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Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Halloween Shenanigans...

I'd love to report on some new Black film, but nothing has come directly in my radar. I know there is "Good Hair", but for the life of me, I can't seem to be able to force myself to see it. After being told for most of my life that I have "good hair" by stylists (always making me cringe), I find the subject extremely tired, and wish it would be buried. I wear my hair natural and curly, flat ironed, kinky twisted, weaved, braided--and it has nothing to do with my esteem, just fashion and how I feel like wearing it. Can we just let Black women wear their hair the way they want to and leave it at that? I have met plenty of "natural hair" wearing folks that are perfect a-holes, trust. 'Nuff said (not knocking those with natural locks, btw).

Anyhoo, like I said, I have been on a quest to find some Black film to report. After looking forward to attending the Hollywood Film Festival this weekend, I was extremely disappointed to learn that there were no films featuring Brown people on the program list (at least that I could see). I don't mind seeing all types of film, but I am not down with obvious exclusion. Hey, note to the YT film festivals: do you really still have no clue that your events will be 100 times more interesting and well attended if you have even a smidgen of diversity? Just damn!

So I have busied myself with enjoying the October/Halloween offerings, at the movies and on cable. Along with all of the usual Vincent Price standard fanfare, I went to see "Zombieland". There were tons of plot holes abound, but it was the best fun time I've had at a film in a while...I even bought candy, drinks, and popcorn, something I never do at the highway-robbery prices, cause it was the type of film that made you want to have the full movie experience.

I also saw "Paranormal Activity", the kind of real horror film that Ms. I digs very much. There has been a real dearth of horror films over the past decade...I've said this before--I don't consider slasher films real horror film. How many times can you you see some masked dude use a sickle/ax/knife/whatever to kill stupid teenagers and unsuspecting folks minding their own business? And "Saw" and "Hostel" and it's ilk? Just sick in my opinion.

Real horror films are quieter, more involving, and inspire a great sense of dread...usually based in the supernatural. They make you care about the characters, and are based in realism. "The Blair Witch Project" was great, so was "Signs" and "Cloverfield", cause to me it was how real folks would react in real situations in modern times. "Paranormal Activity" was also a complete and total testament that an excellent film could be made on basically no money ($15,000)....this was the real deal to me as far as what defines horror.

Which brings me to this...a subject that comes up here and in my email quite often is why aren't there more Black horror films? I mean, I don't feel "Somebody Help Me" with Omarion and Marques Houston really counted, cause not only was it completely generic, all of the rest of the cast was non-Black. We have "Tales From The Hood", which was a good try, and slightly amusing, but on the horror scale, maybe about a four. What to choose from? "Vampire in Brooklyn" (which I reviewed here)? Da Hip Hop Witch with Ja Rule, Pras, and Vanilla Ice? Crazy As Hell? Frankenhood?

Yes, pickings are slim for a modern Black horror film. "Blacula", as low budget as it was, was at least involving. It seems like we have go back to the '70's once again to see how it's done. One film I would definitely like to give light to ( I talked about it once before here-please click to see beautiful images) is "Ganja and Hess". This is the synopsis on IMDB:

"Dr. Hess Green, an archaeologist overseeing an excavation at the ancient civilization of Myrthia, is stabbed by his research assistant, who then commits suicide. When Hess wakes up, he finds that his wounds have healed, but he now has an insatiable thirst for blood. It turns out that the knife he was stabbed with carried ancient germs that have turned him into a vampire. Soon after, Hess meets his former assistant's wife, Ganja. Though Ganja is initially concerned about her missing husband, she soon falls for Hess. Though they are initially happy together, Ganja will eventually learn the truth about Hess, and about her husband. Will she survive the revelation? Will Hess?"

