As the song goes, I don’t know much about history, but I know – especially after reading W. Scott Poole’s Monsters in America – that the 1960’s were a turbulent era: America was 15-20 years past WWII, but still dealing with the anxieties that accompany the use and proliferation of nuclear arms as the Cold War mounted. Vietnam had started, and according to Poole, American soldiers were often times literally getting rewards for how many Vietnamese citizens they could kill. Of course, this was the era of Civil Rights, and second wave feminism was also in full swing. Birth control was invented in 1960, making sex less formidable, and the Black Arts Movement started around 1965. Despite a struggle for rights by many groups, racism, sexism, and homophobia were pretty rampant. In the horror world, Psycho launched the interest in “maniac” killers in 1960, and The Exorcist was released in 1973. Serial killer lore and urban legends were on the rise. In 1968, censorship ended in Hollywood, making the modern horror fare we watch today possible.Continue reading “Analyzing American Horror Story Asylum: Episode One”
Whoa. I’m writing for my blog. Gasp. What a strange phenomenon this is—something I haven’t had time to do for months. I almost forget how. How do I start? What do I say? Gahhhh!!! The pressure weighs on me so. (Searching brain for an apt metaphor to describe this feeling – coming up with nothing). This blog-writing business is, indeed, a weird sensation, after such a long hiatus. It is, loosely stated, my summer vacation, and so I have time to write again. But having not written recreationally in quite some time, the task seems a little daunting. Of course, I write papers all the time, but blog-writing is a different beast, all together. Still, like I said, it’s my sorta-summer vacation (I still have lots to do) and Michael and I sat down earlier today to watch the first two episodes of Evil Genius. The show got me to thinking… … …so I decided to take a break after the first two episodes to write about it. Continue reading “How We Construct the Monster: Thoughts on Evil Genius, Parts One and Two”
When I sat down to write my very first post for Just Dread-full (an event that took place over two years ago), I wrote about the first episode of American Horror Story: Haunted Hotel. Of course, I’d intended, at least perhaps, to watch more episodes than the first, but I found (as is often the case for me) that I was so excited to write, that I wrote my blog post after episode one had aired. Now, over two years later, another American Horror Story blog post is born from similar circumstances. I’m watching a variety of films and T.V. shows for my Independent Seminar, and after watching the first couple selections, the urge struck me. I thought: I should watch more shows on the list before writing my weekly response, but, I really want to write. And so, this post is born, and it should give me some ideas or preparation for my imminent writing assignment. I watched the 1959 film Suddenly Last Summer today, along with the first two episodes of American Horror Story: Asylum. Now it’s time to consider how madness is spatialized in this film. Some related questions might consider how space is organized in terms of “madness,” so-called, and what space reflects about our conceptions of madness. Continue reading “A (Perhaps) Unlikely Comparison: Suddenly Last Summer (1959) Meets American Horror Story Asylum (Episodes 1 & 2)”
Guest Writer: Michael J. Miller
As I’ve been re-binge watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars to prepare for my new elective course on the theological and mythological dimensions of the Star Wars Saga (yes, I’m being serious…life is good!) I noticed something I didn’t catch before. There is a story arc in Season Two that revolves around the Second Battle of Geonosis and the episodes masterfully employ some classic horror tropes along the way. While not as outright terrifying as say The Shining, they are certainly creepy in their own right. These episodes of The Clone Wars can serve simultaneously as a child’s introduction to the horror genre as well as a loving homage an adult fan can appreciate. Continue reading “Oh, The Horror (Light) of the Clone Wars”
It’s no surprise that I’m studying literature (though I’ll probably be forever impoverished for the decision) because I just love a good story. There is, in a book – or a good movie or television show – the plot, a chain of events driven by character actions, and then there’s the more subliminal but often pervasive mood created through all elements of work, including scenery and word choice. But, my point in this post is not really to be technical. My point is to proclaim, happily, that through the suggestion of one of Michael’s friends, we stumbled upon a phenomenal, intricate story thanks to the popular Showtime series, Penny Dreadful. Penny Dreadful’s third season aired this spring, but Michael and I, in our infinite fandom, have been busy re-watching the first two seasons to “fully prepare” before we settle down and view the third. This post, then, is my introductory post: I will likely write more on specific questions the show raises in future posts. After all, Penny Dreadful is complex and intelligent, and many facets of the show could be explored. In this post, I aim to discuss why I love the show through an exploration of the main characters. And, bonus, if you haven’t seen Season Three yet, neither have I, so there will be no Season Three spoilers! In fact, there are no major plot spoilers in this piece, so read away, without fear of any undesired revelations.
Shhh. Wanna get sued?
That’s Groundskeeper Willie’s response to Bart when Bart says the name “The Shining” in the canonical Tree House of Horror episode parodying the film, instead of replacing the title, “The Shining,” with the slightly more comical title the episode adopted: “The Shinning.” To be honest, every time I hear the title, The Shining, I immediately want to shout, “Shhh. Wanna get sued?” So I may have been fishing for an excuse to use Willie’s quotation in the opening of this piece.