Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chainsaw Exorcism With Kaelin C. Murphy Author of Evil Reign

Tell me about yourself and your writing?
I’m from the state of Maine. As you have probably heard, Maine is riddled with superstition, ghost stories, haunted houses, and tales of those who practiced witchcraft. I grew up hearing all of those stories. I remember my Grandpa Murphy, who was a fisherman that lived in the small village of Sebasco Estates, as he would sit in his chair in his very tiny living room late at night and tell stories of witches and demon-filled people that he knew from the time he was a young lad. He didn’t have a TV and at times the silence was deafening, until he started telling those stories, then my heart was pounding so loud in my ears it nearly drowned out what he was saying. He truly believed it all, and that made it even scarier. I think it was then that I first thought of writing stories like those he told, but I was very young then and I had a lot of living to do.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Excision (2012), Menstrual Contradictions, and Framing Sexuality


Philosophers have a notoriously horrendous reputation for  tackling the subject of femininity sexuality.  Nietzsche would argue that Philsophers have been terrible seducers and suitors. Lost in their own abstract thought, trying to figure out which chicken came before the ego – the object or the subject – they never pursuit courtship with the same rigor as ontology. Obsessed with the nature of morality, instance and god they lost skills the skills need to seduce the topic of femininity. It was only when the Simone De Beauvoir slapped Second Sex into print that the space was open for the female experience to enter as an object of study for the (male) philosopher. The moment here plays like one of the suspenseful turning point in Rear Window. It was only when Grace Kelly entered into the neighbors home, thereby entering into the fantasy frame, that James Stewart recognized his fiancé as an object worth his interest (Zizek, 1989). Of course, the glaring problem with this is that is based on masculine qualification of the feminine. Functionally, this is identical to slave master’s qualifying a slaves book by writing a preface. So, in order inspect the truth the truth of a feminist message, we need to factor in and dismantle the misogynistic framing of the female experiences.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Divergent (2014) Or Hunger Games: Impotence or Force?

In the wake of Hunger Games, it’s impossible to avoid the comparison between Hunger Games and Diverge. So, I'm gonna get my chainsaw primed and read for a double interrogation. Hunger Games and Divergent present two very different strains of how revolutionary leadership should organize and respond to violence. Hunger Games proposes a meek and neurotic take that draws on the tension of flip flopping between binary opportunities; to rebel or not to rebel, this boy or that boy. Divergent on the other hand presents the binary but waist little time with tension; this is the right revolution, this is the right boy. time to act! The difference here corresponds to two existential psychoanalysts: Dr. Viktor Frankl and Frantz Fanon’s. Each theorist proposed a mode of responding to violence. For Frankl, writing about his experience imprisoned in the concentration camp, the response to violence is about meaning. He argues we should we find meaning even in the deepest horror we experience, and that struggle for meaning is an important and courageous act. For Fanon, writing about apartheid in Africa, responding to violence with violence is a matter of dignity. One must toss of the chains of the oppression by any means. How could you life with yourself in slavery? Both Hunger Games and Divergent are about the meaning we seek in response to violence - are we courageous victims or violent revolutionaries?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Horror-Philosophy Blog Series #1: Introduction to Horror-Philosophy - Production of the Scary

This is the first post in a series designed to act as an Introduction to Horror-Philosophy. Horror-Philosophy is the analysis, interrogation and exorcising of Horror and The Scary through the multiple lenses of philosophy. Horror-Philosophy is in the first stages of development and I hope to flesh it out through this series. Feed back is appreciated. Please comment below. In addition to this series acting as an introduction Horror-Philosophy I will be experimenting with and creating new terminology. I will define as I go. I will continue the series next month. The follow up post will cover: Why Horror?, The Scary and Ideology.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cabin In The Woods (2012), Deconstructing Bureaucracy, And Subverting Horror Clichés

Cabin in the Woods is a character study on the bureaucratization of film narratives. The bureaucratization of horror film (and most genres) take the form of the wholesale manufacturing and re-manufacturing of cliques. The moments, characters, plot themes and expectations that have been categorized and focus grouped by film makers and advertisers in order to bank on the common motifs that have over saturated the market. The repetition of motifs acts as nodal points in a market system that thrives on re-occurrence. A masked man hunts down some chick and kills everyone in the way until the climatic moment comes where she disables the antagonism and sets up for the sequel. Or, some cabin in the woods where a cast of archetypes populates a forest-y vacation spot in order to let loose some middle-class angst. Only to be interrupted by some monster, demon, zombie, or creature X appears to clear the slate. Sound familiar? Cabin in The Wood's unearths this the well-trodden path of the recycled plot, characters, and the scary, in order to illuminate the bureaucratic mode of filmic reproduction.

