[Horror Queers] ‘Batman Returns’ and Coming Out for the Holigays

Each month in Horror Queers, Joe and Trace tackle a horror film with LGBTQ+ themes, a high camp quotient or both. For lifelong queer horror fans like us, there’s as much value in serious discussions about representation as there is in reading a ridiculously silly/fun horror film with a YAS KWEEN mentality. Just know that at no point will we be getting Babashook.

As two gay men, we have opted to use the moniker “Horror Queers” for this series of articles. It is a word that has a complicated history due to its derogatory use by bullies and hateful people, but has increasingly been adopted as a term of empowerment and a unifying term that recognizes the many complex identities that make up the LGBTIQQ community. Queer has become commonplace in academia, politics and pop culture over the past three decades. We understand and recognize that the term is still very hurtful for some people, but we believe that the more people that proudly reclaim it, the more the wounds and stigma surrounding the term are reduced. Using the word “queer” is intensely personal, but it is a decision that we are committed to. Please don’t be an asshole when using it and we’ll get along fine.
***SPOILERS for Batman Returns to follow.***

Continue reading “[Horror Queers] ‘Batman Returns’ and Coming Out for the Holigays”

Top Christmas Slasher Films of All Time

Christmas. One of the most polarizing holidays of the year, with many loving the festivities and many hating their mere existence. What we can agree upon is that Christmas is an excellent opportunity for special holiday-themed horror movies. The art of the Christmas slasher is a complicated one, with filmmakers trying to create a balance between comedy, festivity and horror within their movies. It’s of no shock that there aren’t many horror movies based around the Christmas period which gained any traction or fanbases. However, there are plenty of horrors which did make the festive cut and so here’s a list of the top Christmas slasher movies of all time. You can expect many spoilers within the list.

Black Christmas 

Before even taking a look at this list, it’s very likely that if you had a particular Christmas slasher in mind, it was Black Christmas. Probably the greatest Christmas movie of all time (next to Die Hard, of course), Black Christmas is the perfect blend of mystery, horror and death. During the Christmas break, a sorority makes plans for the break, but a series of mysterious and peculiar phone calls starts to creep them out. Disappearances begin and after a 13-year-old girl is sadly found dead in a park, the police decide to intervene by wiretapping the house. Will this be enough to stop the killer or are the police too late? Are the sorority sisters the only ones inhabiting the house?

Read More – Top Christmas Slasher Films of All Time – HorrorNews.net

Meet Christmas Goddess Perchta, a Belly-Slitting, Half-Woman Demon

Christmas lore usually comes in the shape of a jolly red-suited man winding a sleigh through the starry night sky with his trusty band of reindeer. There are, however, some holiday figures who are much more ominous—chief among them the belly-slitting, child-abducting, half-woman, half-demon Alpine monster known as Perchta.

According to old Austro-German legend, Perchta is a malevolent pagan goddess who stalks the snowy landscape by night during the Twelve Days of Christmas. Like Italy’s Christmas witch, La Befana, she is also associated with the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January. Perchta’s aim is simple and chilling: to ensure local customs are upheld under the pain of death. In bygone times, this meant no weaving during the holidays, unless you dared to incur Perchta’s wrath—and what a wrath she had.

Continue reading “Meet Christmas Goddess Perchta, a Belly-Slitting, Half-Woman Demon”

Fantastic Feasts: Jack Skellington’s Nightmare Before Christmas gingerbread house -SYFY FANGRRLS

When I was asked by my editor at FANGRRLS if I wanted to do a gingerbread house to run alongside the FANGRRLS Genrebread Contest (it runs till December 28 and you should enter!), I immediately said yes for three simple reasons:

1. I freaking love gingerbread.
2. It’s a genre contest which means I get to do my all-time favorite movie: Nightmare Before Christmas.
3. Did I mention I love gingerbread? I do.

Because gingerbread houses are traditionally considered a Christmas project, I decided to do my take on Jack Skellington’s house at the end of the film when Santa makes it snow in Halloweentown and have fun imagining how he’d decorate his place for the occasion.

Of course, the first thing I needed to do was find some good reference photos.

Luckily for me, Nightmare Before Christmas has only gotten MORE popular in the 25 years since it was released and there are lots of incredible products out there dedicated to serious NBC collectors (like myself), including this amazing replica of Jack’s house (hint hint, Secret Santa!).

Read more – Fantastic Feasts: Jack Skellington’s Nightmare Before Christmas gingerbread house -SYFY FANGRRLS

 

Books [Gift Guide] 10 Best Books of 2018 for the Horror Fan

‘Tis the season of gift giving, and we’ve already given great suggestions for art, movies, and video games. But what about the avid reader? When it comes to books, the choices can be overwhelming. From nonfiction, fiction, to graphic novels, this year has unleashed an endless selection of great options to fill those bookshelves. Stephen King released two novels and a short story collection in Elevation, The Outsider, and Flight or Flight, making for easy gift options for the Constant Reader. But for those who already are up to date on King’s works, or want to branch out further, these 10 books make for excellent gifts for the horror loving reader in your life.

