After releasing a statement about the systemic racism and police brutality that has cost the lives of countless Black American men and women, we announced a fundraiser with Fright Rags. You can pre-order the monochromatic Shudder logo tee from today until Monday, June 8th. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Black Lives Matter, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the National Bail Fund Network.
Horror belongs in our movies, not in our streets. This week’s issue of The Bite is dedicated to providing resources and information to help the horror community stand up and support organizations who are working to help bring an end to police brutality at the expense of Black lives and to make ours a more just world.
Black Lives Matter.
The tropes are familiar to everyone who loves horror; a rural setting, characters with recognizable lives and problems like teen pregnancy and family strife, all painting a landscape of brooding calm before the coming storm. We also have the requisite warning signs that fans demand; nature in discord, strange police reports, key information unnoticed. A nurse, played with quiet resolve by Elle-Máija Tailfeathers (The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open) saying, “What do you mean we’re out of Tetanus?!” as she rummages through a hospital medicine cabinet. While we scream, “Because they BITE!!!” With the film’s first frames, Jeff Barnaby, visionary Mi’qmaq writer and director, and his long-time cinematographer, Michel St. Martin, want to flip this familiar world on its head. Literally. Stomach-churningly.
The Bite #116
George A. Romero always found astute ways to wield his zombies as a weaponized metaphor, holding up a mirror to society and reflect the current social climate with every Dead film. His fourth, Land of the Dead, was critically praised during its initial release, but many felt the allegory lacked subtlety and that it fell back on familiar tropes. None could predict, not even the forward-thinking Romero, just how eerily precognitive his film would read precisely fifteen years later.
The Bite #115
Queer horror is having a moment. Yes, horror has been queer from the beginning, stretching back to directors like James Whale and using queer subtext in a number of positive and negative ways. Recently, we’ve seen so much outspoken, textual queerness in horror that makes me excited to be a fan of the genre. So it’s weird to think back to 2011’s Chillerama where smack dab in the middle of rampaging sperm monsters and spoofs of zombie films was this little queer horror short called “I Was a Teenage Werebear.”
The Bite #114
In Rosemary’s Baby, the depiction of gaslighting, impressively brought to life by Mia Farrow, hinges on the real-life plight of so many women navigating the healthcare system to this day. We see the arc of a pregnancy carried to term under duress, through the majority of which the mother’s well-being has been deemed unimportant.