Thursday, January 3, 2013

Two Very Different Tales of Horror

Jane Levy ("Suburgatory") in The Evil Dead
After five and a half years, regular readers know how much I love Horror Movies and how much I loathe hypocritical homophobes. Yet, they have something very much in common: they're both scary, though in very different ways.

Horror Movies are escapist nonsense, tapping into fear of not just death, but losing control of the circumstances surrounding our lives. Fighting against forces from beyond; escaping and/or killing the homicidal maniac; sending the demon(s) back to hell or beating the devil at his own game allows us a vicarious sense of empowerment. And even when a Horror Movie ends with the villain(s) victorious, we know that when the lights come up in the auditorium at the end we have survived and our own lives are better than the victims of the maniac/demon/ghost/monster that killed all those horny teenagers.

The same can't be said for the hypocritical homophobe. These people are far more insidious than any film monster, gnawing away at the truth like sewer vermin and spewing their own self-loathing in an attempt to feel better about themselves, regardless of the pain and suffering of their targets. Such behavior couldn't be more apparent than what 'Reverand' Joseph Sciambra (who claims to not only be an 'ex-gay' but a former gay 'porn star) has to say in the repellant video (via) posted below (probably NSFW):

Yes, most professional sex-trade workers probably suffer from low self-esteem -- though I personally know of at least one retired adult performer who loved what he did while he was doing it. Still, without the right mindset, porn actors rarely end up as successes in their later lives. But that certainly doesn't mean any one of them gave 'anal birth' to demons. Sciambra (obviously still gay, despite his claims of 'redemption') proves my point with his looney claims. The dangerous notion that one can change sexuality through prayer continues to be one of the leading causes of suicide among young LGBT people who feel guilt at having failed to live up to the ridiculous religious standards set by their families and churches. I can't imagine anything scarier than hating myself just for being who I am.

Personally, I prefer my horror to be gory, gruesome and fictional. I was living in CA when Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead was released in 1981 and my (very liberal) Christian sister called to tell me about the 'scariest movie' she'd ever seen. Of course, I had to go. Imagine my surprise and disappointment at seeing a rather silly, low-budget movie that hardly made any sense at all. It wasn't until Raimi's 1987 satirical sequel that I truly appreciated what he and his brothers were trying to say about the genre. And while I do have a special place in my heart for Army of Darkness, the concept had pretty much been reduced to the equivalent of a Three Stooges haunted house short by the time it was released. Indeed, that was long before "This is my boomstick!" became an internet meme.

Of course, the musical stage version of Evil Dead was nothing short of brilliant and remains on my short list of shows I desperately want to direct:

When it was announced that a reboot was on the way, I joined the haters in denouncing the need for it. But having now seen the red-band trailer for director Fede Alverez's film, I think I have to take back everything I said about it, previously. Given the advances in SFX technology and the support of Raimi and original star (and genre legend) Bruce Campbell, I honestly cannot wait to see the new version of the story. The trailer, in all it's gory glory, is below, though I must caution those who are the least bit squeamish.

I've already scheduled a long-awaited man-date with my friend James, to see the new version. I can't wait!

More, anon.

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