Fun to watch this again. Chris Sarandon plays a slinky vampire named Jerry. Roddy McDowell is the neurotic Van Helsing figure. And the inimitable Stephen Geoffreys steals the show as Evil Ed.
Category Archives: Gothic
This song references a key feature in the QAnon conspiracy theory.
And as long as we’re going goth:
Xmal Deutschland is a little colder and more distant:
Is there anybody better than Bauhaus?
Caspar David Friedrich
Monastery Cemetery in the Snow
Thinking about a unit on African American Gothic. There’s a ton of stuff out there on the wider genre of Gothic and many people have noted that literary genres such as the slave narrative are effectively Gothic texts. I tried doing something along these lines a few years ago. We used Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to talk about themes of captivity and haunting. Certainly you could read a film like Night of the Living Dead not only as a story about mass consumption but as a dramatization of the pro-segregation campaigns collectively known as ‘Massive Resistance’. Duane Jones, who plays the hero Ben, fends of soulless hordes driven by their zombie white-supremacist ideology. He would go on to act in Ganja & Hess, which takes up the vampire legend for its own purposes.
Here’s a photograph (left) made by Gordon Parks– better known perhaps as the director of the seminal blaxploitation film Shaft-– titled American Gothic, Washington, D.C. The visual rhyme with Grant Wood’s famous painting American Gothic (right) forms the basis of Parks’s resignifying gesture, one which is then complicated by the substitution of a US flag for the frame house in the original. If Wood called his painting American Gothic ironically, by virtue of the presence of a single arched (gothic style) window, does Parks’s choice of a flag indicate that the nation itself is (ridiculously, improbably) gothicky?
No Distance (225/310/425/485)
Bill Duke directed this adaptation of Chester Himes’s 1958 crime novel A Rage in Harlem.
Oxford Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms
Here’s a happy– if obvious– convergence: Slint’s “Nosferatu Man” set against clips from Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre.
Troubled and Twisted (485)
We’re moving on from Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives but I wanted to suggest the the ways that text and the ad hoc genre of domestic noir intersect with the course as a whole.
As we said in class the home is often idealized as a space of intimacy and nurturance– a sanctuary from the stress and low-grade violence of the streets. This view of domesticity maps directly onto the well-established ideology of “separate spheres,” a gendered distinction between public and private that has historically coded the home as feminine and the world of business and politics as its masculine obverse. Yet you’ll recall that in the Manifesto Marx and Engels note one of the key characteristics of capitalist modernity is the tendency for market relations to permeate even the institution of the family. There is no real outside to the demands of capital– its compulsions to compete and exploit.
I added a pdf to the course information page from Hughes, et al, Encyclopedia of the Gothic— entries titled “Degeneration”, “Commodity Gothicism”, and “Doubles”.