Chainsaw Exorcism With Kevin Wimer Author Of After The 4th: A Zombie Novel

Tell me about yourself and your writing? 

I started writing a few years ago after I lost my ability to draw. Drawing had always been a creative outlet for me. I wasn't the best at it but I always enjoyed doing it, it was my escape. After suffering an illness I lost that ability and lost my escape from the world. I was looking around on the internet and I came across a website. The site was Permuted Press author J.L. Bourn (Hotel23.com). I began reading stories that people had written and posted. I had always liked zombie movies but never thought about trying to write a zombie novel.

I think that day, I didn't find writing, it found me. It was just by chance that I found that website and started reading. I walked away from the compute with a new outlook and a new adventure. I felt like writing was something that I not only wanted to try but it was burning a whole in my brain to give it a shot.

I had tried in the past to sit down and write a short story but never felt connected to it. I started writing my first novel in 2007 called "The Day After The Fourth" and I didn't finish it until winter of 2013. I wrote it in my free time, something at that time I didn't have a lot of due to my illness. It was a great learning experience and something that helped me with my illness. It helped in keeping my mind active. I had to also kind of re-teach myself how to type and writing helped tremendously with that.

Since that time period my mind has not stopped in creating new projects. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Teeth (2007) Flirting with Causality, And Anti-Castration Complex

Teeth, in the simplest terms, is a film about a vagina that eats penises. Dawn (Jess Weixler) is a post-pubescent teenage girl who was born with a gnawing problem. Her no-no parts are the living embodiment of the mythic Vagina Dentata. The myth was popularized by Freud and his musing about feminine mystery and human sexuality. In order to suppress her personal inclinations about her condition Dawn developed a religious a countering method of religious repression. She is a public speaker for the abstinence only program in her school. Dawn's biggest problem is not her dangerous genitalia but the boys and men in her life. The film depicts a cautionary tale rooted in an all too frequent feminine experience; rape and sexual harassment. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chainsaw Exorcism With Susan McNally Author Of The Morrow Secrets Trilogy

Tell me about yourself and your writing?

I live in North London with my husband who is a composer so our house is a creative hub! I am originally from the north of England where the dramatic scenery has influenced the rugged landscapes and adventures in my books.

I didn’t intend to write a Gothic fantasy, the book just wrote itself. Once I had decided on the setting and some of the characters the story just tumbled out, it was a very odd experience looking back.

I watched a Stephen King “YouTube” interview recently and he said virtually the same. That is what is odd about this process – do writers all have this inexplicable experience where they leave their present world and enter another one? The only way I can describe it is that there is a real joy in engaging in this creative process – I sit down at my desk, read over the last chapter and bingo more of the story pours out… the characters takeover - it is a bit like magic.

As a writer I rarely plot storylines, I let them evolve through the characters and their motivations, good or otherwise.

Philosophizing The Walking Dead S3E4 Killer With In, Metaphoric Babies, And Lori's Irrational Political Agenda

Welcome to our journey into the guts of The Walking Dead. What kind of journey? A philosophical, psychoanalytical and political kind. What I would like to do over the next couple months is dig thought the Walking Dead episode by episode to see what it can teach us. Thank you for following me on this journey. I look forward to reading your comments. Be forewarned: There are spoilers everywhere. Don’t forget to check out my previous article in the Philosophizing TWD series: Philosophizing The Walking Dead S3E3 Walk With Me And Idealized Post-Racial Sentiments Only Serve To Colorblind Reality

Lori is a tougher sell in the TV series than the comic book. For me, this comes down to an addition to the TV show that was not in the comic. In Secrets S3E6 Lori sends Glenn out to town in order to gather morning after pills. Lori is pregnant with what is in all likelihood Shane’s offspring. So, what is the purpose of this scene? Up to this point Lori was portrayed as intelligent yet morality irrational.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chainsaw Exorcism With A. Giacomi Author Of Eve Brenner: Zombie Girl

Tell me about yourself and your writing?

