Category Archives: books

Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television

“Won’t Someone Think of The Children?” in Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television. eds Paul Corupe & Kier-La Janisse. Spectacular Optical


Canadian micro-publisher Spectacular Optical is pleased to announce its forthcoming book devoted to the dark side of holiday entertainment, YULETIDE TERROR: CHRISTMAS HORROR ON FILM AND TELEVISION. This comprehensive new collection of essays is set to deck your halls with insightful looks at all your festive fright favourites, from the BBC’s A GHOST STORY FOR CHRISTMAS series to SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (and the ensuing controversy), from Eastern European folk-horrors all the way up to the seasonal succubi of the “New French Extremity”—followed by a compendium of over 200 Christmas horror film reviews.

Available now through Spectacular Optical.

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The Canadian Horror Film: Terror of the Soul

“Viral Culture: Canadian Cultural Protectionism and Pontypool” in The Canadian Horror Film: Terror of the Soul. eds Gina Freitag & André Loiselle. University of Toronto Press

51l7oVEdQEL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_From the cheaply made “tax-shelter” films of the 1970s to the latest wave of contemporary “eco-horror,” Canadian horror cinema has rarely received much critical attention. Gina Freitag and André Loiselle rectify that situation in The Canadian Horror Film with a series of thought-provoking reflections on Canada’s “terror of the soul,” a wasteland of docile damnation and prosaic pestilence where savage beasts and mad scientists rub elbows with pasty suburbanites, grumpy seamen, and baby-faced porn stars.

Featuring chapters on Pontypool, Ginger Snaps, 1970s slasher films, Quebec horror, and the work of David Cronenberg, among many others, The Canadian Horror Film unearths the terrors hidden in the recesses of the Canadian psyche. It examines the highlights of more than a century of Canadian horror filmmaking and includes an extensive filmography to guide both scholars and enthusiasts alike through this treacherous terrain.

Available now on Amazon.

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Rue Morgue Library Vol 2: HORROR MOVIE HEROES

supplement2The follow-up to Rue Morgue’s hugely successful 200 Alternative Horror Films You Need To See, HORROR MOVIE HEROES spotlights some of our favourite personalities in genre cinema. Includes new and classic interviews with CHRISTOPHER LEE, TOBE HOOPER, ALEJANDRO JODOROWSKY, STUART GORDON, ALEXANDRE AJA, DAVID CRONENBERG, VAMPIRA, RAY HARRYHAUSEN and many, many more! 

Available now at

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Rue Morgue Magazine’s 200 Alternative Horror Films You Need To See

You’ve seen The ExorcistThe Amityville HorrorThe Blob. But are you familiar with The Exorcist IIIAmityville II: The Possession or The Blobremake? Or minor masterpieces like IncubusThe 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.

shoppe-200altConcisely written with a view to expanding the horror film lover’s palette, Rue Morgue Magazine’s 200 ALTERNATIVE HORROR FILMS YOU NEED TO SEE outlines those cinematic gems you ay have missed – classic and contemporary, mainstream and obscure, home-made and foreign… and those films that simply need to make your viewing list.

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!

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The Undead and Theology

“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.

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When There’s No More Room In Hell: The Sociology Of The Living Dead

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.

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