Nina Auerbach | Our Vampires, Ourselves
Iranian vampire Westerns aren’t really a thing. But writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night changes that.
omg omg so excited for this film
"These depictions were mainly of alluring Voodoo witches, magical Voodoo maids, and lusty African tribe women. Most notable for these depictions were Ingagi (1930), White Zombie (1932), King Kong (1933), and Black Moon (1934). In the 1930s, it was “Black women’s sexuality—not Black romance or love—that captured the attention and imagination of image-makers during the 1930s horror cycle." One prominent exception in rare form was Madame Sul-Te-Wan who took an uncredited role as a Native Handmaiden in King Kong. She was also a Ruva in Black Moon and played a central role in Maid In Salem (1937) as Tituba.
Madame Sul-Te-Wan in Maid In Salem
Although horror in the 1940s had its share of minstrelsy, “Black horror” emerged even more “as the horror genre saw some of its most compelling stories, unique characterizations, and thoughtful treatments of Black life and culture" at its time in films like Son of Ingagi (1940) and I Walked With A Zombie (1943). Actress Laura Bowman has been lauded for her role as Dr. Helen Jackson in Son of Ingagi directed by African American filmmaker Spencer Williams Jr. In addition, Williams sought to change popular depictions of Blacks in horror as complex, balanced individuals.”
"Rochelle had notable scenes that demonstrated both her confrontation with overt racism and the affects of those encounters in her reasoning for becoming a witch as well as passing comments that could easily be missed if one is not looking. Remember, "Make me blonde!"? That was hard to overlook when remembering her confrontation in the bathroom with Laura when she demanded to know why she was being verbally harrassed. Rochelle simply wanted to blend in instead of just being who she was. The Craft did a better job out of this group of giving all four central female roles more depth regardless and in mind of race.”
I have ONLY EVER heard men (and typically white men, but I am less comfortable assuming that) say this thing about how the reason we respond to horror movies, etc, is that as humans, somewhere secretly deep down we really identify with whatever kind of evil is going on. I DO NOT BUY THIS, it makes me so mad!
Not at all saying that it’s only white men who identify with villains/darkness/evil in fiction; obviously I identify with ghosts and witches to a degree that’s maybe kind of troubling and weird. BUT I have never identified with a slasher or the Joker or whoever, and I’m pretty sure that the reason anyone does is that these villains are pretty specifically constructed out of their own specific (white male) desires & anxieties?? We identify with the evils that are made for us, the ones that are made from us, and I’m terrified by the men who act like their response to really specific kinds of evil is JUST A HUMAN THING :)
A Tale of Two Sisters
I Spit on your Grave
Play Misty for Me
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
The Last House on the Left
The Loved Ones
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
(forgetting many) any suggestions to add?