Tag Archives | Horror

“Don’t mention the war.” – Some thoughts on H.P. Lovecraft and Race

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Editor’s Note: This essay was first published on David Nickle’s blog, “The Devil’s Exercise Yard.” It has been republished with permission.

When I went down to New Orleans last year to visit the World Horror Convention, I had just a few things on my to-do list. I wanted to see the town, sample its cuisine and take in some jazz–promote The ‘Geisters, the book that I had coming out that year, as much as was graceful–and also, talk a bit about race.

Specifically, I wanted to talk about race as it pertained to H.P. Lovecraft’s writings.

It seemed like the thing to do. The organizers of World Horror had found me a panel to sit on, moderated by Lovecraftian scholar, critic and anthologist S.T. Joshi, called Lovecraft’s Eternal Fascination. My first novel, Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism, is the only pseudo-Lovecraftian book I’ve written, and one of my aims with that book was to deal with Lovecraftian xenophobia from a post-Martin-Luther-King perspective–to tie Lovecraft’s horrible eugenic notions together with the genuine and just as horrible eugenic fallacies that were making the rounds in early 20th century America.… Read the rest

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The Cultural Impact of ‘The Exorcist’

I’m not sure if we’ll ever see this level of intensity again. Though, The Blair Witch Project created quite a stir, albeit for different reasons.

via The Film Stage:

Thanks to inflation, box-office records seem to get broken every few weeks, but looking at the adjusted highest-grossing films list, one of the top ten features sticks out more than any other: William Friedkin‘s 1973 horror The Exorcist, considered by many to be the scariest film of all time. Besting even Avatar when it comes to adjusted domestic grosses, the film racked up $232 million in the U.S., which is over $900 million by today’s standards.

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Remembering H.P. Lovecraft

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As many of you probably know, H.P. Lovecraft’s birthday was yesterday (August 20). To celebrate this venerable master of horror lit, I’ve compiled some quotes and links.

Quotes

“I screamed aloud that I was not afraid; that I never could be afraid; and others screamed with me for solace. We swore to one another that the city was exactly the same, and still alive…”

– “Nyarlathotep” (1920)

“Life is a hideous thing, and from the background behind what we know of it peer daemoniacal hints of truth which make it sometimes a thousandfold more hideous. Science, already oppressive with its shocking revelations, will perhaps be the ultimate exterminator of our human species — if separate species we be — for its reserve of unguessed horrors could never be borne by mortal brains if loosed upon the world.”

– “Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family” – written 1920; first published in The Wolverine, No.

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VIDEO ESSAY: Our Scary Summer: 1979

I’ve often been asked why I have such an affinity for the horror genre. My answer is always this: Because it reflects the fears that are currently haunting society. There is simply no other genre better at making social commentary than horror.

The film essay, “Our Scary Summer: 1979,” outlines precisely this. You should watch the entire thing, but if you can’t, you can read the transcript here.

via Press Play:

The cover of the June 1979 issue of Newsweek featured an image of Sigourney Weaver from Alien. The caption read: “Hollywood’s Scary Summer.” I was thirteen. The horror movies released that summer would form a grotesque carnival that mirrored my own and the world’s anxieties.  Earlier in the spring there was the disastrous nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. That summer, major oil spills polluted the Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic Ocean. This year, oil prices doubled, Margaret Thatcher was elected, and the Ayatollah Khomeini rose to power.

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5am Film Series: Endless Love

“Endless Love” is actually a submission from a Disinfo reader. The short film was created last year as a part of the 48 Hour Film Project in Los Angeles. Each crew is given a genre and must complete the film within 48 hours. The #2NightStand crew was given horror and thus “Endless Love” was born.

REQUIREMENTS:
Genre: Horror
Prop: a bottle
Character: David (or Denise) Stott, Athletic Coach
Line of Dialogue: “Why did you do that?”

AWARDS:
WINNER – Best Score
WINNER – Best Use of Line
NOMINATED – Sound Design

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“Evil Dead” TV Series Announced

Horror TV is all the rage these days, with American Horror Story in its fourth season and series like Penny DreadfulThe Strain, and The Knick just kicking off. Now fans of the Evil Dead franchise can rejoice. At San Diego Comic-Con, Sam Raimi announced that an Evil Dead tv series is in the works and Bruce Campbell is set to star.

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via Rue Morgue:

But (as the ads say) wait, there’s more! Raimi then went on to announce the development of a TV series based on…. wait for it… THE EVIL DEAD. There’s only two details confirmed for this potential series:

1) Sam and Ivan Raimi are developing the series’ bible.

2) Bruce Campbell will star.

We’re just going to let that soak in.

We would also like to take the time to congratulate Mr. Raimi on receiving the SDCC Inkpot Award , awarded each year to “professionals in the fields of comic books, comic strips, animation, science fiction, and related areas of pop-culture.

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The Continuum: So Dark

Following his actions in the short film “So Pretty“, Sean, a 200-year-old vampire with a conscience, has now been arrested for murdering a pedophile on a late-night Miami train. Unaware that they have a vampire in their custody, Miami Police hand the investigation over to F.B.I. agent Wilburn, who is the head of a clandestine task force that hunts, tortures, and kills vampires. As sunrise approaches, Sean must find a way to escape or risk becoming one of her experiments.

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How to Make a Massacre: Tobe Hooper on Masters of Horror

Texas Chainsaw MassacreAfter seeing Night of the Living Dead, Tobe Hooper was inspired to make a horror movie of his own with the goal of giving fans as much scare for the buck as he could. Standing in front of a chainsaw display in a department store, surrounded by a rude throng of Christmas shoppers, Hooper had an idea that became a legend.

For my money, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the queen-mother of all horror films. The hulking brutality of Leatherface combined with the grimy realism of the low budget production values makes the movie feel more like a documentary than a horror film — the results are as chillingly real today as they were at its 1974 debut.

This segment from the horror film doc Masters of Horror puts Hooper and his cast in the spotlight, remembering the grueling labor of love that became one of the most enduring horror films ever made.… Read the rest

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Tiny Terror: Roman Polanski

Roman PolanskiOne of my favorite movie-going experiences of 2012 was spending four Saturday and Sunday afternoons watching Mark Cousins’ The Story of Film: A 15-hour history of cinema that A.O. Scott of The New York Times called  “a semester-long film studies survey course compressed into 15 brisk, sometimes contentious hours…stands as an invigorated compendium of conventional wisdom.”

Before taking on such an ambitious project, Cousins had established his reputation as a film critic as well as the host of the BBC show Scene by Scene. The program found Cousins in coversation with some of the world’s best film directors, discussing their most iconic images and sounds.

This episode of Scene by Scene features Cousins in a bristly interview with Roman Polanski. Besides Polanski’s personal horrors, the gifted director has made important contributions to the horror/thriller/supernatural genres including: Knife in the Water, The Fearless Vampire Killers, The Tenant, The 9th Gate and the classic, Rosemary’s Baby.… Read the rest

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