Read More – [Gift Guide] 10 Best Books of 2018 for the Horror Fan – Bloody Disgusting

Witch Christmas Is Full of Demons, Seances, and Motherhood in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: “A Midwinter’s Tale”

On the Solstice, after finally becoming an official member of the Church of Night, Sabrina decides to continue to flaunt her lack of respect for authority by seeking to summon the spirit of her mother. Diana was established to be stuck in mortal limbo last season.

A Midwinter’s Tale does the work of a Christmas special in the sense that the storyline is not too heavy, but it does carry on some important plot elements and works as a bridge for the upcoming season two of the series. Mostly through exploring what the status quo for all of Sabrina’s relationships shall be.

Read More – Witch Christmas Is Full of Demons, Seances, and Motherhood in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: “A Midwinter’s Tale” – The Mary Sue

Nightmare Before Christmas Krispy Wreath

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holiday season which means it’s time again to break out my absolute favorite movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas!  To celebrate this cinematic masterpiece, I wanted to make a treat that was both delicious and appropriate to the theme of the film.

We’ve already made several Nightmare Before Christmas inspired yummies, including the Jack Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Sally’s Worm’s Wart Soup and my personal favorite, Oogie Boogie Meringue Cupcakes, and this treat continues that tradition: it’s both true to the film and delicious!  It’s a win-win!

Now, as much as I’d love to take full credit for this idea, there are several other versions online which are all equally good.  This is just the Nom’s take.

Read More – Nightmare Before Christmas Krispy Wreath – Eat The Dead

Christmas ghost stories: Dark Christmas by Jeanette Winterson

We had borrowed the house from a friend none of us seemed to know.

Highfallen House stood on an eminence overlooking the sea. It was a square Victorian gentleman’s residence. The large bay windows looked down through the pines towards the shore. Six stone steps led the visitor up to the double front door where a gothic bell-pull released a loud mournful clang deep into the distances of the house.

Laurel lined the drive. The stable block was disused. The walled garden had been locked up in 1914 when the gardeners went to war. Only one had returned. I had been warned that the high brick wall enclosing the garden was unsafe. As I passed it slowly in the car, I saw a faded notice falling off the paint-peeled door. DO NOT ENTER.

Read More – Christmas ghost stories: Dark Christmas by Jeanette Winterson – The Guardian


A Plea to Resurrect the Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Stories

For the last hundred years, Americans have kept ghosts in their place, letting them out only in October, in the run-up to our only real haunted holiday, Halloween. But it wasn’t always this way, and it’s no coincidence that the most famous ghost story is a Christmas story—or, put another way, that the most famous Christmas story is a ghost story. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843, and its story about a man tormented by a series of ghosts the night before Christmas belonged to a once-rich, now mostly forgotten tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve. Dickens’ supernatural yuletide terror was no outlier, since for much of the 19th century, was the holiday indisputably associated with ghosts and the specters.

“Whenever five or six English-speaking people meet round a fire on Christmas Eve, they start telling each other ghost stories,” humorist Jerome K. Jerome wrote in his 1891 collection, Told After Supper. “Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about spectres. It is a genial, festive season, and we love to muse upon graves, and dead bodies, and murders, and blood.”

Telling ghost stories during winter is a hallowed tradition, a folk custom stretches back centuries, when families would wile away the winter nights with tales of spooks and monsters. “A sad tale’s best for winter,” Mamillius proclaims in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale: “I have one. Of sprites and goblins.” And the titular Jew of Malta in Christopher Marlowe’s play at one point muses, “Now I remember those old women’s words, Who in my wealth would tell me winter’s tales, And speak of spirits and ghosts by night.”

Based in folklore and the supernatural, it was a tradition the Puritans frowned on, so it never gained much traction in America. Washington Irving helped resurrect a number of forgotten Christmas traditions in the early 19th century, but it really was Dickens who popularized the notion of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve. The Christmas issues of the magazines he edited, Household Words and (after 1859) All the Year Round, regularly included ghost stories—not just A Christmas Carol but also works like The Chimes and The Haunted Man, both of which also feature an unhappy man who changes his ways after visitation by a ghost. Dickens’ publications, which were not just winter-themed but explicitly linked to Christmas, helped forge a bond between the holiday and ghost stories; Christmas Eve, he would claim in “The Seven Poor Travellers” (1854), is the “witching time for Story-telling.”

Read More – A Plea to Resurrect the Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Stories – Smithsonian

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