I’m writer, educator, artist, and all around fangirl of everything and anything creative. I love film, literature, comics, performance art, I could go on and on all day, but the bottom line is if it’s based in the arts then it has my attention. On a personal note I’m a wife, as well as a mother.

I’ve been a storyteller from the start, as soon as I could write storytelling became my obsession, whether it be a journal entry, short story, poem., etc. I was also an avid reader from an early age, my writing is pretty much a product of what I read, I absorb and then I create.

All Cheerleaders Die (2013), Underbelly Of Sexual Egalitarianism and Communities Of Difference

All Cheerleaders Die exploits and guts the mythical war between the sexes by destabilizing heteronormative discourse. After Maddy's childhood friend dies she begins her revenge. Under the surface of what appears to be a superficial motivation for revenge turns out to be a serious desire to ruin Terry for raping her. The heart of this weaving narrative spins around the brutal binary that separates the football plays and cheerleaders along their sex. They self-articulate their inter and intra-group identities as Bitches and Dogs. The derogatory identification guts to the bad boy and bad girl persona as the two sides rise to greater levels of violence in order to seek some idealized imbalance where bitches or dogs are rendered a superior status. By playing on the borders of heteronormative dynamic, All Cheerleaders Die, open's up a space to articulate a disruption inherent in the kernel of the binary. In what follows I plan to explore the disruption in order to identify if All Cheerleaders Die successfully challenges the ground in which the war between the bitches and dogs articulates itself.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chainsaw Exorcism With Victoria Snaith Artistic Director Of Father Dagon: A Theatrical Experience Inspired By H.P. Lovecraft

Could you tell me about yourself and Father Dragon: A Theatrical Experience Inspired By HP Lovecraft?

My name is Victoria Snaith and I am the artistic director for Dread Falls Theatre.

My drama career started when I was 11 and I joined an after school drama club, I enjoyed it and continued my drama education through school and college. When I was 18 I left home for university and studied drama at Kingston University in South West London.

After university, I didn’t think it was viable for me to have a career in drama or theatre. It had never occurred to me that I could become a successful performer. So instead I went into teaching, but I never lost sight of my love of theatre and visited the theatre regularly.

Philosophizing The Walking Dead S3E3 Walk With Me And Idealized Post-Racial Sentiments Only Serve To Colorblind Reality

Welcome to our journey into the guts of The Walking Dead. What kind of journey? A philosophical, psychoanalytical and political kind. What I would like to do over the next couple months is dig thought the Walking Dead episode by episode to see what it can teach us. Thank you for following me on this journey. I look forward to reading your comments. Be forewarned: There are spoilers everywhere. Don’t forget to check out my previous article in the Philosophizing TWD series: Philosophizing The Walking Dead S3E2 Sick, Totalitarianism, and Deserving Survivors

Walk with me begins with Andrea and Michonne stumbling through the world with their two pet zombies. Along the way, Andrea developed a hardcore cold and Michonne has been taking care of her. Until suddenly, their chickmance is rudely interrupted by a crashing helicopter. Curious, they go to check out the crash and run across the Governor and company. Andrea and Michonne are quickly discovered, blindfolded and taken hostage. When the blindfolds are taken off they find themselves in the town of Woodbury.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Martyrs (2008), Transcending Doubt and Punching Nihilism In The Face

The history of philosophy is plagued with oppositional binaries; particular and universal, subjective and objective, good and bad. To be fair, most of these binaries were what the stuff of thought was before they started writing. They didn't create the binaries, they used the binaries and language of the argument to push the truth of their claims. Descartes was born into a universe which always-already had a set of notions about the body and the soul, and systems and structures of meaning that that gave the terms intelligibility. The body and soul binary is of clear religious import, and had become naturalized due to its widespread adoption into culture. When Descartes sat down at his table to think out existence he connected a set of dots by thematically inducing radical ignorance. From doubt, he began his meditations on being. 

