Category Archives: Uncategorized

Episode 54. Undead Walking: Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985)

Alex and Andrea go back to the zombie’s origins with George A. Romero’s original Dead trilogy. From their social roots in Haiti to their ties to the New Hollywood movement, these films make delicious brain food.

REQUIRED READING

Night of the Living Dead. Dir. George A. Romero, 1968.
Dawn of the Dead. Dir. George A. Romero, 1978.
Day of the Dead. Dir. George A. Romero, 1985.

EXTRA CREDIT

When There’s No More Room in Hell: The Sociology of the Living Dead. Andrea’s book on Romero’s early Dead films.

Passage of Darkness: the Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie by Wade Davis. An interdisciplinary study on Haitian political life and folklore.

Marxism and Literature by Raymond Williams. Marxist concepts applied to literature that provided the bedrock for Williams’ theory of cultural materialism that Andrea holds dear.

The Reduction of Urban Vulnerability: Revisiting 1950s American Suburbanization as Civil Defence. Kathleen Tobin’s article on the military’s involvement in the rise of the suburbs.

Tagged , , ,

Alex’s 31 Days of Halloween Horror 2017 (October 16 – 31)

 

Alright, it’s mid-October. Are you tired yet? Thought not. Onwards!

October 16: Scream 2 (1997). Scream is a classic, but Scream 2 is a classic sequel. The original dynamics of my favourite Scooby gang (Sidney, Gale and Dewey) are at play and Wes Craven’s direction easily guides their story forward for a fun and violent late 90s romp. Also, Courteney Cox deserves all the praise for rocking those chunky highlights with minimal embarrassment.

October 17: The Omen (1976). It’s all for you Damien! Watch adults get whipped up into a tizzy over the son of the Devil that ends with one of cinema’s most chilling endings.

October 18: The Eyes of My Mother (2016) I want to talk about this movie to EVERYONE! But the less you know going into it, the better. So all I will say is, give it a watch.

October 19: I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016) Another recent film I’m shocked I haven’t heard more people talk about. I Am Not a Serial Killer is beautiful, gruesomely nostalgic and chilling, highly recommended. Again, the less you know going in – the better.

October 20: The Hills Have Eyes (2006) I prefer Aja’s remake for its visceral, unflinching violence that escalates in every screen. Aja and his team created images that are still seared in my brain.

October 21: The Strangers (2008) Quiet terror perfected, crush on Scott Speedman confirmed.

October 22: Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace (2004) A Faculty of Horror listener turned me on to this series (thanks Allen!) and since it’s all on YouTube you don’t have an excuse not to watch this joyfully bonkers cult-British series.

October 23: The House on Haunted Hill (1959) Speaking of joyfully bonkers, have you accepted our Lord and Saviour Vincent Price?

October 24: Under the Shadow (2016) I wanted desperately to love The Babadook, thankfully there’s Under the Shadow which is everything I wanted for my parent/child terror dynamic.

October 25: Cat People (1942) Classics are classics for a reason. Jacques Tourneur’s film holds up with elements of campy horror and female psychological dread. The film has gone on to influence a litter of other films because of its beautiful and stylistic simplicity. If you’re interested, here’s a longer piece I wrote about the film.

October 26: The Fog (1980) The film responsible for my lifelong dream of owning a lighthouse.

October 27: Prevenge (2016) Part horror comedy, part gore-stravaganza, part meditation on impending motherhood, all awesome.

October 28: Orphan (2009). One of the great contemporary camp classics held up with great performances all around.

October 29: Beware the Slenderman (2016). Sorry, were we having too much fun? Check out HBO’s documentary which examines the sociology of internet phenomenons and a chilling true crime case.

October 30: Black Swan (2010). I love Vincent Cassel. It also captures the competitive mania that artistic communities can breed with horrific accuracy.

October 31: Halloween 3: Season of the Witch (1982). Happy, happy Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Happy, happy Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, SILVER SHAMROCK!

Tagged

Episode 53. Boxed In: Cube (1997)

Andrea and Alex tackle the mysterious and ever changing narrative landscape of Vincenzo Natali’s Canadian cult film, Cube (1997). From workers rights to torture porn to prime numbers, they try to solve it all before they succumb to the film’s traps and trappings.

Tickets for our first-ever live show in Salem, MA are available now: buy them here!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on all our announcements.

REQUIRED READING

Cube. Dir. Vincenzo Natali, 1997.

EXTRA CREDIT

Vincenzo Natali interview. Conducted during press for Natali’s later film, Splice, this interview tackles elements of Cube and Natali’s own ideology.

Rue Morgue Library’s Horrorwood North is out of print, but you can buy the digital version here.

The 1990s Teen Horror Cycle – Alex’s new book is now available for pre-order!
Tagged ,

Andrea’s 31 Days of Halloween Horror 2017 (Oct 1 – 15)

Pumpkin spice everything? Check. Weekly trips to home furnishing stores to pick up housewares that they consider “seasonal”? Check. Premature pumpkins that will likely rot before Halloween day? Check, checkity-check! You’re ready, I’m ready, let’s do this.

October 1: Death Note (2017). I’ll be first to admit, this Netflix-exclusive feature had “bad idea” written all over it, in spite of director Adam Wingard’s obvious talent and credentials. Wingard defended the film, saying he’d take a unique spin on the source material and I found myself able to get on board. Bonus points for another ’80s-inspired synth-drenched prom scene.

