The 13th Floor

Films 

Power Through Slavery: HELLRAISER’s “Chatterer” and BDSM Culture

Clive Barker fans swooned when it was announced that the graphic novel HELLRAISER ANTHOLOGY: VOLUME 2 will feature an origin story for the “Chatterer” Cenobite; what’s more, the story is being written by Nicholas Vince, the actor who made that same character iconic in HELLRAISER (1987) and HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II (1988). The intimidating, semi-mute member […]

Films 

ROSEMARY’S BABY and the War on Women’s Reproductive Rights

Roman Polanski — perhaps the most unlikely commentator on women’s rights — made ROSEMARY’s BABY at an idealistic time. In 1960, the first birth control pill Enovid was placed on the pharmaceutical market thanks in part to Margaret Sanger. While “the pill” was originally prescribed for menstrual disorders and irregularities most women were secretly using […]

Films Music Real Life Scares 

CINEMA IN EXTREMIS: Erotic Artists INSIDE FLESH Blur the Line Between Sex and Horror [NSFW]

Welcome back, brave readers… this week, I’m going to be testing your tolerance in a slightly different way by daring to enter the endless, often hostile debate over the vague and ever-changing definitions of art and obscenity. I’m not going to recap the history of that argument; you can easily look up the works of […]

Films 

Blood is Blood: Queer Subtext in THE LOST BOYS

The first time I saw THE LOST BOYS, I was too young to acknowledge the reasons for its charm over me. It was a fun, subversive vampire movie with a rocking soundtrack. But as I got older, and started figuring things out about myself, the film took on new meanings for me. It was an allegory […]

Films 

Why KILLER CONDOM is Actually an Important Movie… No, Seriously

Sexual anxiety is a common theme in horror. There have been many, many great horror films over the ages to tackle humanity’s ongoing relationship with our own libidinous urges, and every nation has had a chance to weigh in on whatever sexual hysteria exists in their own culture. [Check out this earlier feature for a […]

Films 

Examining “Gay Panic” Themes in the Vampire Classic, FRIGHT NIGHT

In Harvard Professor Marjorie Garber’s invaluable 2000 work BISEXUALITY AND THE EROTICISM OF EVERYDAY LIFE (one of the only notable scholarly works on bisexuality, although Kenji Yoshino’s THE EPISTEMIC CONTRACT OF BISEXUAL ERASURE also comes recommended), she posits (to make a generality about her work) that bisexual women are typically eroticized in films to directly […]

Real Life Scares 

The Bizarre Link Between Head Trauma and Nymphomania

In 2004, John Waters made his wholly underrated film A DIRTY SHAME — a film that, given Waters’ general difficulty in finding financing, may prove to be his last. In it, a prudish Baltimore everywoman named Sylvia Stickles (the inimitable Tracey Ullman) sustains a horrible blow to the head in a car accident, and as a result […]

Films 

Feminism and Body Horror in Lars Von Trier’s ANTICHRIST

It takes a rather strong constitution to make it through Lars Von Trier’s rough-hewn horror session ANTICHRIST. Even if one has a taste for extreme gore (and who doesn’t love DEAD ALIVE?), some of the violent images folded into Von Trier’s bleak cinematic tapestry of depression will likely have even the strongest of viewers wincing […]

Nasal Sex: Sigmund Freud’s Most Bizarre Theory Ever?

Are you a Carl Jung person or a Sigmund Freud person? Do you believe that minds all connect to a collective unconsciousness, or do you believe that picking your nose is a sexual act? In a letter dated March 8th, 1895, famed father of psychiatry Sigmund Freud wrote to his friend Wilhelm describing a curious […]

Films 

Nine Great Horror Films About Sexual Hysteria

Horror films are about more than a visceral thrill, or indulging in one’s personal streak of cruelty (there is definitely a dark pleasure in watching fictionalized human bodies being rent, eviscerated, and sometimes eaten). Horror films, when they’re at least ambitious, tend to tap into universal human fears: our fear of the unknown, fear of […]