[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.
Don’t you just love saying “Frankenhooker?”
I may possibly have watched Frankenhooker on a certain online video platform where it probably shouldn’t be running. I watched it with Spanish subtitles. The Spanish title was just as elegant and flowing as “Frankenhooker”, if even more shocking and vulgar: “Frankenputa.”
The VHS box cover for Frankenhooker used to be on display at the video store near my college. It had a button you could press and one of those electronic voices you find on very expensive greeting cards, very manly, would exclaim “Wanna Date?” It would make me burst into hysterical laughter for no good reason.