Saturday, July 11, 2020

Isolation: Day 120



Some time back in late 2018, my good friend Jesus gifted me a Blu Ray copy of the film Summer of 84. At the time when I first watched it, the film seemed a little too derivative of Stranger Things. Kids on Bikes felt like it was becoming the new Steampunk, i.e. ubiquitous to the point of losing me. Still, I ended up digging the movie that first time.

Yesterday, I came home from work and, as has become my custom, cuddled up with my cat on the couch to take a nap. I generally put Shudder TV on, find something mildly interesting, and nod in and out while I watch. This has been a great way for me to see a lot of films I can't commit to in the course of my regular, evening viewing. Anyway, 84 came on and I fell into it. I felt pretty much the same for most of the movie, and then the last ten minutes or so happened and I finally 'got' what the filmmakers were trying to do. Much like Twin Peaks purposely took on the language of the night time soap opera in order to completely subvert it, Summer of 84 puts on a Stranger Things costume just to turn it on its head at the end. Chilling is the only word I have for it, especially after seeing on Reddit where in a post-screening interview, the directors - Fran├žois Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell -  stated they would never make a sequel because - and this is me quoting someone paraphrasing - "The terror was from the ending as it was, and to make a sequel would take away some of the effect."

That's fucking hardcore.

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The new issue of Fangoria arrived this past Thursday. Look at that cover! The cover story is based on a comic strip Patton Oswalt sent in to Fango in 1984, and the print the entire thing. It's fantastic.



With information about Fangoria's parent company Cinestate coming out on how they ignored one of their producers who sexually harassed women on set coming on top of former Fango head of acquisitions being accused of harassment, it seems that everyone is jumping ship from the magazine.

Not me.

I don't really understand cancel culture in general, but this is insane. The moment the Cinestate story broke, Fangoria Editor in Chief Phil Noble, Jr. posted that Fangoria was looking for new owners, and the head of acquisitions in film had been on board for probably a year since coming over from the same position at Dread Central's film division. He stepped down from Fango immediately, and from what I've seen, there's no suggestion that anyone at Fangoria even knew about his actions. So why then did Shockwaves, Mick Garris, and a host of others dump their association with the beloved Horror mag? Why did one of my favorite new authors not only pull his upcoming book from Fangoria's publishing imprint, but also post a letter to his social media saying that although he has never sexually abused or harassed anyone, he realizes this may have hurt people and he apologizes (I think that's what it says. It's really confusing)?

This apologizing for for nothing is a panicked overreaction in the age of the SJW and cancel culture, and I think it sucks. People are pulling their association with the magazine as a preemptive strike, which is seems more than a little like being guilty until proven innocent. Until someone shows me Fangoria itself actively ignored or fostered this stuff, I'm sticking in as a fan.

The re-launch has been such an amazing vessel for critical and thought-provoking Horror discussion. Much more than the later days of the original magazine's iteration. I never consistently read any of the horror mags when I was younger, but I'd pick them up on occasion and, through the 00s when I worked at Borders, read them on break. By that time, Fangoria paled in comparison to Rue Morgue, in my opinion. No longer the case. Rue Morgue and Horror Hound are still great, but the new volume of Fangoria is fantastic from an academic perspective, and I think everyone who is afraid of the SWJs swooping down on them are going to regret their actions, especially if it tanks the magazine. If you didn't do anything wrong, you didn't do anything wrong. Period. I reject absolutely the idea that everyone on Earth with a penis is a rapist by default, and although I absolutely believe predators of any kind need to be stopped, outed, and punished, guilt by association is not a good thing. One of my closest friends in high school turned out to be a murderer and rapist, and at the time that came out, a lot of people cast suspicions and, on a few occasions, borderline accusations at those of us who hung around him. Although he was my friend, I didn't know what he was capable of, and I certainly did not condone or take part in it. That's the example I use as my guide.

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Playlist:

Brainiac - Bonsai Superstar
The Chameleons UK - Strange Times
The Chameleons - Script of the Bridge
Le Matos - Summer of '84 OST
Zombi - Shape Shift

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Short story almost finished, time for something new.

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