Horror films emerge as best political commentary of our times

At a moment when so much seems beyond control — when even the politically disengaged have spoken of the Trump era as a scary, dystopian time — clever uses of horror can actually be therapeutic. They’re like tiny valves that allow steam to escape on screen while a variety of pressures simmer in the real world.
“Ready or Not,” Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s new horror-comedy, joins a growing bloc in that horror-with-political-messaging genre — specifically about greed and parasitic 1 percenters.

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Losers Stick Together: An Interview with ‘IT’ Stars Chosen Jacobs and Isaiah Mustafa — The Nerds of Color

It’s not often on this site that we are treated to a doubles interviews — even less so when the two people we are interviewing happen to be playing the same character. However we were fortunate enough to fly over to Derry, Maine to visit the hometown of the Loser’s Club, and sit down with […]

via Losers Stick Together: An Interview with ‘IT’ Stars Chosen Jacobs and Isaiah Mustafa — The Nerds of Color

[Editorial] ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ and Its Young Heroine for a New Generation of Horror Fans

Like the plucky young heroes of The Monster SquadScary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a gateway horror film with a protagonist obsessed with horror. From the moment the film introduces Stella, played by Zoe Margaret Colletti, we recognize her as one of our own. Save for a major arc involving her father, Stella’s entire persona and narrative is crafted around her being a horror fan. An aspiring writer with a boundless passion for genre, Stella was me as a young teen. For an entry point into genre, there’s nothing more powerful than seeing yourself represented on screen as a protagonist battling seriously spooky monsters.

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A ‘vampire’s’ remains were found about 30 years ago. Now DNA is giving him new life.

He had been in his grave so long that when his family dug him up to burn his heart, the organ had decomposed and was not there.

Desperate to stop him from stalking them, they took his head and limbs and rearranged them on top of his ribs in the design of a skull and crossbones. He was a “vampire,” after all, and in rural New England in the early 1800s, this was how you dealt with them.

When they were finished, they reburied him in his stone-lined grave and replaced the wooden coffin lid, on which someone had used brass tacks to form the inscription “JB 55,” for his initials and his age.

Now, 200 years or so after the death of what has become the country’s best-studied “vampire,” DNA sleuths have tracked down his probable name: John Barber.

Continue reading “A ‘vampire’s’ remains were found about 30 years ago. Now DNA is giving him new life.”

Looking back at a time where major labels were releasing witchcraft rituals

From the late 1960s to the mid-70s, occult and witchcraft records became an unlikely phenomenon in the UK and USA. These spoken word LPs included narrations of rituals and spells by witches and covens, usually accompanied by bizarre, early electronic esoteric music. Some were relatively obscure private press releases – just look at The Art of Witchcraft by Babetta, AKA ‘Babetta the Sexy Witch’, and Ian Richardson and Barbara Holdridge’s Malleus Maleficarum, which were both released in 1974 and which today fetch hundreds of pounds online – but what’s odder is that major labels were often the ones putting these records out. It wasn’t unusual to find albums like Alex and Maxine Sanders’ A Witch is Born or Louise Huebner’s Seduction Through Witchcraft arriving through Capitol Records, A&M, or Warner Bros – but why did these occult oddities exist in the first place?

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For Japanese Americans, ‘The Terror’ is personal

VANCOUVER, Canada — George Takei sat in his trailer on the set of “The Terror” dressed in his character’s charcoal-blue yukata as we traded histories in bittersweet shorthand. For those whose families were among the 120,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II, one need only say the names of places to paint a picture.
“We went from Rohwer to Tule Lake,” said Takei, 82, who was a child when he and his family were imprisoned in concentration camps by the American government in 1942, more than two decades before he blazed a trail for Asians in Hollywood as “Star Trek” icon Hikaru Sulu. “There were no charges, no trial. We were rounded up.” (Takei will join the Los Angeles Times Book Club on Sept. 10 to discuss his graphic novel about the experience, “They Called Us Enemy.”)

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What fatphobia tells us about our fear of death

You can’t go two steps in London without seeing Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) controversial, ubiquitous and hypocritical ‘Obesity is a cause of cancer too’ cigarette comparison campaign. Apparently, we all have collectively forgotten this message from the last time they ran a similar campaign and were heavily criticised for it.

Rather than focusing on all of the reasons why this campaign is a horrible idea, because that has been covered at length by multiple experts in the METRO, on Medium, and on Twitter — instead, I want to highlight the reasons why these types of campaigns and everything the diet industry throws at us sometimes sticks so well — it’s our fear of death.

Obviously a charity that devotes it’s time to ending deaths by cancer is going to be motivated to… well, not talk about death in a positive way and seek to prevent it. Breaking the taboo around talking about death, being more comfortable discussing it, and actively planning for death doesn’t mean thinking cancer is a good thing.

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KNIVES AND SKIN (2019) IS AN AMAZING PASTEL NOIR THERAPY SESSION

Mild spoilers ahead!

I’m going to spend a lifetime with Knives And Skin. Its pulse of color, vibrating hope on a low frequency. Its unapologetic exposure of our inner-selves that is unspeakable, primal, and plain messy. Its audiacity towards the indulgence of surreality. Knives And Skin is a filmic whole. A complete body and mind. Everything we have and will experience if given the room. Due to its tonal soup, I celebrate its odd brilliance by speaking of and back to this film the way it spoke to me.

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