Conceptual anxieties, pregnant panic and the birth pangs of horror
The second Golden Age of Horror was born premature. For though associated with the 1970s, it began in 1968, with the arrival of two films that would forever change the genre landscape: George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. Redefining the zombie as a vehicle for sociopolitical commentary, Romero’s low-budget shocker focused on death, the theme with which all human experience ends and with which the horror genre is most closely associated. Polanski’s film, conversely, explored the other end of the spectrum, dealing with the fears that can surround maternity and birth, where all our lives begin. This was horror at its most (literally) conceptual, and it would beget a preoccupation with panic-stuffed pregnancy that the genre has ever since been unable to get fully out of its system. INFERNAL arrives on DVD from 24th August, 2015, courtesy of Signature Entertainment in which the unrivalled joy of a newborn baby rapidly descends into fear of the highest order, we take a look at the most gruesome horror films that feature pregnancy, birth and disturbed children.
As newlywed couple Sophia and Nathan move into their new home together Sophia delivers the news that she’s pregnant. Nathan digests the news, proposes to her and they get married, hoping to live happily ever after... The couple welcome their first child into the world shortly after getting married, but their joy quickly turns to panic when the young girl starts acting strangely. The unrivalled joy of a newborn baby rapidly descends into fear of the highest order when unexplainable things start happening around the house. Fearing their daughter could be possessed, the parents call in a priest to perform an exorcism, but when that goes horribly wrong, the parents start to wonder if they will ever be able to rid their daughter of the evil power lurking within her...
To coincide with the release of his latest novel The Crimson Corset Alistair Cross has compiled his top five reasons why we can't get enough of vampires. What are your favourite reasons for your vampire cravings, leave a comment in the comment section for a chance to win a copy of the book.
Welcome to Crimson Cove
Sheltered by ancient redwoods overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.
When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.
Darkness at the Edge of Town
Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.
Purchase a copy here
The Beauty of Being Dead
After decades at the drive-in and centuries spent on the bestseller lists, it’s pretty amazing that vampires haven’t gone the way of floppy disks, Windows 95, and the Spice Girls. But somehow, these fanged fiends have retained their popularity. In fact, not only have they tapped the commercial vein of each generation, they’ve managed to turn even more beautiful, more powerful, and arguably, more fascinating than their pale-faced predecessors.
A little while ago, fellow Gingernutter Paul M. Feeney and I got into a conversation about the role and function of critical readers in the writing process. And in the course of the conversation, some interesting differences of emphasis emerged. So in the interests of both exploring the concept in more detail, and also canvassing opinion from others, we thought it might be useful to have the conversation in a more longform setting.
Okay, before I get to the 'meat' of this article (and at the moment, I have no idea how long it's going to run), I'll take a few sentences to explain why I'm writing it.
Basically, I have had a very stormy relationship with online interaction, Facebook in particular. I am currently going through counselling for anxiety (and it seems to be working, though my full-time employer is hampering my attempts to return to work, thereby increasing my anxiety - hey-ho), but I've always had the kind of personality that just can't let things go, that gets personally affected by stuff I read or things that seem to be attacks or judgements on me. Anyone that knows me will tell you I'm not the kind of person to spread bullshit, or hate, or lies, yet some people have wantonly misinterpreted me, or made assumptions that paint me as some kind of 'bad guy'. And yes, it hurts; but most of all, it dismays me because I've always prided myself on being able to discuss things rationally, without too much emotive or hysterical reaction. I've also always maintained a policy whereby I'd rather someone came to me if they had a problem, as opposed to blocking and then spreading bullshit in an attempt to somehow blacken my name. But perhaps I expect too much of people. Anyway, I digress. It came to my attention recently that certain individuals, who have fallen out with other certain individuals, had taken to snidey little attacks against this site, and Jim McLeod, a good friend of mine. One such witticism is apparently referring to us as The Ginger C*nts Of Horror. Yes, I know - all very hilarious, all very mature. I won't lie, this kind of behaviour infuriates me and I will defend my friends when I feel they're being unjustly maligned. Yet I still believe a lot of it comes from misunderstandings, misinterpretations and a lack of communication. And that, really, is at the heart of this. I want to impart a few things that I feel will be good advice, especially to those who are new to writing and the horror community. It's not a definitive list, I'm not perfect or the keeper of all that is right, but I've been in this game for a few years now, and I've learned a lot, sometimes from my own mistakes. Some of it's to do with writing itself, and some of it's to do with personal conduct because, at the end of the day, regardless of what you might think, you are in a public space and you are in a professional environment.
So, let us begin...
*Warning: This article contains foul language and scenes of unimaginable horror in the form of violence, rape, incest, cannibalism and anything else I can think of to offend your delicate sensibilities. Do not read if you have:
· Anger management issues
· Erectile dysfunction
· sweet tooth
· lack of common sense
· no sense of humour
The proclivity of our species to mythologise every space in which it occurs is well attested to, from the epic mythologies of antiquity to the pervasiveness of urban legends, conspiracy theories et al, humanity seeks out narrative, contriving it where there is none to be found.
The internet is peculiar in this regard, being a relatively new space; a sphere of operation without much in the way of historical precedent or analogue. Being entirely abstract by nature, it is more than fertile ground for the kinds of recurring stories that litter humanity's collective sub-conscious; the faeries in the wood, the wolves at the door; all of them can be found here, in one shape or another.
As you may or may not know, All Night Horror Madness is an event that takes place in both Edinburgh and Glasgow where five 'classic' horror films are shown from roughly eleven pm until about nine the next morning. In between the films (many of which are original 35mm prints) are various 'lost' trailers and a raffle with some very sweet prizes. It is the brainchild of Matthew Palmer and he compères the early half of the event with the ever entertaining Ian Hoey.
I've attended two of these events so far, both times at the Cameo in Edinburgh, and each one was a fantastic experience, not least of which is the endurance factor of trying to stay awake throughout the whole night watching films. Last March's event saw such classics as The Thing, Child's Play and...Slugs (!), shown in all their glory and as the upcoming event in October is billed as both the 10th event and takes place in the Halloween month, it promises to be something extra-special.
You can read my review of ANHM 9.5 here, at Ginger Nuts
Tickets are currently on sale for the Glasgow event (as of 2nd August), taking place at the Grosvenor cinema on Saturday the 10th of October and you can purchase them at this link: http://grosvenorsales.clients.newmanonline.org.uk/book/add?what=wxmo5n&venue_id=Gro
Tickets for the Edinburgh event - which is happening a week after the Glasgow one on Saturday the 17th October - will go on sale at some point this week and I will update this article when I have that link.
So, if you have the time off and love a good horror film or five in a great atmosphere, get yourself along to one of these days. Be warned, though - tickets do sell out pretty quick. I've already secured mine for Glasgow and there are only 100 available in total for that particular show. Best be quick, horror fans.
See you there!