You’ve seen The Exorcist, The Amityville Horror, The Blob. But are you familiar with The Exorcist III, Amityville II: The Possession or The Blobremake? Or minor masterpieces like Incubus, The Black Pit of Dr. Mor Ichi The Killer? Fright film fans need look no further that this indispensible guide from the experts at Rue Morgue, the world’s leading horror in culture and entertainment magazine.
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Featuring interviews with Guillermo del Toro, Tobe Hooper, Gaspar Noe, Roger Corman, Fred Dekker, Larry Cohen, Stuart Gordon, Ed Sanchez and more. Plus the top gore films, slashers, vampire flicks, foreign zombie movies, family fright fests and tons more!
“Fire, Brimstone and PVC: Clive Barker’s Cenobites as Agents of Hell” in The Undead and Theology. eds Kim Paffenroth & John W Morehead. Wipf & Stock
In Clive Barker’s 1986 novella The Hellbound Heart, Frank Cotton’s search for the ultimate carnal experience leads him to discover and open a gateway into hell. Far from the orgiastic pleasures he had hoped for, hell is a site where sensation of all kind is experienced and the lines between pleasure and pain is blurred. He is greeted by undead creatures known as “cenobites” who conduct experimentation on the further reaches of experience. Having summoned the cenobites by opening the portal, Frank is dragged into hell where he becomes their prisoner for an eternity of torture until his lover Julia tried to reincarnate him to his physical form.
Barker’s novella and the film franchise that came of it is laden with theological concepts, particularly through Barker’s modernized conceptions of sin and culpability. His cenobites can be conceived of as contemporary demons, a new and novel take on classic conceptions of “the devil”. This chapter seeks to analyze Barker’s unique mythos of the cenobites and their version of hell with a focus on how they inform/engage with Christian conceptions of heaven and hell, sin and temptation, and the body/soul dichotomy.
The recent popularity of horror films featuring zombies is indicative of social tensions surrounding racism, globalization and rampant Western consumption. In the films comprising George A. Romero’s Dead series, differences between survivors become blurred when human value is reduced to sheer humanity. Romero’s films show that social preoccupations of race, gender and class (among others) remain problematic in the undead, post-apocalyptic context and often take precedence over the need for cooperation and resources for survival. The zombies themselves are sociologically loaded; from their colonial origins in Haiti to their “Americanization”, combining themes of racism, savagery and othering. This book outlines the underlying social critique that underscores Romero’s entire series. Drawing from cultural materialism and active audience theory, this book shows how Romero’s Dead series can inspire reflexivity and assessment of our everyday roles in consumption processes while helping us speculate on the endings of our own narratives.