I recently received an Anon request for an updated/non-hyperlinked version of the “Horror Movies Written and/or Directed by Women” list that I shared back in March. [Here’s the original. Right-click/new tab to open] I decided to update the list before exporting the data, so below is the current version. This list is not exhaustive, by any means; I’ll continue to add more as I find the free time. Here’s a link to the updated list on Letterboxd with notes. And here is a link to the corresponding WP post (that I will probably update sooner). 

  • American Mary, written/directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska 
  • The Babadook, written/directed by Jennifer Kent 
  • American Psycho, directed by Mary Harron; co-written by Mary Harron and Guinevere Turner 
  • Silent House, co-directed by Chris Kentis and Laura Lau; written by Laura Lau  
  • Pet Sematary, directed by Mary Lambert 
  • Near Dark, directed by Kathryn Bigelow 
  • Humanoids from the Deep, directed by Barbara Peeters; Jimmy T. Murakami (uncredited)
  • Ravenous, directed by Antonia Bird 
  • Boxing Helena, written/directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch 
  • The Slumber Party Massacre, directed by Amy Holden Jones; written by Rita Mae Brown (yes…that Rita Mae Brown) 
  • Of Dolls and Murder, directed by Susan Marks; documentary, but still pretty chilling 
  • In My Skin, written and directed by Marina de Van 
  • The Countess, written and directed by Julie Delpy 
  • The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, co-directed/Co-written by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani 
  • Blood Diner, directed by Jackie Kong 
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour 
  • Southbound “Siren,” directed by Roxanne Benjamin; written by Roxanne Benjamin and Susan Burke 
  • The ABCs of Death “E is for Exterminate,” directed and written by Angela Bettis  
  • The Moth Diaries, written and directed by Mary Harron 
  • Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, directed by Rachel Talalay 
  • Kill List, co-written by Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley 
  • Blood and Chocolate, directed by Katja von Garnier 
  • Tales of Halloween “The Weak and the Wicked,” written by Molly Millions, directed by Paul Solet; “Grim Grinning Ghost,” written and directed by Axelle Carolyn 
  • Goodnight Mommy, written and directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala  
  • Trouble Every Day, directed by Claire Denis; written by Claire Denis and Jean-Pol Fargeau 
  • The Hitch-Hiker, directed by Ida Lupino; co-written by Ida Lupino and Collier Young 
  • Ginger Snaps, co-written by Karen Walton and John Fawcett 
  • Jennifer’s Body, directed by Karyn Kusama 
  • Dead Hooker in a Trunk, written and directed by Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska 
  • Messiah of Evil, co-written/co-directed by Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck 
  • Spookies, co-directed by Genie Joseph, Thomas Doran, and Brendan Faulkner; co-written by Thomas Doran, Brendan Faulkner, Frank M. Farel, Ann Burgund, and Genie Joseph 
  • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, written/adapted by Jaromil Jireš, Ester Krumbachová, and Vítězslav Nezval 
  • The ABCs of Death 2 “K is for Knell,” directed by Kristina Buožytė and Bruno Samper; “T is for Torture Porn,” directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska 

Old Gods

Asker anonymous asks:
Hi there! Um, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but do you have any suggested readings or good starting points for anyone who’d like to learn about obscure gods and demons? Particularly anything that seems written fairly objectively? Thank you for your time. 😀

wilburwhateley wilburwhateley said:

Hello, Anon! Thanks so much for the nice ask. It’s a great topic, and it’s obviously one that I enjoy a lot given all the god-talking I do, I suppose. The problem with responding to your ask, however (if you can call it a problem, that is), comes with the question’s scope. It’s huge!

image

Hey, I get to use this Tony Randall/Medusa/The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao gif!

I suspect you’re interested in the sort of “old gods”-style content here rather than, say, cultural or historical, global/worldview sort of thing (?). And, perhaps, this stems in some way from my earlier mention of WW as “demigod” (?).  I’m going to respond with those general directions in mind. If I’m wrong, correct me, and I’ll try to help in another way in another post later.
I should mention, by way of general disclaimer, that my background isn’t in religion, cultural anthropology, the Classics, or anything along those lines—it’s English, specifically critical theory with a focus on turn of the [20th Century] American Lit—and, even more specifically, Modernism. I just happen to enjoy this stuff. I’ll also mention that I like the inclusion of objectivity in your question a great deal. I’m a (long-suffering) agnostic with “spiritual leanings” mostly left over from my upbringing and do believe in respecting closed belief systems and maintaining a certain respectful, critical distance when discussing ideas that don’t belong to me. My answer today will definitely show a bias towards the Greeks and European systems mostly due to my own background, my comfort levels/resistance to stepping into areas wherein I have no right to trespass beyond my own private research, and the amount of time I’ve spent with certain authors. It’s not meant to give priority to these; they’re just what I know best. There’s so, so, so much out there ripe for respectful exploration, you know, so I’ll also ask followers to share if they’d like, since I know there are plenty of folks here from all over the spiritual spectrum, so to speak, including those who know a hell of a lot more about gods and demons than I ever could.

