Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Going Green.

When it comes to remakes, I'm pretty much against them. Sure, there are the usual suspects that we give a pass to, like The Fly, The Thing, The Schlemmylammadingdong. My favorite remake is Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Oh my Godot, I love that film. Look, you put Donald Sutherland in just about anything and I'm going to love it. Plus Leonard Nimoy, plus two strong actresses I've always enjoyed watching (Brooke Adams from Shock Waves and The Dead Zone, Veronica Cartwright in Everything Else). And my good gravy, a young Jeff Goldblum. So hot.

But, speaking of so hot, what about films like Eli Roth's upcoming The Green Inferno? If The Remake is widely considered by purists to be the redheaded stepchild of horror cinema, what then do we think of its hip older sibling, the "Homage"? Now, this subgenre plays fast and loose with the rules. "We're not really a remake of anything; we're an homage." Yes, but you're surely capitalizing on what was before, and isn't that what remakes do? An homage can be even less dishonest than a remake if it isn't done right (Rob Zombie's House of 1,000 Corpses and Roth's original homage, Cabin Fever, were not my cuppas), but I can think of two, Zombie's The Devil's Rejects and  Ti West's The House of the Devil, that were awesome. Hobo With A Shotgun didn't bore me entirely.

Alrighty, so what have we got here? We've got the name itself, The Green Inferno, whose origins I won't bore you with, because you already know. We've got a jungle. We've got Heart Of Darkness meets The Most Dangerous Game meets Eat Drink Man Woman. All winding down to the inevitable movable feast. Okay. So, what is the point? 

Omigod indigenous peoples, I paid hells a lot for this hair.
Well, for me personally, I think the point is what we have now which we did not have before. For one thing? No found footage. And that would blow my mind if I wasn't already way over that motif to the point where I expect better these days. But what I'm really interested in is seeing how Roth interprets Cannibal Holocaust for a new generation entirely raised and reliant on technology, a demographic that operates in memes, speaks in texts and is generally considered to have a crippling sense of self-entitlement. The kids in The Green Inferno think they're doing alright outta sight, sitting in that little plane headed off to save the rainforests and the people dwelling within them. Reminds me of a constable whose search for a missing child in Summerisle became a one-man mission to save the entire island. Wonder what became of him.

And I love this. I could argue that while we carry on about The Green Inferno's comparisons to Cannibal Holocaust, we could also point to films like The Wicker Man as inspiration. Or even Straw Dogs or I Spit On Your Grave in the sense that an idyllic retreat could prove to be anything but. Wherever you go, there you are. Add to that the arrogance of youth, which is not unlike that of religion when both are activated by a deep sense of well meaning. These kids in The Green Inferno think they're going into the rainforest to help, but A) the help is very one-sided, unsolicited and subjective; and B) they do help, just not in the way they expect or want.

I had a chance to see The Green Inferno last year, but I was 39 and knocked up, and my doctor gave me the whole is-it-worth-your-baby spiel (which also kept me out of all the Halloween theme park mazes). No, it wasn't worth my baby, but I think it's sometimes worth revisiting the old familiar ideas and running them through a new filter; in this case, the 99 Percenters. Is this deliberate? I don't know; I'm really just speculating. Or maybe I am just projecting in the hope that the new guard of horror isn't simply disguising their homages as remakes, and then defending their timely relevance out of convenience.

Monday, July 27, 2015


Axe Naomie Harris if she wants to be defined by her color.
Every once in a while, a random Twitter username pops up in my "Suggests," or someone has retweeted something someone said, and I'll see it. "@BlackGirlGeek or @BrownSugarHorrorChick" or some other moniker that says, "hey everyone, I'm a novelty, a black girl who likes horror, but please don't define me because I'm not just about being a black girl who likes horror, which is what I am. Follow me!"

And then like me, you take the bait. And if you're a woman like me (can I still be girl at 40? If I can, I'll take it), and black, and into horror, you get lumped into all these other bullshit tweets that generate into more and more "black girl horror fan / geek / nerd" types following you, or suggestions to follow more of the same. So, how to deal with that ...

Well, you follow, and then you engage, and then you quickly figure out that these bitches are #1- not true horror fans but posers, #2- keeping tabs on their "competition" (i.e., you), #3- using horror to promote themselves as some sort of novelty act, and #4- as stupid as ants marching into Borax, and as unbearable as a silent fart in a crowded elevator.

So, what started this rant (and I'm sorry, but I've had this shit on dock for ages)? An interaction with a Twit who I reached out to who could simply NOT TAKE THE GODDAMNED COMPLIMENT because she was either too stupid, or too full of herself. Uh, hello? I just gave you a #SO (shout-out) and likened you to one of the sexiest, iconic, most bad-assed sistas of horror in like EVER. I mean, how many have we fucking got? Um, Marsha Hunt, Pam Grier and Marki Bey. Boom.

What followed was a lengthy exchange that left me emotionally and physically exhausted. Does this idiot even KNOW that I'm giving her props? Because she's sure branding herself as someone who knows many shits and gives them when it comes to horror films. And when I feel like I have to explain things to you, that's when I pull the plug and finish the goddamned bath. Bishbegone.

Now, do I think I know everything? Well, yes. Yes I do. I'm kidding. No, I don't. But that's what I like about me, and that's what I seek in others. Authenticity. I'm not professing to be the queen of shit, and I sure as hell don't want to be defined by my COLOR. Not on any terms. Do I think other women in horror have the right to be the "queen" of this and that? Hell yeah. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Ivonna Cadaver, the Next Generation of Horror. Pam Grier, the queen who kept the lights on at AIP. Linnea Quigley, and so on and so forth. These women EARNED their titles, and no one's defining them by the color of their skin. Can you fucking imagine how stupid "Elvira, White Mistress of the Dark" would sound? Ugh, I just can't anymore. And yes, Pam Grier was in a film called Black Mama, White Mama, but she transcended Blaxploitation to become an award-nominated actress. That's the point. THE POINT. Rawr!

And let me go back to point number 3. Now, this one is important, because when someone in horror (and, let me add, sci-fi, also trending at the mo) builds their entire social media identity around their skin color, it's for one thing and one thing only: to point out the "specialness" of their novelty and exploit the shit out of it for their own personal Twitter fame. I HATE THIS. I grew up in the Seventies and Eighties. Being black was for real real back then, kids. Not for play play. But this is 2015. We are allowed to be black, white, etc. and not have it be stamped on our foreheads like some badge of exception. The first thing people see when they see me is my color, so why would I have to trot it out every mother-effing day when I shart out a tweet? My mom is white and Mexican; should I make every horror tweet about that, too? And there's something particularly un-Christ-like about turning every tweet about blacks and horror into a victimization I am quite confident these ladies enjoy perpetuating.

In conclusion, I just want eight hours of sleep. And for these idiots to leave me alone. Go forth and segregate, and get loads of followers based on your one act, and I'll just stay in my little corner of Twitter and lose friends and alienate people. This is how I feel. Which is more than the bullshit you're gonna get somewhere else.