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James Morgart

Blackmail (1992): Sometimes a Cigar is a Hitch(c**ktail)

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Alfred Hitchc**k’s Blackmail marked the first time, in British cinematic history, that sound was used for an entire feature film. The infamous American musical The Jazz Singer (1927) has been cited as the first film to use dialogue; however, Al Jolson’s notorious film barely passes as a “talkie” as it incorporated only a “few” lines of dialogue. When considering the inability to ...

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Politics of the Dead

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Growing up as a horror fan living in New Jersey meant that I was inundated by Lloyd Kaufman’s Troma films, a ridiculous amount of zombie films and, of course, Jersey Devil films. Since I had long ago adopted the typical horror fan’s code of skepticism (that is, many of us have a tendency to reject mainstream thinking and authority figures – ...

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Tortured Over Being Misunderstood

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Saw has ultimately become the most popular of the so-called “torture p*rn” franchises in existence. This subgenre of the horror industry has become a hotly contested subject. Is torture p*rn right? Should we support it as fans? Perhaps a better question to ask is, “Does torture p*rn even really exist?” In the Freshman Rhetoric and Composition course I teach, we call the release of ...

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An Open Letter to Horror Actresses and Filmmakers

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With the advent of the prosumer camcorder, more and more “filmmakers” are coming out of the woodwork in a similar fashion to the infamous GWC’s of the modeling industry.  Basically a GWC is a “guy with a camera” or “guy with camera.” These are males with little to no equipment who hold nude modeling shoots usually for their “private collection.” Often, once ...

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Triangles and Freedom in Hitchc**k’s Lodger

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Tippi Hedren. Janet Leigh. Grace Kelly. Eva Marie Saint. Kim Novak. Alfred Hitchc**k’s consistent casting of platinum blondes has painted a target on his infamously rotund figure for being a misogynistic director hampered by an obvious fetish. His casting of the beautiful blonde – who he found to be at their most alluring when they were least clothed – led to a motif in the ...

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The Horror of Social Ignorance

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“I want to study Gothic literature and film adaptations.” “Oh?” The professor advising me on my academic career path sat back in his chair. “Do you think you might know a time period?” “I haven’t decided on that. I was thinking post-World War II. Begin with Lovecraft, work my way up to Bloch, Matheson, Blatty.” “Hmm…well, for the time period you’re speaking of, it’s ...

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Hostile Rebirth of Horror: The Morality of Eli Roth’s Hostel 1 and 2

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Not since the late 1970s and early 1980s when woman revenge films like I Spit on Your Grave and social critiques like Cannibal Holocaust were released has the horror industry produced a burst of socially provocative films like the current wave of violently graphic horror flicks conversing with the existence of torture in Western society. Recent productions over the past decade ...

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Interview: Gunnar Hansen (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Won Ton Baby..)

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James Morgart (JM): Obviously, you starred as Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, one of the great low-budget horror legends in the history of horror films. But then you took time off before coming back to horror. First, what were you doing during that time away from film? Gunnar Hansen (GH): My interest had alway been writing first, so that’s what ...

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Interview: J.D. Lipsh*tz – Director (Killed on the Fourth of July)

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After having worked on and off as an indie filmmaker, I’ve found that often after filming has wrapped, everyone will go their separate ways and rarely keep in touch despite promises to do otherwise. However, low-budget horror indie films has always been unique for me though as whenever I’ve met someone at a convention or festival or have worked with them ...

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Blogging for Horror

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One of the courses I’m enrolled in this semester is being taught by Master Blogger Michael Bérubé. (You can check out his blog, “American Airspace”, at http://www.michaelberube.com )  Every couple weeks, the course requires that we post a blog entry on a closed blog about the assigned reading for that week. At first, I stared at the blog text box wondering ...

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