So, all of that disclaimer business out of the way, and if it was, indeedy, the whole ‘demigod’ deal that floated your little god-boat, I’ll just ask if you’ve explored the set of works many (I won’t say “most” anymore since times they are a changin’) English nerds are handed at some point in their studies? Those often include these titles:

image
image

The Hamilton work, particularly, is very accessible and a lot of fun. It’s anecdotal and a nice way “into” the Greek pantheon. All of this above is painfully “Western Canon.” I have some suggestions on non-Western texts, but there are too many, they are too complex and non-related to one another, and I don’t feel comfy talking about them in this sort of “lumped” fashion. (I don’t mind lumping the old dead white guys/woman, though. ha)

Beyond these, I’ve also enjoyed

  • Psychology and the Occult by C.G. Jung  Actually, I can point you to all sorts of Jungian content, though I don’t think it’s everyone’s cup of tea. I was in Jungian therapy for years, and I love the archetype stuff. Just let me know.
  • The Occult by Colin Wilson
  • Fables of Identity: Studies in Poetic Mythology  by Northrop Frye
  • British Goblins: Welsh Folk Lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions (1881) by Wirt Sikes, T.H. Thomas (Illustrator)
  • I have so many more along these lines. If anyone has a desire for more listing, let me know…

Now, on the “demon” side of things, I can offer you some resources, but you’ll need to just rope-off some time to explore on your own, really. If I’m going to pick a non-Christian system of belief that I feel more comfy in, I’d go with Appalachian Hoodoo (sometimes called “Granny magic”) though there is some overlap, as with the use of the Seals of Solomon and the Lesser Key, that sort of thing. And Hoodoo (unlike Voodoo) doesn’t require formal initiation, though if you approach this material in any way other than scholarly/objective, you would want to work with someone trained and reputable and all that. Again, I’m not a believer, but I think formal systems of belief that require initiation deserve time and reverence beyond the sort of “tourism” I tend to do and that I’m offering resources for here.

image

If you were interested in more of a Lovecraftian/Mythos focus, you might explore  A Subtler Magick: The Writings and Philosophy of H. P. Lovecraft by S.T. Joshi and/or (a new favorite of mine)  When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality by Scott R. Jones. Both are excellent reads. And I’ve got bunches more of this sort of thing, if it’s up your alley.

As I said before, this is a HUGE question, so forgive scattershot answer here. I’ll stop at this point and see if anyone else has a different reading of the question or other resources to offer the Anon.Thanks so much for the interesting ask and have a very nice rest of your weekend!

Podcast Recs

Asker anonymous asks:
I just finished listening to all of the H.P Podcraft episodes for the 4th time.. Do you have any other podcasts you’d recommend that are similar? I’m about to go through them for the 5th time if I don’t find something else.

wilburwhateley wilburwhateley said:

Hello! Ah, an Anon after my own heart.

image

from Day of the Dead (1985)

I think I’ve listened to most HPLLP episodes three or four times by now. It’s one of the three podcasts that I check/listen-to regularly, of course—and it’s well worth the reasonably-priced subscription if a listener can afford it. It’s really nice of them to keep offering a free episode each month, as well.

Since that’s off the table suggestion-wise, my other two “listen to every episode” podcasts are Nightmare Magazine’s selected readings and Pseudopod’s broadcasts (I’ve linked both). Those are my favorites. Beyond those, I’ll list a few ideas and then let folks reply with additional suggestions. Also, I’m sure one of the suggested shows would be Night Vale, and it is definitely worth checking out if you’ve never given it a listen. I assume most folks are familiar with it by now, however.

As for either the topical or episodic/story shows, I’m always on the search for new ones. I used to listen to Monster Talk fairly regularly. It wrapped (if I’m not mistaken) over the summer, but there are still around six years’ worth of shows available via the link above. They cover everything from cryptids and supernatural phenomena to folklore and myth-busting. Keep in mind that topics are presented from a skeptical perspective (it belongs to Skeptic Magazine after all), though that never seems detract from the obvious enjoyment and excitement most of the guests have for whatever topic they’re covering.

image

from the Monster Talk/Skeptic forums

I recently happened-upon Projectiradio (Geek Core Entertainment). Maybe it’s something familiar to most folks and I was just a slow-poke to discovering it, but it does offer access to four Horror-focused podcasts: Arm Cast Podcast, Necrocasticon (which describes itself as blending “horror fiction with metal”), The Horror Show with Brian Keene, and The Outer Dark (with Scott Nicolay).

Of those four, the only one I’ve taken the time to really explore is The Outer Dark, and I would definitely recommend it now that I’ve had the chance to catch up on previous episodes. I have found myself enjoying it more and more each week, and it really does offer a sort of “behind the scenes” (for better or worse) glimpse into the minds of Weird and Horror writers, as well as the publishing industry.

image

The most recent episode is an excellent interview/discussion with Laird Barron and Justin Steele on “the state of the Weird.” If you are a fan of Weird fiction, I think it’s something you’ll want to check out.

