Chastity Bites (2013)

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Chastity Bites (2013) A delightful parody of vampire genre films with a feminist twist!

Director: John V. Knowles

Writer: Lotti Pharriss Knowles

Starring: Allison Scagliotti, Francia Raisa, Louise Griffiths

So I knew nothing about this movie going in. It was on TV and I had time to kill. I recognized the starring actress, the ever snarky Allison Scagliotti from the SyFy’s “Warehouse 13.” Her character, Leah, is a ball-busting student journalist who suspects the new abstinence program at her high school keeps all the girls virgins so to feed vampires.

“Chastity Bites” is silly old fun. Yes, there’s gore and the expected dead, slutty teenager tropes. What makes this movie stand out is how they balanced out this trope with satire and a refreshing feminist edge. The horror wasn’t scary per se, but nor did it try to be. The one-liners from Leah kept me laughing and I was impressed with the lesbian supporting character. She wasn’t just thrown there to titillate a (mostly male) audience with girl-on-girl action. Actually, if you’re looking for gratuitous girl-on-girl action, or hell, sex for (mostly male) consumption, you won’t find it here. Refreshing! I don’t mind sex in horror movies but it is so often one-sided.

This movie doesn’t punish the teenagers who have sex. Getting laid actually saves Leah’s life!

I recommend this movie for anyone who makes fun of sparkly vampire movies. It was campy but enjoyable all the way through. Might have to give this one a “B”.

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60 Black Women in Horror Writing

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Sixty Black Women in Horror Writing compiled by Sumiko Saulson

February is my favorite month to discover new authors. It is both Black History Month and Women In Horror Month (WiHM). Woohoo, double win! Sumiko Saulson’s unique compilation, 60 Black Women In Horror Writing is celebrates both holidays in grand style.

Some of the women profiled in this book are literary geniuses you’ve read before (Octavia E. Butler, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison) but Saulson also introduces us to talented women we’ve never never heard of, too. This book is comprised of interviews, essays, and short stories from the author, herself, and Crystal Connor and Eden Royce. Of the short stories I liked Crystal Connor’s “Amber’s New Friend” the best. I’m a sucker for southern gothic ghost stories, however all of the stories presented are worth a read.

Who Fears Death written by Nnedi Okorafor

 

All 60 women profiled at the beginning of the book are intriguing but I enjoyed Saulson’s seven author interviews most. I’m looking forward to reading Nnedi Okorafor’s “Who Fears Death.” No doubt influenced by two Nigerian (Igbo) parents, Okorafor’s novel combines magical realism and traditional African storytelling with a speculative, post apocalyptic edge. The main character is a shaman, Onyesonwu, whose name means “who fears death” in English. I adore speculative fiction of all stripes, but I especially go weak for marginalized narratives set outside of the West. Women of color are a rare sight in horror and by god we need to see more of them on the shelves! I say that as a woman of color who writes horror and as an unabashed lover of the genre. Neil Gaiman and Stephen King are great but there are other incredible horror sf/f authors out there, too. Let’s uplift them.

I know what cool books I’ll be adding to my To-Be-Read list this year. 60 Black Women in Horror is a welcome addition to any to-be-read list, don’t you think? Tell your friends, share, and please support these horror authors.

Women in horror unite!

 

Lady Death (2004)

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She’s wearing a thong garter set with thigh-high stiletto boots, a cape, and a badass push-up bra! But it’s the story I’m attracted to, not her cleavage, I promise. As the daughter of Lucifer, Lady Death’s destiny is to overthrow her father and take over his kingdom in Hell. She uses a sword to slay her enemies and she commands a demon army. Female sex appeal and nonstop action is my kinda story!

I’m reviewing the animated movie, but the original story comes from the graphic novel. The writer, Brian Pulido, was kind enough to chat with me on Twitter and now I’m kind of obsessed. I’m salivating for prints. I want to have it in my hands so I can ogle at will. *Sigh* You can buy back issues from Coffin Comics Shop.

And you can watch the whole movie on youtube if you desire

The movie is predictable but entertaining. It’s a little anime-esque. Large bubbly eyes and mouth flaps that don’t line up with the voice actors’ speech. I like the art in the graphic novels better, but hey, it’s an origins movie so whatever. Before Lady Death became a badass commander, she lived the life of an aristocrat in 1478 Sweden. When her father (Lucifer) kidnaps her boyfriend, Nikolo, and threatens to burn her at the stake, she agrees to join her father in hell to save him. There’s the obligatory training montage where she learns how to sword fight with Mathias, her second-in-command. The less clothes she wears, the stronger she becomes, apparently. Not that I mind, but yeah. Wearing little to no armor, she’s able to withstand blows from various bad guys and defeat all of her father’s cronies. Oh, and she sleeps in a peignoir (how does one find a sexy peignoir in hell? HOW? I want one!)

