Hippies in Hell in the Heartland: How I Drink Your Blood and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Mirror the Culture Wars in America

...in the early to mid 1970’s two films would emerge that would use this theme to explore the two very different sides of the conversation, creating metaphors for what happens when city progressives are confronted with rural traditionalists in their own environment. I Drink Your Blood (1971) and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) would each create an aggressively oversimplified and terrifyingly singular antagonistic “family” which not only held up a mirror to the times in which the films were created, they held up and almost perfectly reflected each other.

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NINES

It was a quarter to four when the dealer arrived in Carrier, Wyoming. High in the sky, the summer sun cooked concrete and metal while people and animals took refuge from its fire. Gone were the familiar sounds of Sunday afternoon, instead of footsteps echoing through heat streaked streets, there was only silence. There were no children laughing at playgrounds, no engines idling at stoplights, no notifications, church bells, or friendly chatter. The gentle sound of a cool summer breeze sewed a thread through the warm, dry silence extending down the lone highway.

ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD

The producers of Italian genre cinema are often accused of stealing from successful movie trends from around the world, especially from America. Fulci hopped on the bandwagon started by Romero, Leone did the same thing with John Ford. And then there’s the late career work of Bruno Mattei who was just breathtaking in his thievery. Other films from this period of his career are talked about as (Name of a Film) crossed with (Name of a Different Film) because of the sheer audacity of their weird mish-mashing. Want to see Cannibal Holocaust (Lite) mixed with Predator? In the Land of the Cannibals (2003) is for you. But if you want to see something that stays mostly inside the horror genre for the mixtape it crafts, Island of the Living Dead is the one.

The Hunger

Alma Katsu will be appearing at St. Louis County Library on Monday, March 16 at 7 pm to discuss her newest book, The Deep. 1640 S. Lindberg Blvd, St. Louis MO, 63131 

Schlock-O-Rama: The Films of Al Adamson

I’d bought this book years ago and somehow managed to never get around to actually reading it. I had a cursory knowledge of Adamson’s work, having seen Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) and Satan’s Sadists (1969), but that was really about it. I decided some months back that thanks to their stellar track record of running exactly parallel to my tastes that in general I would give Severin Films the benefit of the doubt on any release that they chose. The fact that company owner David Gregory has decided to not only make a documentary about Adamson, but that Severin also recently announced a mega box set release of 30 Adamson films AND the documentary, I decided that now was the time to pull this slim volume off the shelf and give it a go.

The Reddening

Okay, so, just to make it clear- this is an unpleasant book. I mean that in a good way, but holy shit. And it’s not an unendingly unpleasant book, nor is the unpleasantness anything but what you’d expect of masterfully written horror, but at the risk of being considered a repetitive, hack writer…. holy shit. Purposefully and at specific and calculated times, this is an unpleasant book.

HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP

I know it came after this film, but when I watch Humanoids From the Deep, something always catches in the back of my mind, and I finally figured it out this time: this film is Redneck C.H.U.D. So imagine the premise of C.H.U.D. but instead of urban homeless victims, we get rural fishermen, and instead of sewer mutants, we get somewhat Lovecraftian river mutants. And some Billy Jack-esque themes. And a lot of T&A

OVERLORD

Nazis were bad. Like really bad. There is nothing in the whole of human history that you could have been that was worse than a Nazi. If you had to choose between a Nazi and a serial killer to be on your bowling team, you’d pick the serial killer.

ABSENTIA

A Review By Aaron AuBuchon Amazon Prime Video, 2011 When we look back on the 2010’s and the genre films it produced, one thing that will be pretty obvious is how successful genre filmmakers became at blending the horrors of fiction and fantasy with the horrors of the real world, the living horrors that people... Continue Reading →

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