“Sink back into the ocean” The Affair (2014-2019) as Dystopian Parable

The opening credit sequence to Showtime’s The Affair (2014-2019) features Fiona Apple’s haunting original song “The Container.” The lyrics and the imagery portend a woman’s death as she “sinks back into the ocean.” The ocean is more than just a picturesque backdrop for this relationship drama set in the Hamptons town of Montauk; it isContinue reading ““Sink back into the ocean” The Affair (2014-2019) as Dystopian Parable”

“Whatever happened to Rosemary’s baby?”

Rosemary’s Baby, the second film in the Apartment Trilogy and arguably one of Roman Polanski’s best directorial efforts, is drawn from Ira Levin’s novel.  Levin took his own anxiety about impending fatherhood and crafted an engrossing and darkly comic story about young New Yorkers becoming parents to Satan’s child. When Paramount producer Robert Evans acquiredContinue reading ““Whatever happened to Rosemary’s baby?””

Hiding in the Shadows: Outpost (2008) & Outpost: Black Sun (2012)

Outpost (2008) and Outpost: Black Sun (2012) pits contemporary mercenary soldiers against reanimated Nazi apparitions in a bunker deep inside Eastern Europe. These military horror films combine Nazi occultist pseudo-science, zombie/ghost super soldiers, and unscrupulous capitalist ventures into the plots. The story begins with a shady businessman, Hunt (Julian Wadham), approaching ex-Royal Marine turned mercenary,Continue reading “Hiding in the Shadows: Outpost (2008) & Outpost: Black Sun (2012)”

Looking into the Abyss: The Keep (1983)

The Keep is a mesmerizing and incomprehensible arthouse horror film directed by Michael Mann.[i] Set in Romania in 1941, a Germany army unit led by Captain Klaus Woermann (Jürgen Prochnow) occupies a remote village adjacent to a strategic mountain pass. The village is home to an abandoned citadel known as the Keep. The Keep isContinue reading “Looking into the Abyss: The Keep (1983)”

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”