Hey, fiends, what time is it? It’s time for your Week in Horror!
Shudder will debut Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present, based on the book of the same name by Robin R Means Coleman, on February 7th. As the title suggests, the documentary traces the black experience in horror from Birth of a Nation through modern classics like Get Out. Early word coming in from advanced screenings seem thoroughly positive and I’m very excited to dive in. Ahead of the film’s debut, Shudder has also added Tales From the Hood, Bones, and Ganja and Hess, starring Night of the Living Dead’s Duane Jones. I just watched Ganja and Hess (written and directed by Bill Gunn) this morning for the first time and it is quite an experience. A very artsy horror film that seamlessly blends classic mythology with commentary on race, class, and culture.
While we’re talking about horror during Black History Month, Jordan Peele just released a sneak peek for his new movie, Us. The movie opens March 22.
And since, as I mentioned before, it’s also Women in Horror Month, let’s make sure we celebrate female filmmakers around the world and boost their signal. Use social media to share work from filmmakers like Katt Shea, The Soska Sisters, Rebekah McKendry, Mary Harron, Mary Lambert, Kathryn Bigelow, Ana Lily Amirpour, Jennifer Kent, Julia Ducournau, and Jennifer Lynch, among many, many others. And not just directors, but writers, SFX artists, actresses. Representation, credit, and respect are incredibly important things that should be carried beyond a single month (and yes, that goes for Black History month too), because let’s face it, we horror fans owe so much to a teenage girl named Mary Shelley who, in one story, invented science fiction and body horror and changed the world. That’s worth more than a month of celebration. But it is a good time to remember that women generally get passed up to direct any of the big franchises (no woman or person of color has ever directed a Friday the 13th, for example), and often get left out of the running for projects, despite having a hit under their belts (check out last week’s Shockwaves Podcast to see how many years Katt Shea went without work, despite making hit movies). Check out the trailer for Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark, my all time favorite vampire movie…
This week we lost the legendary Dick Miller at the age of 90. Miller started acting in the 1950s working for the likes of Roger Corman and went on to play in classic films like Gremlins, The Burbs, Chopping Mall, After Hours, White Dog, Piranha, and The Terminator, just to name a few, not to mention countless TV appearances. Chances are he was in something you loved! Rest in peace, Mr Miller.
Leigh Whannell, of the Saw and Insidious franchises and, most recently, the hyperviolent sci-fi film Upgrade, is set to bring the Invisible Man back to the big screen under Universal/Blumhouse. Universal’s Dark Universe films that kicked off with The Mummy were dead on arrival with a movie widely dismissed by critics and fans alike (but come on, it wasn’t that bad), so the idea of a big shared monsterverse with The Mummy, Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, Dracula, the Creature, etc. was shelved. It didn’t take Universal long though, and I think they really want to get their stable of big bads out there, so they turned to one of the biggest names in horror, Blumhouse, and tapped one of horror’s strongest creators, Whannell, because one of the biggest complaints about The Mummy? Not scary, not horror. Fingers crossed that Whannell delivers a horrifying Johnny Depp-less Invisible Man. But that’s not all! Whannell has also been tapped by Fox to rewrite their Escape From New York remake, which Whannell might also wind up directing, if Robert Rodriguez is out. It’s hard to get excited about a remake of Escape though, considering how well the original still holds up. I think Fox announcing a third movie in the series, Escape From Mars, maybe, with Carpenter on board as producer and composer at least, might be more exciting, but, hey, we’ll see!