The movie ends with the expected FINAL EPIC BATTLE when Lady Death marches an army of demons to her father’s castle and defeats him. Sort of. I’ll review the graphic novels after I’ve read them–my hunch tells me the graphic novels are infinitely times better than the movie. At least, I hope they are! Anyway, I hope you guys check it out. It’s a fun, mindless romp with gore and a sexy protagonist.

Emilie Autumn Fights Like A Girl!

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Emilie Autumn is a classically trained violinist and a bipolar, vegan, and feminist rockstar. She writes goth music with a Victorian edge. She an original tour de force and her songs burst with self-righteous fervor. It’s scream-o on menses. Classic goth girl punk.  I have 2 full albums of hers: Opheliac and Laced/Unlaced. I also have a few singles floating around my iTunes: “Fight Like A Girl” and “Across The Sky,” however my favorite songs are still “Opheliac,” “Gothic Lolita,”Thank God I’m Pretty,” and um…yeah. I can’t pick a favorite song since nearly every song on the first disc of Opheliac is my favorite. Whenever I listen to Emilie Autumn, my boyfriend pokes his head in my room and begs me to turn down the “screeching.” Haha.

Her vocals are harsh, sharp, and piercing at times. But what draws me to back to her albums are the lyrics. I dig the angst. What can I say? I’m still a reformed goth girl at heart and Emilie Autumn calms the raging, whiny teen in me.

“Gothic Lolita” lyrics (I don’t own anything!)

If I am Lolita then you are a criminal,
and you should be killed by an army of little girls
The law won’t arrest you, the world won’t detest you
you never did anything any man wouldn’t do!

I’m Gothic Lolita and you are a criminal!
I’m not even legal, I’m just a dead little girl!
But ruffles and laces, and candy sweet faces,
directed your furtive hand

I perfectly understand, so it’s my fault

Nooooooo!

Read more: Emilie Autumn – Gothic Lolita Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Emilie Autumn’s life story is kinda amazing. She is a rape-suicide survivor and once did a stint in an insane asylum. She’s an animal rights activist, political LGBTQIA ally, and looks fierce in tight pink corsets. She wears a heart on her cheek to chase away bad juju. She’s an inspiration. It is my life’s mission to see this woman in concert. If any of you minions score some tickets, please send them over. I will love you forever and ever?

I guess it’s more than the music. I like seeing women kick ass. And that’s something Emilie Autumn certainly excels at. 🙂

The Woman (Review/Rant)

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OK, minions. So I almost didn’t post this review because the movie pissed me off so much. A little background before we jump into it, shall we?

The Woman (2011) is based off of Jack Ketchum’s novel and is directed by Lucky McKee. It stars Sean Bridgers and Pollyanna McIntosh. Basic premise of the movie is about a family man who captures a feral woman he finds in the woods, locks her up in his garage, and attempts to “civilize” her. By “civilize,” of course I mean RAPE, TORTURE, and CANNIBALISM. I was so close to stopping the movie and chucking my remote control at my TV. Like seriously. How does shit like this get produced?

In the first five minutes The Woman (who is never named) kills a puppy, births a baby, and skips in the wilderness with a wolf—all accompanied by rock music and weird montages. Suburban Dad finds The Woman frolicking in the woods, shoots her, and chains her up in his garage. She bites his wedding finger off when he tries to touch her, which he then shouts: “That is not civilized behavior!” before knocking her out.

The family decides to keep The Woman in the garage. Because, you know, she’s so much better than a mountain lion and everything. (Yes, this is a direct quote)

We’re introduced to Suburban Dad’s ridiculous family. There’s Peg, the jailbait daughter who is pregnant (spoiler: Suburban Dad is the father!), Belle, the battered wife who is slapped, punched, and berated throughout the film, and finally Bryan, the 12-yr-old psychopath son who rapes The Woman just before tearing her nipples off with pliers. Dear God. I actually sat through the whole thing!

This film unsuccessfully tries to disguise rape/torture porn as some sort of morality lesson. It FAILED because I was offended and put-off. This is as anti-feminist and misogynistic as a movie could be. The constant torture is disgusting and has the potential to trigger. Unlike most horror films that allude to rape, this movie goes ahead and shows every glorifying detail. Power-hosing a woman who is chained to a wall and using pliers, nail guns, and other torture devices on her sexual organs is NOT cool. It’s not even horror at that point; it’s just gratuitous violence and rape.

This movie gets an “F.” I won’t be watching anything else this director puts out either.