Descartes error here is that he did not doubt the substance of his doubt. Descartes’s broke existence into two realms; the subjective sensory perceptions of a thing, and itsotherness a thing that does not fully conform to our perception of a thing. He concluded that because there is this otherness, or rather a part of thing that inaccessible to our knowledge that a minimal of doubt is required. What does this doubt consist of? In Descartes case, he fills's in doubt with universal glue that transcendentally connects the subject to the object; aka God. But if we are to be clear about our doubt how can we justify the introduction of introducing a God or a Devil into the argument, rather than a teapot? If we are to be serious about our doubt we must think outside the cultural and ideological imports of our current lived reality. So, what does Descartes's doubt consist of? Belief. Now, let me violently shift subjects.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Orphan Killer (2011), Subverting The Slasher and Hockey Mask Hegemony

Most slasher films are missing one key factor; emotion. The masked dudes that stalks, slashes and bashes their way through slasher films are hollow characters. The masks they wear hide and subvert reciprocity with the viewer. There are a couple reasons for this. A masked slasher is easier to market because the mask brand and commodity the slasher. Hockey masks have been identified to such an extent with Friday the 13th and Jason Vorhees that I have a hard time watching Mighty Ducks or seeing a Hockey mask in the sporting goods section of K-Mart without thinking about a machete. The political analogy to branding is hegemony. Brand hegemony when a commodity like a ski mask or mouse ears become over-identified with a specific planted idea that separating the brand from the product (even if it isn't explicit produced by the brander) becomes near impossible. One way to think about this to say that Disney has a cultural and symbolic monopoly over talking mice. So even when you are confronted with some wholly different talking mouse it is always-already existing under the oppressive shadow of Mickey Mouse. The problem for slashers and their icons is that any deviation from the predefined roles and themes of a silent and emotionally dead killer slowly stalking some helpless hottie through a series of poorly lit sets freaks out those fans who cannot think outside mass production.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Texas Chainsaw 3d (2013) or Final Girl to Final Woman To Radical Evil Beast Lady

There was a time when most slashers wouldn't dare to disrupt the status quo. They would pump out sequels like teenagers who didn't understand how birth control worked. Then Scream came along and deconstructed the 80's slasher for viewers. Horror folks might have already been in the know, but the general public had no clue. When the rules entered explicit public filmic discourse, the equilibrium of the slasher status quo became disrupted. For better and worse. I'd argue that this trend sawed to chunks the repetition of the slasher formula, and opened the door for difference for difference sake. Scream 4 made a good point when one of the characters made the point that in the post-modernist horror film all the rules are off. Implying that the key post-modernist horror moment is that moment in a film where the film makes it clear that it is playing by no rules other than its own. But is this truly the case?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Alien (1979) Wombs, Eggs and Cute Alien Babies!

During the 80's a slew of masculine women were thrown into the plots of action, horror, science fiction movies. Many conformed to the trend set in place by Ripley in Alien and it sequels. But what attributes force Ripley to stand out? Is she really presenting a version of femininity that provides a more authentic vision of what how a woman would be in similar situations?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Descent (2000) Into The Womb Through The Intestines Out The Birth Canal


Psychoanalytically, associating a cave with the female reproductive system makes sense. Both have structures that have an opening that faces the world, and on the inside there is a wider cavernous space. Descent is haphazardly due to lack of lighting, tight spaces, and winding pathways. There's symbolic mystery attached to both spaces. Cultural horror stories of men getting lost or eaten alive. Both are followed by decades of scientist trying to find the true nature of her depths and failing miserably. Why are these seemingly enticing spaces so alluring? Why do they simultaneously capture our wonder and dread? Lets saw into The Descent, and see what we can find.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Under The Skin (2013) The Spirit Is A Sexy Ribcage and Seducing Deformity

I don't know about you, but I have found contemporary dating exponentially more difficult in the technological age. I don't think this is the technology's fault. In a certain respect and in some situations, it helps us connect more efficiently and deeper than otherwise possible. However, we are flooded with information about suitors. Facebook profiles read like the sides of cereal boxes. Cryptic ingredients that hint towards what is on the inside of another person.