Overlord (2018): Killing Privat Zombie

The 2018 film Overlord is a thrilling, big budget addition to the military horror genre. Set on the eve of D-Day, the film embeds the audience in a platoon of paratroopers hurtling towards their priority target deep behind German lines. The opening sequence is intense and exciting as transport craft explode in mid-air and ourContinue reading “Overlord (2018): Killing Privat Zombie”

The Terminator (1984) and the Art of Industrial Genocide

“They say it got smart, a new order of intelligence. Then it saw all people as a threat, not just the ones on the other side. Decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination.”                                                                         -Kyle Reese, The Terminator (1984) There is nothing subtle about The Terminator, James Cameron’s breakthrough film released two years after BladeContinue reading “The Terminator (1984) and the Art of Industrial Genocide”

Shockwaves (1977) and The Birth of the Nazi Zombie Genre

What disappeared has every chance of reappearing – Jean Baudrillard The spate of Nazisploitation films in the late 1960s and 70s offer some insight into how audiences remembered the Third Reich and Holocaust a generation removed from the event.  Both fascinated and appalled by its extraordinary atrocities, audiences were drawn to Nazi themes in horrorContinue reading “Shockwaves (1977) and The Birth of the Nazi Zombie Genre”

Through the Peephole: Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965)

“When it comes to cinema, evil is simply a form of entertainment to me” – Roman Polanski French-Polish director Roman Polanski’s experiences as a child Holocaust victim and survivor left an indelible mark on his brilliant and controversial career. Born in Paris in 1933 to parents with Jewish ancestry, the Polanski family moved to Krakow,Continue reading “Through the Peephole: Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965)”

“Why this little girl?” Exorcising Existential Despair after the Holocaust

William Friedkin never intended to direct a horror film when he decided to explore the details of the 1949 exorcism of Roland Poe and adapt William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel, The Exorcist. “I attempted to make it as realistic possible,” he said, “At the very most, I think it could be called a work ofContinue reading ““Why this little girl?” Exorcising Existential Despair after the Holocaust”

Operation Paperclip: Fact & Fiction in Hunters

Some SPOILERS ahead Amazon’s series Hunters is an unapologetic revenge fantasy inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds (2010). From the gleeful torture and murder of Nazis to the unexpected detours in historical truth and even the visual style, David Weil’s story of Holocaust survivors wreaking havoc on a shadow Fourth Reich conspiracy blends QT’s filmContinue reading “Operation Paperclip: Fact & Fiction in Hunters”

Network Nazis: Star Trek’s “Patterns of Force”

The original Star Trek series laudably promoted inclusiveness and provided progressive social commentary during the turbulent late-1960s. With an international and diverse crew, the USS Enterprise travels the universe guided by the Prime Directive prohibiting the Starfleet from interfering in the development of other civilizations and imposing its will on others. This principle was putContinue reading “Network Nazis: Star Trek’s “Patterns of Force””

Pre-order Planet Auschwitz (30% Discount)

Advance copies of Planet Auschwitz are on their way to me as I write this and the good people at Rutgers University Press are offering a 30% discount for pre-orders. I am happy to speak about the book any time in any venue. Just contact me at crim@lynchburg.edu

V (1983): It can happen here

The popular 1983 SF miniseries V begins with a solemn and genuine tribute: “To the heroism of the Resistance Fighters – past, present, and future – this work is respectfully dedicated.”[i] Kenneth Johnson, a successful TV writer and producer working in several genres wanted to adopt Sinclair Lewis’ classic 1935 novel It Can’t Happen HereContinue reading “V (1983): It can happen here”

Violent Delights: The Gynoid from Metropolis (1927) to Westworld (2016 – )

The trailer for season three of Westworld reveals that the action has finally left the park for the “real world.”  Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) seems poised to bring down the corrupt civilization responsible for an atrocity like Westworld. Dolores’ transformation from the sweet and virginal farmer’s daughter to the suddenly “woke” vengeful revolutionary isContinue reading “Violent Delights: The Gynoid from Metropolis (1927) to Westworld (2016 – )”