bITS 'N CHUNKS
I'm a little behind schedule on this, as my local 12 Hours of Terror was officially "a couple weekends" ago. But let's talk about having A Good Time real quick.
You may not believe me now or even notice but goddamn the skress around having A Good Time is intense. It's about going to the right places, getting your money's worth, and just generally not having a good time trying to figure out if you're having a good time.
Now did I have a good time at 12 Hours of Terror? Hell yes I did. I got to see several of my favorite movies as noted by the poster here. It was my main Halloween event for Pumpkin's sake.
I was spending time with my dad. I was laughing and chopping it up with the young couple next to me. I was buying cookies and tea
and popcorn and Twizzlers and just trying to pretend we were
doing whatever we wanted without a care in the world. But
I was mentally counting up how much I had spent and seriously asking myself what good time could be worth all this? I'm so lost. I lost the ability to enjoy myself even while I'm enjoying myself.
Having A Good Time. I think some of it is just a symptom of this month...oh, but the event? Man, what a good fucking time. Hosted by our friendly neighborhood horror host Dr Gangrene once again, we were treated to a night of terror, bad puns, and The Boo Dudes with their psychedelic stage show. I couldn't ask for more and I thank the Belcourt for providing once again. We only made it eight hours this time and I really feel like we forced ourselves into that. But other than just two more movies I have no more requests except to my own brain to get it together. The movies we successfully got through were:
Inferno, my other fave
Dead and Buried
I will say I'm sad they've skipped the in-between movie segments like the Re-Wind and the horror shorts...
I don't really remember what my first encounter with body horror was. I know it was a movie. It was more than likely Alien or probably Nightmare on Elm St II. Yeah, I think it was that. Anyways, other than being thoroughly grossed out and creeped right the hell out, I right away appreciated the transformative nature of body horror. Of becoming something greater and bigger than yourself and of course terrible and scary.
Do I think body horror is the scariest subgenre? Nah, it's just my preferred one. It couples well with so many things, most notably psychological horror. The feeling of wrongness out of your control to fix it. Being helpless in your own body and in your own head is something I can relate to as someone that frequently goes through suicidal periods thanks to depression. I also frequently draw on my own bodily pain because I'm way too familiar with that.
The Fly ('50s with all due respect to Cronenberg) made me want to write sci-fi but Clive Barker made me want to write horror. Weird shit, unpublishable "what the hell?" type material. It wouldn't be fair to say Clive is my favorite author -- I can admit he has his short comings. Sometimes he's a little too out there when he drifts away from the splatterpunk and into dark fantasy. I don't dislike dark fantasy, mind you! I quite enjoy it. Sometimes, though, Clive is trippin'. I remember how emotionally exhausted I was after reading Imajica. The mark of a good author that has gone too damn far.
But yeah, my first exposure to Clive was of course Hellraiser. Pinhead was so damn blasphemous and so over the line it wasn't even funny. I wore the first two movies out and I actually like the third and fourth movies too. The creature design and most importantly the storytelling have stayed with me forever. When I found out that it was based off a book, I used the online library search tool to find it and immediately rent it. From there, I read quite a bit more of his work but my favorites are the Books of Blood series and Cabal. Nightbreed!!
When I decide to get flippin' weird there's a lot of elements of grotesque body horror in my work to the point where I am kind of scared that I'm a sociopath. I love bodies splitting in half to reveal something that shouldn't be there. I love tears of blood. I love painful horns growing out of the forehead. I love the revelation. Like I said, it's the transformative aspect. Body horror is also often dystopic and sleazy, kind of a left over from my B-movie days. Think Cronenberg. There are forces beyond your control using your body to commit unspeakable acts and when they're done with you they will discard you in the most ugly ways. Look what they've done to you!
The history of body horror is neat, too. Arguably it's been around since folklore in the form of shapeshifters like vampires and werewolves. Stories of people dying unclean or the devil using your corpse to spread evil. Even worse if you voluntarily gave up your soul. Body horror exists in nature as well in the form of parasites and fungus and invasive plant species. It's something we've seen and we're familiar with, so when it happens large scale it makes us a little uneasy.
I'm reminded of an interview with Dario Argento in which he explains his philosophy towards murder scenes -- he goes for things that the audience is familiar with, like scalding hot water. They say write what you know, right? I can definitely relate to you the experience of someone or something hijacking you consciousness & putting you through some shit. Not too many people know what it feels like to be shot with a bullet but just about all of us have been burned by something. Similarly, not too many of us have borne host to a parasitic alien but a lot of us have been sick, had a mysterious virus, or maybe even experienced a troubled pregnancy.
Well, while I'm trying to diversify my bonds on this blog, I was gathering up ideas and I realized one thing I almost never write about is music. It's absurd, because music inspires a good 90% of my writing. I'm not one of those people that is good at making playlists or anything, but there's a lot of times when I can read an old story and pinpoint either the movie I was ripping off or what was playing in the background.
I love sharing music, but I'm fully aware the majority of my friends don't listen to what I do and I also cop to falling into Tortured White Man or You've Probably Never Heard of Them genres. I won't tell you how long I've been listening to thrash or how I feel about postmodern punk, I would rather just show you and have a good ol' chat about guttural screams and writing. I dub this segment.... That's My JAM!
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...