Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Polidori Vampyre Symposium, April 2019

John William Polidori by F.G. Gainsford
John Polidori published his tale The Vampyre in 1819. It is well known that his vampire emerged out of the same storytelling contest at the Villa Diodati in 1816 that gave birth to that other archetype of the Gothic heritage, Frankenstein’s monster. Present at this gathering were Polidori (who was Byron’s physician), Mary Godwin, Frankenstein’s author; Claire Clairmont, Percy Shelley, and (crucially) Lord Byron.

Byron’s contribution to the contest was an inconclusive fragment about a mysterious man characterized by ‘a curious disquiet’. Polidori took this fragment and turned it into the tale of the vampire Lord Ruthven, preying on the vulnerable women of society.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Review: Gallery of Horror (1967)

Gallery of Horror (1967) presents five horror tales based on stories written by Canadian Russ Jones, of Creepy and Eerie fame. Producer/Director David L. Hewitt was not a fan of horror movies, and this disinterest clearly had an impact on the film, which explains the lack of blood (and horror) one expects from, well, a horror film.

It's a good example of a really bad movie made on the cheap, utilizing an overabundance of stock footage (of varied quality) that was added to make it look like it cost more than $30K to make. It's the kind of movie where classic horror stars of the silver screen went to die, and in this case the poor souls are John Carradine and Lon Chaney Jr.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

CFP: Monsters, Aug 2019 in Lisbon

This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference seeks to investigate and explore the enduring influence and imagery of monsters and the monstrous on human culture throughout history. In particular, the project will have a dual focus with the intention of examining specific ‘monsters’ as well as assessing the role, function and consequences of persons, actions or events identified as ‘monstrous’. The history and contemporary cultural influences of monsters and monstrous metaphors will also be examined with a view to forming a selective publication to engender further collaboration and discussion.