May 9, 2018

Where Stories Come From: Essays - A CELEBRATION OF SLASHERS


So you're probably thinking...."Gee, Gordon, why are you involved with a Celebration of Slashers? After all, just because you wrote a short story about lady vampires doesn't make you a horror dude?"

Well, no...and technically, I cheated. Sort of.

(And although I enjoy horror films, my only major horror achievement was conning my parents into taking a teenaged me to see a triple bill of Cat People, American Werewolf in London, and Halloween 2).

I've spoken about my involvement with Paul Booth and DePaul's Pop Culture Conferences in a previous post. Last year, I opted not to participate in DePaul's Celebration of Harry Potter because 1) I'm not really a Harry Potter fan and 2) Mom was really sick...so when I saw this year's topic, I was...not impressed.

However, I was impressed with the keynote speaker - Rachel Talalay, who directed Doctor Who and was involved with the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. So I wanted to find an excuse to attend (and yes, I love seeing my name in print...I'm still gobsmacked over the reaction to my C2E2 Doctor Who panel)

So I suggested two topics, both of which appear in the A Celebration of Slashers book of essays/presentations.

My first presentation - since the Celebration was marking the 40th anniversary of Halloween - was a retrospective on John Carpenter's film career. And yes, I have seen every film Carpenter's made except The Ward.

The other essay I wrote concerned the "death" of Gothic horror in pop culture (or "How did we get from Hammer and Roger Corman's Poe adaptations to Halloween and Friday the 13th?"

Well, the answer involves Doctor Who, Richard Matheson, Dark Shadows, and a concept noted in this YouTube Video:



I won't go into too much detail, but suffice it to say...it was a gradual overuse of tropes.

This was a little different than my usual pop culture stalking grounds, and I'll be gobsmacked if I can think of something for next year's celebration (aka A Celebration of Disney), but for one shining moment...I was able to stretch my wings.

Be sure to purchase a copy of A Celebration of Slashers - all proceeds go to Good Girl Media, and quite honestly - there's some really good reading in it.

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