WARNING: THIS BLOG POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for US
“…a big part of this for me was feeling like some of my favorite offerings in the horror genre work allegorically. Which, Get Out was not, really. It wasn’t an allegory. Get Out was about what it was about. It was about race. But horror that pops tends to do so because there’s a bigger picture behind the images.”
This comment was by Us writer and director Jordan Peele in an interview with Gizmodo. I love horror that codes for larger social anxieties. The more cryptic, the better. I love knowing that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre could be about the loss of the American dream and/or the gas crisis of the 1970’s, and that The Exorcist could be about the breakdown of the American nuclear family in the shadow of 1960’s counterculture.
Peele is someone that wants to give us the gift of entertaining, well-made and important horror films. And with Us, his average remains at 100%. Continue reading
[NOTE: My first blog post, ORIGINALLY POSTED FEBRUARY 25, 2010 1:38PM on Open Salon. I cringe at the dated-ness and the bad writing.]
It was not my intention to launch this blog with vampires. After many discussions with a friend and fellow horror fan who has begun to actively loathe the vampire genre, I’m starting to come around to his point of view that the bulk of current fictions about the creatures utterly drains them and their stories of anything original and compelling. I’m lying to you, of course – I’m a fan of True Blood, and I must, with great shame, admit that I enjoy the WB’s Vampire Diaries.
However, Martha P. Nochimson’s rather puzzling attack on Kathryn Bigelow and her excellent film “The Hurt Locker” now forces me to talk about one of my favorite films, Bigelow’s vampire romance/thrill ride Near Dark. Nochimson’s point that high-testosterone war films are often favored over “chick fare” is lost in her bizarre accusations of Bigelow ‘pandering to males’ and being a ‘transvestite director,’ as though Bigelow is obliged to make only romantic comedies or Jane Austen adaptations. Continue reading
As an armchair satanic panic historian/debunker, I was clued in very early to the activism of what would soon become the Satanic Temple. A local Utah self-styled ‘therapist’ sought to exploit a mentally ill woman and write an awful satanic ritual abuse ‘memoir’ in the vein of “Michelle Remembers” for profit. Through various online efforts, I saw Satanic Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves and his associates aggressively debunk the book and its unscrupulous author, and advocate for the woman’s well-being. Continue reading
I am a fan of director Joe Berlinger. His work touches on many of my major true crime and cultural obsessions; plus, I will defend the awesome and 100% original Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows to the death. Now, in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile he turns his attention on one of the big names in dark Americana: serial killer Ted Bundy, who is presently having cultural moment. Continue reading
Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Director JD Dillard premiered his fairly cool monster movie, Sweetheart, at Sundance this year. This was a sophomore effort produced by Blumhouse, which recently announced its interest in reviving the ‘Dark Universe’ concept to make films about the Universal Monster stable of creatures. Sweetheart could well be The Creature From the Black Lagoon, minus any kind of inter-species love story.
This weekend, please enjoy 1971’s Lady Frankenstein. It’s a shlocky Hammer-derivative production with some interesting twists. Pseudo-erotica horror featuring the beautiful, strangely psychopathic daughter of Victor Frankenstein: Tania, a pioneering female surgeon who shares her dad’s tendencies to push ethics and boundaries of pursuing scientific knowledge and achievement. In its own weird, pervy way, it somehow honors Shelley’s mother’s brand of proto-feminism. And the Monster behaves exactly as most modern horror villains do, punishing beautiful women and horny men for having sex.