I’ve had a couple of folks anon-mail me about Limetown. I haven’t checked it out just yet but will probably head over there some time this week. Here’s the intro on its home page: “Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, never to be heard from again. In this seven-part podcast, American Public Radio host Lia Haddock asks the question once more, What happened to the people of Limetown?“  Here’s a link.

That’s all I’ve got for the time being. I’ll add anything that comes to mind in a future post. In the meantime, if anyone’d like to share suggestions, please feel free.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (1985) is a Rankin & Bass adaptation of the 1902 L. Frank Baum children’s book, and it is superbly Weird.

Here’s a link to a short article on the film from Odeon Review and one from Comics Alliance, where Chris Sims offers a summary/review with so much enthusiasm that I almost caught a moment of spirit while reading it:

“[I]t is awesome. And it definitely tells you a lot about Santa Claus, like how he was weaned on the milk of a lioness, raised by immortals who taught him to speak the language of birds, and learned of man’s inhumanity to man by being astrally projected to Japan to watch children train to kill each other as samurai.”

tumblr_nzuf1dh1hP1rtj3g0o5_250

Almost.
It is one of the few films from our fairly limited selection of “Holiday Weird/Holiday Horror” options that I can comfortably recommend, and I think it’s my favorite of the Rankin & Bass holiday specials.

image

The book by L. Frank Baum is in the public domain and can be read here (pdf). There’s also a recent re-telling of the tale by Kelli Ripatti from Compass Media that features some fantastic artwork by Ivica Stevanovic.

Here is Stevanovic’s depiction of the evil Awgwas:

image

Asian Horror

wilbur wilbur i never hear you talk about eastern horror movies and such. have you had the chance to watch any? like Japanese or Korean or Thai horror shows? They are pretty great 😀
wilburwhateley wilburwhateley said:

Hey, there. It’s an excellent point (and a correct one), of course.

image

from Noroi (2005)

I’m an English nerd, and one of the phrases we bookish types in that world (particularly the older…-ish...ones among us) sometimes bandy-about is “it’s not my area”—meaning that something isn’t my area of expertise or not one to which I’ve dedicated much time/energy. This is one of those instances where I feel confident using that phrase. The reason I don’t talk about those films very much is that I’ve never been overwhelmingly drawn to most of them, at least not in the same way that I’m drawn to French, North American, and Spanish productions; nor do I know enough about most of the films under this umbrella to discuss their themes, characters, and complexities in an informed manner. There are many I’ve enjoyed watching, of course, but I couldn’t discuss them in any insightful way beyond the fact that I simply liked ‘em. I tend to stick to my own areas of research here and hope that the folks who follow find them as interesting as I do. And while monsters are universal, I’m still as much a product of my interests, background, and experiences as anyone.
On the other hand, I’m always open for specific recommendations of artists, films, etc. For instance, I doubt that I would have explored much of Junji Ito’s work had it not been recommended by someone (who follows) whose taste I appreciate. I really like Ito’s work, though (again) it’s not what my mind drifts to immediately when I go seeking Horror/Weird content. I mean, when I’ve been neck-deep in Blackwood and Machen for two weeks, I simply don’t think of Ito despite my affection for him. Some of that’s related to exposure, sure, but some of it is still entirely subjective and simply based on what I like. And I think that’s perfectly okay.

image

Junji Ito’s Uzumaki

I’ll mention a few of my favorites from the world of Asian Horror since I haven’t  mentioned them very often, if at all. One is Takashi Miike’s Audition (1999). I also likedRigor Mortis (2013) a lot, though mainly for the visual artistry. It really is a strikingly eerie film. I caught The Host (2006) on Netflix, and it didn’t disappoint—its monster, especially. And Tokyo Gore Police (2008) is a long-time guilty pleasure of mine. I like it a lot, and it always feels like I’m watching something that should have been on stage at the Grand Guignol whenever I revisit the thing. It’s so over-the-top. Also, a follower suggested that I watch Noroi (2005) a year or so ago, and I liked it…though I remain a little numb to most found footage/documentary-style movies. Finally, Strange Circus (2005) disturbed the hell out of me, and the feeling of unease that it evoked lingered for days after viewing it. I don’t know if I’d necessarily recommend it to anyone (anyone I like anyway), but it’s certainly an experience.

image

from The Host (2006)

If there are followers (and I know there are) with a specialized interest in Asian Horror and/or have some Cosmic Horror, Weird, or Monster-centered content you’d like to share, please send it along and I will share it in this space. And, as always, I love getting recommendations—particularly for content that I don’t generally encounter in my little niche. On the HPL front, I’m fairly certain I’ve mentioned a brief essay/article by Justin Mullis for Lovecraft eZine on The Cthulhu Mythos in Japan. It’s an interesting read, so I’ll link it here, again.

Thanks for the ask and have a very nice rest of your week!