October 2: Maniac (2012). I often cite this film as the last one to scare the shit out of me at the cinema, to the point that I needed an escort home and slept with the lights on that night. It’s not because Franck Khalfoun’s remake of William Lustig’s 1980 sleazebath is particularly scary, it’s because it remains the first and only slasher flick I’ve ever seen where the killer’s victims and scenarios felt like they’d been pulled right out of my life. Maniac hits too close to home, but in a good way, and the POV cinematography and unsettling soundtrack don’t hurt either.

October 3: A Dark Song (2016). Imagine being so desperate to communicate with the other side that you commission the services of a creepy occultist and agree to do whatever he says to make that happen. I’d be remiss not to mention that A Dark Song falters in its ending, but the tension and ick factor that permeate throughout more than makes up for it.

October 4: The Fly (1986). Cronenberg’s take on The Fly is my go-to for horror fans who don’t yet know that they’re horror fans. Less scary than it is gut-wrenchingly tragic, the film stars then real-life couple Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum and their onscreen chemistry is so palpable, it upset me to discover that they broke up for real in 1990. Considered by many to be body horror’s crown jewel, share it with someone special.

October 5: Sunshine (2007). Also known in my personal catalog as “the Danny Boyle movie that nobody talks about for some reason”, Sunshine evaded me until earlier this fall and I’ll preach its gospel to anyone who will listen. It’s a clever riff on Event Horizon sets a group of astronauts on a mission to save humanity by reigniting the sun with a bomb.

October 6: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016). The Cloverfield franchise is as known for the quality of its films as it is for its brilliant viral marketing techniques and 10 Cloverfield Lane is no exception. John Goodman’s Howard Stambler gives Misery‘s Annie Wilkes a run for her money as horror’s most terrifying turnkey.

October 7: Spoorloos (1988). Young couple Rex and Saskia are on holiday when Saskia suddenly disappears at a truck stop, sending Rex on a cat-and-mouse chase with her kidnapper who toys with him for three years before revealing her grim fate. Known as The Vanishing in English (but not to be confused with the 1993 remake) Spoorloos’ ending is a kick to the gut that you’ll feel until Christmas.

October 8: The Evil Within (2017). Created over the course of 15 years, we’re lucky that the late Andrew Getty’s labour of love ever saw the light of day. Concerning a mentally challenged man who develops a strange relationship with his reflection in an antique mirror, The Evil Within should be forgiven its plot holes in favour of its disturbing visuals and unforgettable tableaus.

October 9: Let the Right One In (2008). Think vampires are played out? Think again. While most bloodsuckery in film concerns teens or adults who are tempted into immortality without fully considering its terrible price, this moving Swedish film about lonely, bullied 12-year-old Oskar is so full of heart, you’ll forget where to put your stake.

October 10: The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007). Ok, that’s enough sweetness: let’s get to the fucked-up shit. This lesser-known faux-documentary that pretends to be pulled from the tapes of a serial killer who tortured his victims in an old, abandoned house never saw a theatrical release and languished in the land of bootlegs for ten years until Shout Factory released it on DVD and Blu-ray… TODAY! Harrowing and frankly pretty friggin’ ugly, it’s a must-see for fans of found footage and cinéma vérité.

October 11: Train to Busan (2016). Zombies ain’t dead! Well, they are – I meant the subgenre. Last year’s Korean breakout Train to Busan blew festival audiences away with a frenetic energy that breathes new life into the  overplayed topic.

October 12: The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009). Rob Zombie rouses my ire when he takes himself too seriously, but this full-length animated feature is a bit of silly fun for a Friday night; packed with solid horror references and voice work from an all-star cast, including Rosario Dawson, Paul Giamatti, Ken Foree, Dee Wallace and (of course), Sherri Moon Zombie.

October 13: The Belko Experiment (2017) It’s Friday the 13th, but you don’t have to ch-ch-ch that ka-ka-ka just because. It’s the end of the work week and maybe you’ve daydreamed about murdering your co-workers. Sublimate that fantasy with this Battle Royale-meets-Office-Space setup, directed by Wolf Creek‘s Greg McLean.

October 14: Pumpkinhead (1988). You know Pet Sematary. You love Pet Sematary. Pumpkinhead is Pet Sematary‘s red-headed stepbrother, starring the always-fantastic Lance Henrikson.

October 15: Night of the Living Dead (1990). Wait – check that year again. That’s right, this is Tom Savini’s weird and sort of unnecessary but still strangely endearing remake of George A Romero’s original classic.

Onto Alex’s picks! Happy Halloween, everyone!

Tagged

Episode 50. Man Seeking Woman: Audition (1999)

Takashi Miike created one of the most infamous, beloved and decisive films when he made Audition: a story of people looking for love in all the wrong places that has influenced a generation of filmmakers and terrified audiences all over the world. Andrea and Alex take a deep dive into the international and seemingly universal fears of love, intimacy and what it means to be a “good girl.”

REQUIRED READING

Audition. Dir. Takashi Miike, 1999.

EXTRA CREDIT

Holding Back Half the Nation – The Economist’s examination of Japanese women in the work place.

“Nice Girl”: Social Control of Women Through a Value Construct – Greer Litton Fox’s paper on the taming of women through perceived goodness.

Salem Horror Fest – We’ll be there October 7th and 8th! Tickets are available now.
Tagged ,

Episode 48. Crime and Punishment: Rape and Revenge in I Spit On Your Grave (1978) and Elle (2016)

rape revengeThe discussion of rape and sexual violence has never been in our cultural conversation as much as it is now. In this episode, Andrea and Alex look at an exploitation classic and a contemporary award-winner to parse out how rape is depicted and how revenge is achieved, if at all.

REQUIRED READING

I Spit On Your Grave. Dir. Meir Zarchi, 1978.
Elle. Dir. Paul Verhoeven, 2016.

EXTRA CREDIT

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,