Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Who On Earth Asked For Halloween: Resurrection? But Why I Love Busta Rhymes' Freddie Harris

This look of confusion and annoyance says it all.
Exhausted and numb from twenty years of booze, pills, and helicopter parenting, Laurie Strode anxiously endured the days leading up to Halloween with her usual edginess. Call her overly cautious, but on October 31, 1998, the menacing figure who gave her a gnarly left upper arm scar from a sharp kitchen knife, by the hands of fate, found her at the private boarding school in northern California where she taught. Once she knew her teenage son was out of harms way, she broke the security entrance sensor, busted an ax out of its casing, and screamed "Michael!" as the music swelled with the orchestral remix of John Carpenter's original score. I get goosebumps every time I watch that scene.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Black Horror Films: Page One (2017)


When veteran actor Abel Worthy--typecast as the first victim--suspects real danger on his latest film set, bloodthirsty creatures force him to step into the role he was destined to play.


Written by Tarik Davis
Directed by Don P. Hooper

Even with a wealth of sincerity behind wanting your internal sleuth flipped on their head, the lingering insistence on our conditioning from endless fictional stories we've watched and read before acts as a safety net in order to assure and/or guard us from any possible disappointment. This probably rings true the most in genre (primarily sci-fi and horror) products. Concerning itself with formula, horror's extreme exploration into the darkness is at times, in need of its predictability so audiences aren't left completely in the dark themselves. Even if a monster, killer, or a killer monster keeps coming back, there's still a hero or heroine, weapon in hand whether it be physical, psychological, or both at ready to combat the symbolic repressive threat.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Top 10 Movie Serial Killers Body Count


Infographics provided and introduction written by Katie Porter from SeatUp

That suspense in the scene when you know something bad is about to happen. The anticipation of the appearance of the gruesome killer and the death blow that's hanging in the air. Who doesn't love horror movies? For some people, it's just unbearable to watch, but we're absolute fans of this. The adrenaline rush you get is almost unreal. Sounds totally psycho, right? But there's something about that. Something that keeps us coming back for more.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Interview: Taking A Stab At Tragedy Girls With Star Alexandra Shipp


The current horror film festival circuit has all been abuzz about this revolutionary dark comedy horror film, Tragedy Girls since 'brilliantly turning the slasher genre on its head' at South By Southwest earlier this year. It picks up where Heathers (1988) come Jennifer's Body (2009) left off and orbits into our digital universe with an intelligence and ambition fueled by the film's two leads, Brianna Hildebrand (Sadie) and Alexandra Shipp (McKayla). Entrenched in a world addicted to small bright, portable screens, besties Sadie and McKayla want in on the millions gone wireless; getting their attention to #TragedyGirls with their "like and favorite" motto while the duo's small town is plagued by a series of brutal murders. Sadie and McKayla are on the prowl to carry the torch of sensationalizing violence for fame. By any means necessary. What enriches this story is the performances. And Shipp as McKayla creates one of the most memorable characters welcomed into the horror canon. I got a chance to briefly talk to Shipp about the process of bringing McKayla to life and its collaborative effort along with the woes of social media and just why Tragedy Girls is striking a chord with audiences.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Horror Blackademics: Candyman's Revenge On Gentrification


"How much did you pay for this place?" Fear, Entitlement, and Urban Space in Bernard Rose's Candyman

written by Aviva Briefel and Sianne Ngai
Horror Film Reader, edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini

Concept: Based within the 'haunted house' trope, "all horror or Gothic narratives derive from this point of private proprietorship, one that produces anxieties about proprietorship in general, these narratives subsequently establish anxiety as a form of emotional property." Fear is an inherited right owned by those privileged enough to own property. There is a struggle between both property and who has a right to be afraid.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Wicked Rewind: Candyman (1992)


If you come across a list titled 10 Essential: Black Horror Films, you'll witness a variety in how the Black experience is expressed through the channel of what is feared by collectives within the community and the people behind the production. I curated this list for a well-known horror site at the time and wanted to put something together that was special, thoughtful, and most importantly, not predictable.

I feel like I should've predicted the comments section where someone was perplexed about Candyman (1992) not being on the list.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

1974 Brings Back That Magical Feeling Of Strong Found Footage Horror


Graveyard Shift Sisters is honored to be highlighting the variety of selected films from 2017's Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, "committed to celebrating the art of horror filmmaking...focused on pushing horror’s boundaries to challenge the genre’s preconceptions." We are covering films that feature women of color leads and one or two that dig into our horror loving hearts!

Found footage elevator, 1974 focuses on a serene, married couple begin to use a camera to film all of their mundanity on the rise of wife, Altair's (Diana Bovio) birthday. In careful and creepy follow up's to a night of partying and blissfully entangled in the activities of newlyweds, disorienting nightmares, non-responsive phone calls, and strange objects begin to appear and unsettle the pair, more husband, Manuel (Rolando Breme) than Altair. As time slowly passes, a few more people are involved in unfolding a mystery that only crescendos at the very end. 1974 is an extremely simple story, but it does manage to induce both dread and anticipation while leaving the mystery open for our imaginative devices.

