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Showing posts from July, 2017

#SciFiSunday: Oh, Susannah, How The Dark Tower Explores Black Woman Stereotypes

By Nicole Givens Kurtz (@nicolegkurtz)

This summer, the first installment of Stephen King’s opus, The Dark Tower, will finally arrive in movie theaters across the country. The protagonist, Roland of Gilead will be portrayed by international superstar Idris Elba, a black British actor. Although Roland will appear on-screen differently than his novel namesake, my concern as a fan and black woman, resides in where the movie adaptation will go with Susannah Dean, the only black person in the series. The Dark Tower series exposes modern views of black womanhood and so I wonder how the movie adaptation will address those issues, if at all.

Odetta Susannah Holmes, who will become Susannah Dean, does not appear in the first installment in The Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger.  She appears in the second book, The Drawing of the Three, which tells of Roland selecting the members of his ka-tet from different worlds and whens. Susannah’s door, through which Roland enters her world, is labeled, …

Four Great Horror Film Shorts You Need To See

There's never a shortage of original, engrossing horror films to consume. You'll find them in many lists that circulate online at notable spaces such as Blumhouse.com, film festivals, and of course, YouTube where it's highly likely the next Lights Out is now. Here are four horror films that all feature central Black characters and two that were created by Black women.

Little Red's Pie (2016)
Written & Directed by Rae Shaw

Little Red's Pie is a somber yet righteously vengeful spin on the Little Red Riding Hood fable many of us remember from our formative years. The classically grainy aesthetic that immerses itself in the film's tone of a haunted memory, the silent/soundtrack storytelling technique is used perfectly to capture the anachronism of the tale and maximize on the audience's emotional experience. Rising from tragedy, Little Red seeks retribution for the loss of innocence and joy. Shaw has certainly made something old new again in the most refreshi…

Snatchers: A Horror Comedy Web Series You Must See

From middle school to high school, I observed a lot of my peers in an extremely multi-ethnic education pool change their identities. Some in regards to code-switching, others in a bit of a dramatic fashion divorced from their monolithic upbringings to more borderline offensive cultural appropriative leanings, and just simply those who found an opportunity to find a seat at a cool kids table. I learned very early on it was futile to think I desired to fall into any of those categories. With a toe forward in each at some point, my gut sent another message. And while I let authenticity guide me, I saw many people I once spent a great deal of time with dorking off choose the temporary glamour of false acceptance. Luckily, I never had any awkward reunions that involved a scene out of It's Alive.

Black Women Horror Filmmakers: Interview With L.C. Cruell

By Eden Royce (@EdenRoyce)

In broadening the “Black Women in Horror” interview series beyond authors, I’m showcasing another filmmaker/director, L.C. Cruell (the first interview with Meosha Bean is here). L.C. is the creator and co-executive producer of 7 Magpies, a horror anthology project written and directed by black women. Cruell is a longtime writer/director passionate about breaking the stereotypes of Black people not being involved in horror, especially Black women.

“As hot as horror anthologies are right now (the ABCs of Death series, the V/H/S series, Tales of Halloween, Holidays, etc.), not one black woman has been included in a single one, not even the all female-directed XX.” Inspired by advice from noted filmmaker & cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, Cruell crafted 7 Magpies out of the creepy nursery rhyme, which gave rise to the superstition that the bird can be an evil omen, depending on the number of them you see.

Here in England, I’ve heard many people saying, “Ho…

Black Horror Films: Mariner (2017)

"I’ve had weird moments in life and I’ve had to pull weird things out of myself sometimes from situations I’ve gotten into, so that’s what that’s about. [Pulling] things out of yourself – things that you need when you need them."
-Thyrone Tommy's interview with ByBlacks
An intense psychological thriller that's brilliantly subtle, Mariner presents the mind of Nate (Thomas Olajide), a focused marine navigation cadet whose extreme anxiety is at its pinnacle during his final exams. But his memories, both real and surreal triggers, threaten to damper his opportunity at moving forward. What is pleasantly intriguing about Mariner is its talent as a short to display such a meaty, meaningful character study through simple visual cues that tell you Nate's life story in a mere glance.

#SciFiSunday: Dystopian Web Series, Resistance: The Battle Of Philadelphia

Filmmaker M. Asli Dukan, the woman behind the epic Invisible Universe: a history of blackness in speculative fiction, my much anticipated look at a new horror anthology Skin Folk, and more is currently turning the spotlight on her latest project, a futuristic web series that tackles unjust policing and imposition in a community where one hacker sparks a revolution by using technological ingenuity to dismantle their tools. The few will become the many in stopping oppressive forces in Resistance: the battle of philadelphia.

Blood Hunters (2017) Movie Review

By Carolyn Mauricette (@vfdpixie)
Canadian horror director Tricia Lee is behind clever indie genre films Silent Retreat and Clean Break, both bringing us strong female leads and interesting stories. As one of the leading female horror directors in Canada, she’s back with her award-winning feature, Blood Hunters. Lee, along with her long-time writer and collaborator Corey Brown, creates a story based on addiction, life after death, faith and regret.
Ellie (Lara Gilchrist) is a single mother who is an addict. The pressures of raising her son gets the best of her and after an overdose, she wakes up in a hospital facility strewn with dead bodies, and to her surprise, she is now nine months pregnant. As she searches for help, she meets fellow survivors and they realize they are all being stalked by creatures. They must set aside their differences to figure out how they got there and how to get out before the blood-thirsty creatures get to them.