Our Basic Halloween Watch List

I’ve mentioned this before but BTS Nieceling and I were supposed to (re)watch a bunch of horror movies this past month. We… didn’t. But we had a list and that’s what I’m gifting y’all with this Halloween: the very long list of horror movies and related documentaries that we basically… didn’t finish because we have nonexistent attention spans!

Enjoy!

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[Exclusive Interview] Junji Ito

This is the full version of Junji Ito’s interview and the entire set of questions and answers I sent to him that you all were able to read in October’s second Fan Service column Why Horror Fans Love Being Scared. I’ve been a Junji Ito fan from the moment that I learned that horror manga existed and it was an incredible honor to interview him!

I’d like to thank Ito-sensei for answering my questions and sharing his insight! I’d also like to thank Chantelle and VIZ for making this happen as well as for giving me permission to share the interview in full! Please go treat yourself to Sensor after you read the full interview, and of course, go shout about it on social media!


You’ve been working in horror for over thirty years, with new fans coming to your work every year thanks to international translations like your Frankenstein adaptation and Sensor. Do you think of your work as “timeless” and if so, what do you believe contributes to that feeling in your work?

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Stitch @ Teen Vogue: Why Horror Fans Love Being Scared

However, the majority of horror media does not inspire violence. Fans of graphic violence and gore aren’t generally driven to commit harm on any level, much less the racist violence that The Birth of a Nation committed. Liking horror at any level doesn’t automatically mean that you’re a bad person or that you secretly want to make your own Human Centipede to see if it’ll work for you. It simply means that you probably just enjoy the thrill of being scared senseless and witnessing fictional extremes of human behavior.

Why else do horror fans enjoy paying to be frightened? Horror legend Junji Ito, creator of long lasting horror manga staples like Tomie and the recently released Sensor, explains that the phrase “forbidden fruit is the sweetest” comes to mind.

Why Horror Fans Love Being Scared

I love horror even though I am one of the biggest weenies out there. I love it so much that from day one I was like “okay so if Fan Service makes it to October, we’re doing a Halloween column”… and here we are.

Across October, BTS Nieceling and I were supposed to watch at least one horror movie a day. I think we did… six. While I’m a faithful livetweeter of AMC’s History of Horror and get that in every week so far, the niece and I quickly realized that we want vastly different things from horror… and that we really are too chicken to watch these movies together.

However, I really freaking love scary things. I love gore, I love mess, I love madness – especially when reclaimed and reinvented by people who have that thrust upon them because of mental illness. I love being scared by things that probably can’t hurt me.

I’ve talked regularly about my interests in horror. I’ve done rec lists, explored what it means to be a “monstrous” POC and talked about the impact Candyman had on me (short answer… it was thrilling and traumatizing), and I keep trying to get spooky in my own writing.

I studied romanticism and gothic horror in college (and for fun, as I am a nerd) and of course, if you remember my Crimson Peak thing… well I had a Crimson Peak thing. (I own literally every published piece of material for that film actually. I’m obsessed. It’s brilliant!)

Horror is so cool and has so much value. I also love (more hardcore) horror fans! They’re some of the coolest people out there and they seem to have nerves and stomachs of steel!! Shout out to my sister for absolutely traumatizing me that time we watched Dog Soldiers together when I was a tadpole!

Anyway, keep an eye out for a special bonus for this column going out later today… the full, unedited interview with legendary creator Junji Ito. It’s going to be amazing!

Link Lineup: October 2021

So I didn’t read a lot or consume content outside of pure relaxation or research purposes this month. I have been busy as hell. I keep looking at my emails and guiltily slinking away because I have so much to do and limited time to do it because it’s also birthmonth, the one month where I’m basically absolutely allowed to do nothing at all. (Or so I’m telling myself.) Which means that I basically read fan fiction, watched horror movies with BTS Nieceling… and restarted My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic from the beginning. That’s largely it.


Why Young Thug Is an Icon

Fans had begun to notice him calling his male friends “hubby,” “bae,” and “lover” on Twitter and Instagram, which rang off alarms with swathes of rap’s homophobic fans. Straight men of all ages still use “pause,” so his terms of affection caught a side-eye from many, as did a photo of him and a hospital-bed-bound male friend feeding each other from double cups, as well as a video of him doing a bumbling, twerk-adjace dance to his “Perk” song. A YouTube commenter on the dancing video noted, “For those who say he isn’t gay… explain this, don’t worry, I have time,” capturing the sentiment of many rap listeners at the time.

When asked about his “bae” comments, he clarified, “It’s the language. It’s nothing stupid and fruity going on. It’s the way we talk, it’s the way we live. Those are my baes, those are my lovers, my hubbies, whatever you want to call them.”

First of all, I love the concept of a “Young Thug Week” anywhere.

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Horror Noire: Black History, Horror (A Review)

 

Horror Noire cover

Black history is Black horror.

– Tananarive Due

One of Tananrive Due’s comments early on in the Shudder’s Horror Noire documentary will live on in my mind forever because of how it gets right to the meat of the relationship between Blackness and the horror genre.

I love learning things and I spend a lot of time being afraid of things – especially the things I’m learning about – so Horror Noire, Shudder’s new documentary about the history of Black people (and Blackness) in the horror genre is right up my alley.

Back when I was watching Eli Roth’s AMC docuseries History of Horror and livetweeting some of the episodes, one of my recurring complaints was about the whiteness of horror history as they portrayed it. Across six episodes (I didn’t watch the ghost story one because I am a baby), there were very few experts and actors of color that got to let their horror knowledge shine.Read More »

Lamplickers – Original Fiction

Moth @ Night
Image from here on Flickr

Note: “Lamplickers” is a colloquial term for “moth” that I grew up hearing in the US. Virgin Islands. Additionally, this story was previously published on Patreon for my patrons.


Plink.

Plink.

The lamplickers down on the island always swarm around the house when it gets dark outside. At least, they’ve done this on some level on every night in the week since I moved into my late grandparents’ house overlooking heart-shaped Magen’s Bay.

Drawn by some unfathomable instinct, they fling themselves at the windows of my room as if their weight alone will shatter the shutters and let them in. Some of them don’t survive. They ram into the window with so much force that they leave streaks of dark fluid smeared across the glass as their tiny bodies drop to the ground.

Sometimes, early in the morning when the sun has barely peeked over the top of the walls, the neighborhood chickens and sparrows eat the half-squashed bugs before the stray cats try to rush them in turn. The gardener, when he comes by hours later, will clear up the rest.

For now though, at night, the lamplickers keep coming.Read More »

Crimson Peak’s pretty but it sure doesn’t look diverse!

crimson peak1 bloody disgusting

No matter what, I am going to see Crimson Peak next month.

I decided this back when the cast was first announced and then when we got those set photos of what looked like a funeral. I love Tom Hiddleston. Love him like I love naps, it’s that intense. And I of course enjoy Guillermo del Toro’s work. He’s a freaking master of horror and tension and his movies always leave me feeling kind of uncomfortable but in a good way.

But here’s the thing about my intense love of del Toro and Hiddleston coming together to put on the Gothic nightmare of my heart: it’s so not diverse in terms of race and I’m not okay with that.Read More »