Wednesday, 14 August 2019

We Don't Go Back: A Watcher's Guide to Folk Horror and Pagan Film

The Gorsedd, Singleton Park, Swansea. 
Updated: 14th August 2019

Towards the end of October 2016, I thought, "I know! I've got this copy of The Witch sitting here and I could spend a few days going through some of the other stuff I never got round to watching and it's years since I had a Halloween movie binge, and hell, why not write about them?" I had a copy of The Wicker Man I'd found in a record sale in 2010 that I'd never watched; a copy of Beasts that cost me 50p at a stall in the Summer. I last watched Simon Magus before I had kids, and now my oldest is 11. I planned my viewing carefully.

It spiralled out of control.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

The Question in Bodies #25: Blue Sunshine (1977)

It's been a while since I've done a cheap, fun 1970s exploitation movie, and recently I was reminded of the existence of Blue Sunshine, which is one of those movies with a mild but attractive infamy in film buff circles, one of those legitimate minor cult films, in the category of Lemora, or Liquid Sky, or Carnival of Souls, or Let's Scare Jessica to Death.

Jeff Lieberman's Blue Sunshine is one of those quirky little low-rent shockers you find from time to time, the sort that I enjoy watching far more than any number of “good” movies. Let's take a look at it.

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Neopagans, Neoreactionaries and Folk Horror

We know that the neofolk movement has a problem with the far right; we know that paganism, specifically white paganism, has also long had a problem with the far right. Neither of these things are things I’m going to write about much. Many more interesting and proficient and knowledgeable people than me have tackled those things.

But they’re related to Folk Horror fandom, and it has a problem with the far right too. So this is about that problem, and about how the (specifically) pagan far right problem intersects with that.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Cult Cinema #15: Exiles Part 3

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2015-2019)

(I'm looking at Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt today. I will spoil episodes, of course, because that's what I do, but the main thing is that this is a show about a woman who spent fifteen years trapped in a bunker by a man who did exactly what you would expect the sort of man who would imprison a woman in a bunker for fifteen years to do, and if reading about this sort of thing would really ruin your day, you really need to stop reading now, because I talk about this a lot.)

Is it surprising that this is here? Really? After all, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is four seasons of a sitcom ostensibly about a cult survivor adjusting to a world she missed out on for a couple of decades. Obviously. That’s just the setup; there’s more to it than that. Possibly less, too.

Friday, 2 August 2019


Those who would detect his lies and fictions would need many books – Plutarch, The Malice of Herodotus

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The Action Movie Pulled Over Your Eyes

The Matrix (1999); The Matrix Reloaded (2003); The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

You've seen The Matrix, I expect. Even if you haven't, what if I told you that you've still got a half decent chance of being able to quote lines from the film?

(Also, what if I told you that Morpheus never says "What if I told you"? But I digress.)

So, Spoiler warnings are irrelevant, but here's one anyway. All the spoilers are here. All of them.

Like you care.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

What Poe Would Have Done

What say of it? What say of Failure grim,
That spectre in my path?”

Because when you quote Edgar Allan Poe,
Even for a cheap punchline or a laugh,
It is important to misquote, to chop and combine
Modern sentiment and old-time lit
An out-of-place word in a centuries-old line
Because, you must realise,
It’s what Poe would have done,
And you must hope that when you die
Alone under mysterious circumstances,
Paupered, ignored,
That you hold tight to the apprehension
That people might appreciate your work,
Your narrative flow, your dialogue,
Your focus, your texture,
Your grasp of dramatic tension
When you are gone;
It’s what Poe would have done.