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Glitchcraft: Self-Reflexive Horror, Genre, and Technology

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Storytelling wouldn’t be anything without technology, and neither would genre; horror itself is so shaped and defined by the ways that we tell it, make it, and create it. From viral videotapes to mysterious records that contain bewitching spells, the technology filmmakers and artists use says as much about them, about horror, and about creation itself as the stories themselves. Urban legends spread through word of mouth in a marginalized community in one film, and are hidden from the public by the government despite heavy filmic evidence in another. These films are great horror movies, sure; but they’re also about the horror genre and how technology impacts how we interact, engage, and are shaped by those stories, technology more broadly, and the ongoing conversation between horror, technology and audiences.
The shared love of exploitation movies, B movies, and other trash treasures can be found in the DNA throughout all of Robert Rodriguz (Spy Kids, From Dusk Till Dawn) and Quentin Tarantino’s (Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds) careers. In 2007, they embarked on a project, while also enlisting the help of fellow trash lovers Rob Zombie, Edgar Wright, and Eli Roth, to bring back the kind of dirty, lurid, vulgar movies they loved as a kid and that they would watch on video. Taking its name from the slang term these movie houses and drive in theatres were called (from the way the reels would just grind through projector after projector), the two created a bizarre and brilliant memory project, a real double feature with their own versions, odes, and idealizations of glorious B-movies: Rodriguez with his zombie apocalypse extravaganza Planet Terror, starring Rose McGowan as a stripper with a machine gun leg; and Tarantino’s Death Proof, a slasher movie where the killer uses a souped up muscle car to take out his victims, with Kurt Russell as psychotic Stuntman Mike. A thrillingly entertaining experiment in nostalgia, each film featuring favorite tropes and cliches and riddled with scratches and film damage, Grindhouse relishes in the beauty of cinematic vulgarity.

Glitchcraft: Self-Reflexive Horror, Genre, and Technology

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