. Sometimes it feels impractical, silly, but yet it actually is attainable. What happens when the two merge? It almost seems magical. And maybe it is.

Sophia Baker is at that majestic precipice in a new, independent science fiction short film, Real Artists.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Black Horror Film 5KNIVES Premieres In NYC


The enigma behind #WhoKilledStephanie will finally be revealed for those in or near New York City when filmmaker/actor Kar Logan's 5Knives unfolds at Gamba Forest in Brooklyn. "A modern day Clue for the millennial generation," Logan (@karyewest) says 5Knives "is a murder mystery set in an apartment with five friends trying to get to the bottom of a murder. After a wild party, Barry (played by Logan) wakes up to find a bloody knife in his possession. One by one the other party guests wake up, each with a knife as well, and soon discover the body of a dear friend." Lots of paranoia, confusion, and emotion run rampant as the true story of what has transpired is a bloody, hostile journey audiences will enjoy.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Dark Tapes (2017): Movie Review


I'm a sucker for found footage horror. Let me clarify; I immerse myself in each film under the umbrella (provided the acting and chemistry is a strength) and the story that unravels. Most are effective at creating the illusion that what you're witnessing is a reality. Of course we know it isn't. I even forgive the concept of fear never overriding the compulsion to pick up the camera and keep recording. Kevin Wetmore in Post-9/11 Horror In American Cinema spends a lot of time discussing the bridge between the World Trade Center attacks in 2001 and the rise in popularity of "the pseudo-documentary as horror film." Some eye witness accounts from NYC that day confessed to their own impulse to grab a visual recording device. The whole idea of documenting terror is something not as uncommon as an audience might imagine.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Blaxploitation and Gothic Horror in The House on Skull Mountain


For many lovers of horror, the Gothic and by extension, the Southern Gothic, is the redheaded stepchild of the genre. Few modern and recent converts to horror appreciate what is lovingly called “quiet horror” by its enthusiasts. Too slow, too dull, too unexciting. Not enough real scares to be even considered horror. But to those of us who love and appreciate the tenets of Gothic, Southern and traditional, there are few things that can compete with it’s creeping subtleties; its moody lingering nuance, and its introspective terrors that come from knowing more is out there.

The same can be said for Blaxploitation horror. While it has its connoisseurs, and I’d like to include myself among them—Blaxploitation horror has an inordinate amount of detractors. Poor sound and image quality, lack of big name actors, and newbies to movie making are what critics call out most on these movies. Instead of seeing them for what they were at the time of filming—a way for blacks to take center stage in a genre they loved. Once that relegated them to tertiary roles with little screen time. Put these two genres together, the Gothic and Blaxploitation, and you have a movie that checks several boxes for me, The House on Skull Mountain (1974).

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

3 Summer Horror Movie Releases Featuring Women Of Color


It is not a breaking revelation that women of color have a ways to go in definitive starring or major supporting roles in horror films. Most specifically the ones with wide releases that have the biggest opportunity to impact massive audiences. We're still living in/measuring The Get Out Effect, and fighting to see art reflect the lion's share of our realities is an evergreen push. One day when I do lists like these, I would like to be overwhelmed by the visibility in front and behind the camera. And I'm hopeful that we'll get there one day but for now, I'm woefully underwhelmed and reminded why lists are a rarity in these parts.

In regards to some of the upcoming summer fare, three horror films have women of color in the forefront. Three in the opinion owned by me that may be worth your time and money. At the very least, these have my focus on one of the ways we're gonna talk about horror this summer.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Horror Author Dicey Grenor: Comicpalooza & More


Are you going to be in the Houston area this weekend? See and meet fantastical scribe Dicey Grenor at 2017's Comicpalooza: The Texas International Comic Con on May 12-14th!

George R. Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas
Houston, TX, 77010

Dicey is participating in three panels:

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fund This: Mary Belle & The Mermaid


Filmmaker E. Bonnie Boykin, the creative responsible for one of 2016's most delightful gems from the independent horror circuit Afterbirth (watch here) is back developing another project that's much darker than her inaugural piece. Mary Belle & The Mermaid is a horror-charged, pro-Black fem folktale about "a struggling artist's stroke of luck [turning] into a murderous obsession with a morbid river folktale."

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Horror Blackademics: Rooney Elmi's Black Femininity as the Monstrousness Video Essay


Rooney Elmi is the founding editor of Svlly(wood) magazine, a print and digital publication that produces experimental, alternative texts in film criticism, commonly from marginalized voices. We discussed her thoughtful work in more detail in a past interview that's a great introduction to Rooney's scholarship.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

FirstBorn (2016): Movie Review


When a young couple brings their baby home, disturbing supernatural occurrences lead them to confront their struggle to be parents and unlocks family secrets.

Written by Sean Hogan and Nirpal Bhogal
Directed by Nirpal Bhogal

When discussing family dynamics in horror, I tend to read from the perspective of the child. The horror movies with the relatively good kid who's a little weird, experiencing some paranormal circumstances that are unforgiving, or just out of place in contrast to their peers has been a diverse viewing experience that has come with some cool turns. Orphan (2009), Poltergeist (1982), Before I Wake (2016), and Child's Play (1988) are some of my favorite examples I can think of right now that fall somewhere within these descriptions. We all know what it was like to be a kid, but not all of us will experience parenthood. I like talking to parents, a lot. There's a deeply honest approach to the way in which they discuss how being a parent becomes a part of who you are; the adjustments you make, the acceptance of imperfections, the moments of pure joy as well as sheer terror that sometimes can happen simultaneously.

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