Does anyone remember the film Return of the Living Dead 3?  If not, let me refresh your memory: the plot revolves around a pair of teenage lovers who have been in a motorcycle accident.  (Not for nothing, the accident is caused when Julie, the female protagonist, grabs her boyfriend’s crotch while he’s driving; the message delivered is typical of horror films in general: sexuality will kill you.)  
To keep Julie alive after the accident, Curt exposes his girlfriend to Trioxin gas.  Because of her relative “freshness,” Julie isn’t transformed into a zombie immediately; rather, she exists in an indeterminate, liminal state somewhere between life and unlife.
And that’s where the film gets problematic.  To stay “human” Julie must torture her body, cutting and piercing her flesh so that the pain will allow her to retain her human subjectivity and agency.  The Foucauldian argument almost makes itself: Julie is required to discipline herself bodily to control her emerging desires for flesh and remain within the proscribed identity of “woman.”  I wonder if any feminist film scholars have written anything about this movie… 

Does anyone remember the film Return of the Living Dead 3?  If not, let me refresh your memory: the plot revolves around a pair of teenage lovers who have been in a motorcycle accident.  (Not for nothing, the accident is caused when Julie, the female protagonist, grabs her boyfriend’s crotch while he’s driving; the message delivered is typical of horror films in general: sexuality will kill you.)  

To keep Julie alive after the accident, Curt exposes his girlfriend to Trioxin gas.  Because of her relative “freshness,” Julie isn’t transformed into a zombie immediately; rather, she exists in an indeterminate, liminal state somewhere between life and unlife.

And that’s where the film gets problematic.  To stay “human” Julie must torture her body, cutting and piercing her flesh so that the pain will allow her to retain her human subjectivity and agency.  The Foucauldian argument almost makes itself: Julie is required to discipline herself bodily to control her emerging desires for flesh and remain within the proscribed identity of “woman.”  I wonder if any feminist film scholars have written anything about this movie… 

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Tuesday, 7th September
It’s the first day of October, which means I have pushed all non-horror films to the back of my Netflix queue and loaded-up on an assortment of fright flicks and blood operas.  First up on my docket: Drag Me to Hell and Thirst.
Speaking of horror, the above picture is of an artifact from the VHS era: James O’Neill’s Terror on Tape.  Terror on Tape is still my horror Bible; though it is a bit dated—it doesn’t cover any films released after the early 90s—I am continually finding new titles to hunt up in its yellowing pages.  O’Neill is one of the few authorial voices I trust when it comes to horror: he’s one of the only critics I’ve encountered with the sense to rank the original Hellraiser higher than its sequel!

It’s the first day of October, which means I have pushed all non-horror films to the back of my Netflix queue and loaded-up on an assortment of fright flicks and blood operas.  First up on my docket: Drag Me to Hell and Thirst.

Speaking of horror, the above picture is of an artifact from the VHS era: James O’Neill’s Terror on Tape.  Terror on Tape is still my horror Bible; though it is a bit dated—it doesn’t cover any films released after the early 90s—I am continually finding new titles to hunt up in its yellowing pages.  O’Neill is one of the few authorial voices I trust when it comes to horror: he’s one of the only critics I’ve encountered with the sense to rank the original Hellraiser higher than its sequel!

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Friday, 1st October
Insight gleaned from Drag Me to Hell: if gypsies spent as much time planning for their financial futures as they do working on their curses they would be a lot more financially stable.

Insight gleaned from Drag Me to Hell: if gypsies spent as much time planning for their financial futures as they do working on their curses they would be a lot more financially stable.

Image of Roland/Zacherle.
It makes me a bit sad that horror host isn’t a valid career option anymore.

Image of Roland/Zacherle.

It makes me a bit sad that horror host isn’t a valid career option anymore.

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Saturday, 30th October
These brilliant porcelains of Victorian women with gory wounds by Jessica Harrison seem to be making the rounds, but I offer them here in case someone out there hasn’t seen them yet.  Click here for the full gallery.

These brilliant porcelains of Victorian women with gory wounds by Jessica Harrison seem to be making the rounds, but I offer them here in case someone out there hasn’t seen them yet.  Click here for the full gallery.

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Thursday, 11th November

Gothic Movie Recommendations Sought

In the spring semester I am teaching a course on Gothic literature.  I’d also like to show a couple movies to illustrate how the Gothic’s literary aesthetic has made the transition to the big screen.  I have a bunch of ideas for possible movies already (Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, The Company of Wolves) but I thought I would canvas you, the goodly citizens of tumblr, for suggestions.  Feel free to leave a comment!

(Also note that we’re reading Dracula and Frankenstein, so showing film versions of those would be redundant.)  

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Friday, 3rd December
A Muppet Wicker Man
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Friday, 3rd December
The Human Centipede (First Sequence) makes a pretty basic statement: Ladies, learn how to change a flat tire or you’ll end up with your mouth sewn onto someone’s anus.

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) makes a pretty basic statement: Ladies, learn how to change a flat tire or you’ll end up with your mouth sewn onto someone’s anus.

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Saturday, 18th December
HAPPY BOXING DAY!

HAPPY BOXING DAY!

I like torture. Torture is photogenic. If you make horror movies, you always have to think what’s photogenic and what’s not.
Udo Kier, in an interview with A.V. Club
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Tuesday, 4th January