“I am Anne Frank” The Holocaust as American Horror Story (Pt. 1)

FXs successful series American Horror Story (2011- ) (AHS) embeds its impressive ensemble cast in a different narrative each season, taking viewers on a journey through America’s aberrant obsessions and preternatural fears – murder houses, clowns, witches, serial killers, the ascension of Donald Trump and his followers, and most recently, the Apocalypse.  Showrunners Ryan MurphyContinue reading ““I am Anne Frank” The Holocaust as American Horror Story (Pt. 1)”

The SS Comes to Appalachia: Joel Schumacher’s Blood Creek (2009)

Joel Schumacher’s Lost Boys (1987) reinvigorated the vampire genre by situating a teenage coming of age story in a small coastal California town beset by biker vampires. Starring a host of popular young actors, Lost Boys enjoyed tremendous commercial success and quickly entered cult status. Schumacher revisits the genre with Blood Creek (2009), a smallerContinue reading “The SS Comes to Appalachia: Joel Schumacher’s Blood Creek (2009)”

The View from Hell: Dominion, Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)

Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005) explores Father Merrin’s origin story, firmly entrenching his trauma and temporary loss of faith in a Holocaust narrative. Directed by Paul Schrader, Dominion begins in 1944 with a young Merrin (Stellen Skarsgǻrd) serving as a parish priest in a small Dutch town. An SS unit arrives seeking retribution forContinue reading “The View from Hell: Dominion, Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)”

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)”

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”

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””