More Bigfoot news from the heartland.
Travis Lampe’s “Armageddon Delay,” part of the Ryan Heshka Strange Powers show.
Ryan Heshka “Terrible Transplant.” Part of the Ryan Heshka Strange Powers exhibit.
When Nebraska news sounds like a Weekly World News article.
Shock Value, Jason Zinoman
Terrific book about the development of “new horror” in the 70s, focusing, in particular, on the creation of Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, Carrie, Last House on the Left, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, and Alien. Author Zinoman explores how these films (among others) represented a breach with past horror films, and discovers unexpected connections between these films. Perhaps most surprising is Zinoman’s exploration of how much of 70s horror was influenced by avant garde theater, from Brian de Palma’s documenting Dionysus 1969 to William Friedkin’s interest in the ambiguity of Harold Pinter’s work.
The book is also a marvelous portrait of the filmmakers and the processes they used, and overflows with telling anecdotes. Here you will discover that George Romero’s first film was a short for Mr. Rogers about tonsillectomies, that Brian de Palma’s work is haunted by his own experience uncovering his father’s infidelity, and that almost everybody seemed to recognize something different and significant in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. John Carpenter read it as a comedy, while Dan O’Bannon screened it for Ridley Scott to give him a sense of the terror that should be found in Alien.
Finally, the book is a snapshot of a short-lived era, when it was possible to finance and distribute low-budget films with minimal studio oversight, and when the technical possibilities of horror were limited enough that almost anybody with a knife and some Karo syrup could make something new. More than that, Zinoman points out that these filmmakers did more than produce cheap shlock, goosed up with maximum gore allowed by the new ratings systems — that their films were deeply personal, at once borrowing from their biographies and also conversations between the filmmakers and the past history of horror.
Bejewled skeletons recently uncovered by relic hunter Paul “Indiana Bones” Koudounaris. Read more about this amazing find here.
Bloody Disgusting: The first appearance of Blade
Stranger with Friction: Meditations on Stephen King