Hurricane Aaron is Howelling Through

CW: Incest, assault, abuse.

Hurricane Aaron is a film about brothers in tragedy. J.R. Howell’s first feature film takes viewers on a series of twists and turns that may leave some queasy, but thoroughly intrigued about the psyche, and rage, of its main characters, Aaron and Cory. There is more than just horror that lurks under the skin of this film. GenderTerror had a chance to interview the director, writer, and score creator, J.R. Howell about his psychosexual thriller and other upcoming projects.

GenderTerror: Why horror, especially queer horror?

J.R. Howell: My first horror movie ever was A Nightmare On Elm Street, which I saw when I was five years old. I love the thrill that horror movies provide. As I grew older, I similarly fell in love with the science fiction genre. One of the things so attractive about science fiction is the social commentary it provides through allegory or speculation. Truly great science fiction can be mind-blowing in that way. Lately, mainstream science fiction feels like it’s lost its soul and offers up action movies in space with tacky tech without really having any deeper meaning. Films like this seem to be evolving cinema to a medium without narrative. Yet, at the same time, horror is picking up the slack. Over the last few years, we’re seeing films marketing as “high concept horror.” Of course the truth is almost all horror is in some way “high concept.” Nevertheless, some horror films have taken a more overt approach to directly assert their attempt at social commentary, which is an astonishing effort when you think about it. Many criticisms of mega budget films that go on to tremendous financial success is that they’re too devoid of meaning so as to appeal to the widest audience as possible across countries and cultures. Yet, there’s a subgenre of horror that’s openly asserting that its making social critiques, come what may. I absolutely love that courage. So for these reasons I wanted to take on the social issues referred to in the film using horror.

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Men as Prey: Under The Skin’s Connection to Gay Victimization

CW:  So, just as a heads-up, this analysis is going to talk about sexual assault, rape, and murder involving hetero and homosexual individuals.

It is extremely hard to deny the feminist underpinnings that are at the heart of the film adaptation of Under the Skin. Scarlett Johansson’s otherworldly predator of a protagonist takes on the body of a woman in order to lure and then harvest the young men of Scotland, secure in their belief that nothing terrible could happen to them. As the movie progresses, though, she starts to take on a slow understanding and identification with that new form, to the point where she begins to be objectified and victimized herself. This character is ripe for analysis, but I feel that from a bisexual perspective, something begins to show itself by analyzing the film’s alien together with the men she chooses to lure to their deaths. The upheaval of the narrative of the woman victim and the male sexual predator, the flipping of this all-too-familiar story, is a compelling hook to hang the narrative on. It is also reminiscent of something that is also all-too-familiar to the queer male community and has hung over it like a dark cloud. Under The Skin can be interpreted as a look into how the gay community has to deal with opening itself to a dangerous world of predatory and sometimes fatal behavior when dating.

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Dead For Filth Presents: The Glam & Gore Picture Show!

The Glam & Gore Picture Show, presented by Dead for Filth Michael Varrati, focuses on bringing a queer twist to classic horror movies. Presented for free every Saturday by queer streaming site REVRY, The Glam & Gore Picture Show digs deeper into films such as Nosferatu and The Last Man On Earth.

Through a mix of wit and inspiration from horror greats like Elvira, Varrati brings a wonderfully queer twist that is sure to capture and delight all viewers. The Glam & Gore Picture Show hopes to bring horror classics to a younger generation as well as those newly into queer horror. Queer horror has been around for many years, including being pervasive in many of the classics.

Varrati is no newcomer to the screen or horror either. Not only has Varrati been the host for the queer horror podcast Dead For Filth, but he has also worked as a screenwriter, columnist, and actor. His name can be found in the credits for such movies as Tales of Poe, Flesh for the Inferno, and The Sins of Dracula. To top his amazing resume off, Varrati is also the host of the yearly San Diego Comic Con panel “Queer Fear”. If there is a person suited for this job, Varrati is the guy.

At the time of this writing, two episodes are currently out to watch for free on REVRY, with three more on the way. Dead For Filth can also be found on REVRY, as well as iTunes.

The final episode of The Glam & Gore Picture Show will drop on Halloween, so be sure to catch-up while there is still time!

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