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Kane Hodder's Story Is So Heart Warming, It May Save The World


Graveyard Shift Sisters is honored to be highlighting the variety of selected films from 2017's Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, "committed to celebrating the art of horror filmmaking...focused on pushing horror’s boundaries to challenge the genre’s preconceptions." We are covering films that feature women of color leads and one or two that dig into our horror loving hearts!

A montage of Jason Vorhees killing a bunch of people putting a smile on my face is a pretty strange reflection on my own possibly wavering sanity. Really, its a reaction peaked by memories from solo viewings to social interactive commentary about these not-so mindless slasher films. I love revisiting the latter Friday the 13th films because this one person out of the half dozen was able to give the star character, signature menacing movements in his undead form. In turn, the man most remembered for playing this horror icon, Kane Hodder, turned me into a puddle of sympathy with no makeup in another role, the beginning of Hatchet II (2010) as a lonely man who loses everyone he's ever loved. I was reminded so vividly of these gripping reactions while watching the stunt man/actor's life chronicled in To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story. This feature documentary just magnified all of those feelings with a sincerely honest, funny, fearless, and self-aware Kane taking back his narrative and expelling any miscommunication by exposing the man that he truly is.

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Tragedy Girls Leads The Charge Of Teenage Horror For The 21st Century


Graveyard Shift Sisters is honored to be highlighting the variety of selected films from 2017's Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, "committed to celebrating the art of horror filmmaking...focused on pushing horror’s boundaries to challenge the genre’s preconceptions." We are covering films that feature women of color leads and one or two that dig into our horror-loving hearts!


October 17, 1997, I walked the short two block distance straight between the movie theater and my home completely drenched in a teenage adrenaline rush. My allowance money, half a grain of I Know What You Did Last Summer's box office success, set off a wave of Friday night horror theater outings I didn't get to experience with the 80's slashers I watched on HBO. This night stands out so much because of its revelation that horror was that special part of my identity that I would healthily obsess over.

These were the kind of moments that help me today, now as some sort of halfway decent horror journalist, understand and hope that a film like Tragedy Girls will have a similar effect. I'm beginning with the younger movie audience here because, this is exactly the kind of movie that would've given me that same feeling, were I 14 going on 15 again. But that's not to say that Tragedy Girls won't be enjoyed by all. It's dark camp, self-awareness, and intelligent sociopathic pair Sadie Cunningham (Brianna Hildebrand) and McKayla Hooper (Alexandra Shipp) have an old school edge to their destruction while feeding the ever starving social media prominence bubble.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Veronica Is A Tragically Beautiful, Sobering Head Trip


Graveyard Shift Sisters is honored to be highlighting the variety of selected films from 2017's Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, "committed to celebrating the art of horror filmmaking...focused on pushing horror’s boundaries to challenge the genre’s preconceptions." We are covering films that feature women of color leads and one or two that dig into our horror-loving hearts!

I thought of a dozen ways of exactly how to approach opening the case for the Mexican mystery horror thriller Veronica. Two women, doctor and patient, attempt to uncover what keeps the other so removed from reality that deflection and manipulation become an essential survival technique. My blinking cursor was stagnant for quite some time, because in order to expose its roots to relay just how effective its 81 minutes was, I would have to listen to the sound of my own voice again, covering my own anxiety from light, to find the darkness again of experiences that haunt me even to this day. I'd rather not divulge details. And it speaks altitudes of Veronica's success at an mesmeric, solemn, and dangerous cathartic piece of art it actually is.

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Make Supernatural Fiction Box Set, Sigils and Spells Your Next Imaginative Adventure


There's more supernatural stories to consume that center characters of color found in a new box set, Sigils and Spells that will be available for purchase soon! Spearheaded by author Lori Titus, "Sigils and Spells brought together a group of authors with diverse characters in genres that have often lacked it: urban fantasy and paranormal." The 24 author box set includes a range of settings from 1940's Los Angeles to the northern desert terrain of Africa, implementing "dystopian realms where you’ll meet valiant heroes, kick-ass heroines, and dangerous creatures waiting to unveil the hidden corners of the universe."

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Black Horror: BET's Web Series, The Last One


It looks like BET Digital wants in on the Halloween fun as well with an original scripted web series titled The Last One. It looks simple and fun enough. I won't let my annoyance with the behind-the-scenes video (someone who is Black actually says "Black people don't do horror"...while creating a horror web series and apparently never hearing of Candyman or Get Out or a large list of other horror labeled properties developed by Black people) taint my viewing experience and hopefully not yours. With an all-Black cast, there are snaps at how race plays into the horrific combined with supernatural components, jump scares, and homages to urban legends that just may on the grounds of refreshed, remixed territory. But you be the audience, judge, jury, and (if necessary) executioner:


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