The Week in Horror: Miskatonic Institute of Horror Stories, Nosferatu, and The Beach House

Happy Monday, fiends! I hope you’re all doing well, staying healthy, mentally and physically. While the news is still pretty slim, we’ve got a couple tasty tidbits, so let’s get current!

Back in the early 2000s, Mezco released a line of action figures called “Silent Screamers, which featured The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, Metropolis, and the original silent film version of Frankenstein. I had to have the Frankenstein monster because I collect Frankenstein toys, and Mezco did an amazing job with the twisted, horrific take on the monster. It used to scare my son when he was little and I had to push it to the far back of the shelf where he couldn’t see it. It’s really that good. Well, hello, nurse! Mezco is reviving Silent Screamers in their One:12 Collective line, starting with Count Orlock of Nosferatu, which director Corin Hardy posted pics of. Get excited, this figure is amazing. Six inches tall, cloth clothing, highly articulated, insanely detailed, comes with multiple heads and hands, and a freaking coffin. I’ve admired this line of figures from afar because frankly, I can’t afford them, but I think I’m going to need this damn Nosferatu figure. It broke my heart just a little to let their Karloff Frankenstein go by, so maybe I’ll skip a few meals to get my hands on Orlock…

The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is launching on-line summer classes as they prepare for their Fall semester, check out the details below…

Los Angeles, CA – June 25th, 2020 – The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is the world’s longest-running educational organization dedicated to classes in horror history, theory and production, and currently has branches in L.A., New York, and London. While we take this time to prepare the Fall 2020 semester amidst the current lockdown regulations Miskatonic will be launching archival videos of classes online for by-donation access.
Released periodically over the Summer and viewable globally, the online roll-out will begin with confrontational artist Penny Slinger’s (An Exorcism, published in 1977) talk with filmmaker Jacqueline Castel at Miskatonic L.A. in December 2019. This will be followed by a Masterclass from British exploitation/horror filmmaker Pete Walker (FRIGHTMARE, COOL IT CAROL) moderated by Bret Berg of The American Genre Film Archive, and closing out with one of the most significant and celebrated sold-out events in the history of the Institute: THE SHADOW OVER LOVECRAFT: INTERROGATING H.P. LOVECRAFT’S RACISM – a panel of revisionist Lovecraft authors including Matt Ruff (Lovecraft Country), Victor LaValle (The Ballad of Black Tom), Ruthanna Emrys (The Innsmouth Legacy series) and longtime Lovecraft scholar Peter H. Cannon that took place at Miskatonic NYC in April 2019. The latter will be released in August, the same month that Jordan Peele and Misha Green’s hotly-anticipated series adaptation of Ruff’s novel Lovecraft Country premieres on HBO. 
In addition, Miskatonic is pleased to welcome actor and filmmaker Graham Skipper and film historian Amy Voorhees Searles as the new co-directors of its Los Angeles branch, based at the storied Philosophical Research Society headquarters in Los Feliz. 
Graham Skipper is best known from Re-Animator: The Musical where he played the iconic role of Herbert West, and on-screen from his leading roles in Joe Begos’ ALMOST HUMAN and THE MIND’S EYE, and his directorial debut SEQUENCE BREAK. He is also the founder of the celebrated Rated-R Speakeasy, an immersive movie-inspired pop-up bar and event series, which has quickly risen as a social hot-spot within the vibrant Los Angeles horror community. 
Amy Voorhees Searles is an award-winning Senior Producer at Trailer Park, Inc and second-generation horror fan currently living in L.A., as well as co-author of the forthcoming book “Unhealthy and Aberrant”: Depictions of Horror Fandom on Film and Television.
“I am thrilled and honored to be stepping into this role alongside Amy,” says Skipper, “and look forward to building upon Miskatonic Los Angeles’ already-strong foundation to provide the L.A. horror community with a home for learning, cultivating dialogue and ideas, and examining the horror genre we love in new and exciting ways.”
“I have followed the growth of the Miskatonic Institute with great interest since its inception in 2010,” says Searles, “and was thrilled to finally attend classes when the Los Angeles branch opened in 2018. Becoming involved with the Institute is a dream come true, and I look forward to promoting education regarding the historically maligned and misunderstood genre that has proven so foundational to my life. I consider myself doubly fortunate to be working with Graham Skipper, a stalwart of the horror scene, who shares my commitment to giving back to the community we hold so dear.”

Coming to Shudder on July 9th, The Beach House looks like a spiritual sequel to The Color Out of Space with its heavy Lovecraftian overtones and mix of aquatic and body horror. I’m pretty excited about this one.

Escaping to a family’s beach house to reconnect, Emily and Randall find their off-season trip interrupted by Mitch and Jane Turner, an older couple acquainted with Randall’s estranged father. Unexpected bonds form as the couples let loose and enjoy the isolation, but it all takes an ominous turn as increasingly strange environmental phenomena begin to warp their peaceful evening. As the effects of an infection become evident, Emily struggles to make sense of the contagion before it’s too late. 

Starring Liana Liberato, Noah Le Gros, Jake Weber and Maryanne Nagel, directed by Jeffrey A. Brown.

Did you know, this month, 40 years ago, no horror movies were released? That’s weird, right? We got The Shining on May 23rd, but nothing else until July 2nd when Alligator debuted.

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