In the classic real horror movie vein, this film takes it's time, creates atmosphere, draws you into it's visuals and establishes a real story. My beloved Sergio had this to say on a recent comment:

[To] answer Lenox Ave you ought to check out Ganja and Hess, a very weird vampire film (of sorts) made in the early 70's directed by Bill Gunn, who died 20 years ago. I saw it many many years ago with Gunn in attendance (UH OH! Must Love Loves here I go again showing my age) It was recut and butchered in various forms to make it more commercial but it's been restored to its original version and now available on DVD from Image Entertainment. Thanks for reminding me about it. I've been meaning to get a copy myself.

I encourage all of you that are thirsty for Black horror film to see it--buy the video or rent it online and view on your computer for $2.99 HERE at Amazon. And to to read more about Black Horror Films from the '30's to the present, click HERE for Black Horror Films.Com--probably the most comprehensive online.

And all of you aspiring screenwriters--what's up? How about the horror thing? If you really have it as writer, then guess what? You can do it on a shoestring...just do your research and look around even just a little bit. It's time to redefine the genre--we should not have to back 35 years to find something decent, yes?

Speaking of Sergio, we will be on the infamous Afronerd's podcast tonight (10/24) talking about what else? Black Cinema, after Michaela Angela Davis is on. I will be listening, as Michaela got into an online beef with one of my favorite bloggers that I very much stan for. Sergio posted this:

I know that Tyler Perry will be profiled on this coming Sunday’s 60 Minutes, but do you really think anything is going to be revealed about Perry that we don’t know about already? (But then if he was finally to come out on the show that’s a different matter altogether) However I wanted you folks out there to know that Invisible Woman of Invisible Woman Cinema and I be on tomorrow’s podcast of DBurt’s Afronerd Radio from 7:-8:30PM Eastern time – 6-7:30PM Central . The first half of the show her of the wild wild hair (and I love it) cultural and social critic and fashionista Michaela Angela Davis will be the guest for the first half of the show and IW and I will be on the second half to talk about the state Black cinema in 2009. Hope you can take a listen and of course the show will be available for playback anytime after that broadcast on Afronerd’s website,

Feel free to call in at: 646-915-9620 or via email/


Max Reddick said...

I remember The Thing with Two Heads I think I put it on Best of the Worst Blaxploitation list. It's one of the those movies that is so bad that it actually has some redeeming value. Also, I'm looking for a copy of Sugar Hill. Remember that one about black zombies. Know where I can pick up a copy?

clnmike said...

Lol, I have seen 4 of the 6 movies shown at the top, Blacula 1 & 2 were the best of them.

Invisible Man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Invisible Man said...

Actually I hear there is new Black horror movie called

"Unemployment Office in Da Hood!"

Lenoxave said...

I'll make sure and check out Ganja & Hess. Yeah!

Urban Thought said...

I saw Paranormal Activity twice -- once was enough. These type of films I don't normally flock to the box office to see, however this go round I not disappointed. My only grip is that it took so long for something interesting to happen. At one point, it was so boring that I started to analysis the dynamic of the couples relationship.

Old School Fridays said...

I'm desperate for a good black movie, that is why I'm promoting Precious. I know it's probably another Antoine Fisher, but that's all I have to look forward to right now. I just need a black film.

Do you do your interview?

bigphill said...

I own ganja and hess, and to be honest I think it is the most over-rated indie black film maybe of all time. I bought it because I kept hearing so many good things about it and decided to add it to my collection. Maybe the most over-rated is a stretch, but I just had a hard time watching it.

Invisible Woman said...

@max: i tried to find sugar hill, but it seems to be out of stock everywhere...i remember seeing the thing with two heads as a kid, and thought it was ridiculous even then, haha

@clmike: 4 out of 6? oh no! lol braver than me

@spook: now THAT is funny! (and scary)

@lenox ave: i wanna see it too

Invisible Woman said...

@urbanthought: haha i analyzed it to...but i thought waiting for something to happen incited a feeling of dread...i like horror films that are more about what you don't see than what you see.

@mgv: no, i STILL didnt do it :-( let me know your thought on the movie--did you like it or no?

@bigphill: welcome. i still am gonna order it out of curiosity...i will post about it so check back--i have a sometimes quirky taste in flix