Duane Jones Contribution to Horror

Duane Jones Contribution to Horror

by Stacy

 

duane jones HA

Born on February 2, how fitting to think of Duane Jones in this month. Not just to remember his life, but to remember his impact in the African American community of horror. He holds the first main stream lead role for any African American in a horror movie. His role of Ben in Night of the Living Dead acknowledges Duane’s talent to play a strong lead in what would become an iconic movie.

George Romero went on to direct Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, both movies Dr. Duane Jones never watched prior to his early death at the age of 51. Duane devoted his life and talent to teaching the art of acting and acting himself. At the time of his death, he was head of the Theater Department at the State University of New York at Old Westbury. He was never married, and didn’t have children. He was married to acting and his students were his children.

In 1987, Dr Jones gave a rare interview to a journalist at Fangoria, Tim Ferrante, quoted as saying:

“The thing that used to bother me the most was that interviewers just assumed that we were a bunch of amateur actors. It was an interesting mix of amateurs and professional actors, which was even more clever on George’s part.”

This gave us the idea that Jones had respect for George Romero and his fellow actors, further solidifying the journalist’s observation:

“The moment he spoke you just knew he was a special human being. He was gracious, fiercely intelligent, funny, charming, respectful…it was impossible not to like him. It was his practice to not draw attention to himself. He wasn’t going to live in a world that forever identified ‘Duane Jones’ as the star of “Night of the Living Dead” and nothing else. “Night” was a mere sliver of his life”

Duane Jone’s role of Ben in Night of the Living Dead opened eyes that African Americans can hold strong, level headed roles in movies. He also, by way of teaching in theater, equipped his student actors with the inspiration needed in order to be successful in their own goals and talents. His life may have been shorten by a fatal heart attack, but his legacy lives today through his students and beyond through the impact of his iconic role.

 

For further reading and sources used :

 

IMBD

Rotten Tomatoes

www.thewrap.com

 

 

 

My Life My Horror: On the Dearth of Black Characters in Horror Movies

My Life My Horror:

 On the Dearth of Black Characters in Horror Movies
by
James Goodridge

7c0a4462-4171-4f56-839a-7e1ab7dc9672You can say I am old school when it comes to the genre of horror.My thing was the old Universal movies of the 1930’s and 40’s. A love for Hammer Studios,with their naughty but classy out put of films during the late 1950’s up until their fall back in the 70’s were stuff of legend.William Castle, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and John Carradine were the go to guys when it came to macabre reruns for me as a child growing up in New York in the late 1960’s. Not understanding why Las Musarañas Asesinas - The Killer Shrews - Ray Kellogg - 1959 - 003 (1)the six o’ clock news would show soldiers shooting into jungle brush in a place called Vietnam, people holding card board placards protesting civil rights, stop the war, and definitely the day my family gathered in our living room to watch Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s funeral (seeing my parents cry together the first time) horror strangely enough, sports and more extensively science fiction was an escape. Like a drink I like my horror neat not too bloody. But reality caught up to me one Summer night inPOSTER_-_BLACULA 1969. I am changing the channel back and forth on our floor model black and white television between Creature Features, a television show that showcased horror and science fiction, (other cities had their version) on WNEW channel 5 and what other network I can not remember. The Bride of Frankenstein is on, and then I ask myself, “Why are there no people like myself in these movies?”  The period piece movies like The Bride I could understand things were not good for our people in the 19th century and before, but what about now (1969),progress was slow.

Fast forward to the fall of 1971, it’s a Friday Blackensteinnight moms asleep, dad has gone to hang out with his buddies after work,my brother Barron is god knows where as a member of the Reapers Bronx street gang it’s a round midnight and I’m hanging out with my big sister Brenda and her husband Allen, they are spending the night in the Bronx then will head home to Brooklyn in the morning. They are channel surfing. Which back then consisted of me being the remote control, you know getting up and change the channel, yes a channel knob, we also had three networks, three local stations and public TV. Back then we thought we were brand new! Any way my sister is going through the TV Guide and lets out a oh wow !

“Allen you know what’s coming on?” ThingPoster

“ What babe?”

“ Night of The Living Dead!” my sister said.

“ Nice!” Allen said in his best cool jazz head voice.

“ Whats that?” I ask nothing for nothing.

“ Oh your going to like it.” my sister said with a sly look on her face.

“ But what…” I say.

“You not going to be scared are you ?” Allen asks.

“ No I ain’t no chump!” I say not trying to be a afraiddy cat. The lights are turned out and I turn to WABC Channel 7, by coincidence the mood is set by the howl of the wind rushing through the building hallways from an open roof door on the 14th floor of our building in Bronx River Houses which was to become 220px-Candymanposteryears later one of the Meccas of Hip Hop, but that’s another story. We all know the opening sequence with Barbara and Johnny in the cemetery of this classic by George Romero, I slowly getting hyped, Barbara Duane Jones as the hero/protagonist just blew me away!

Keep in mind this picture had made its delayed premiere Back in 1968,I say delayed because according to Mr. Romero the week they wanted to showcase it at a grind house on Time Squares in New York was the same week of Dr. Kings death.That night I found myself engrossed in this movie and also grossed out, but that’s the fun of horror the fear of mortality and the feeling of beating out death, or at least knowing we can leave the movie theater or get up from the couch knowing its just a movie, cheering on the hero or shero as he or she fights the good fight for existence to save the human race,or thyself.Seeing the220px-Hoodposterbrother go through all the issues of trying to survive and be the anchor to a bunch of people who would have been zombie food had it not been for him was euphoric for me.The only other horror movie I could recall seeing, with another black character before Night of The Living Dead was a B movie titled The Killer Shrews (1959)starring James Best,in it the black character “Rook Griswald” a ships mate to Best’s character played by Judge Henry Dupree lasts,maybe ten minutes in to the movie, before he’s shewed up by mutant shrews.Back to Duane Jones,he fought the good fight to the end, but in the end which I later viewed as a metaphor for being black in America ,Duane’s character gets shot in the head mistaken for one of the living dead. No matter what we do America screws us in the end, a feeling and opinion that has ebbed and flowed with me over the years I would submit to the reader,that for some time back then African-Americans did not gravitate to horror not only because of neglect by the movie industry, but also the everyday life,of horror just trying to make it through the week goes on even now in different configurations.

The Blaxploitation boom, of the early to mid 70’s or BJ (Before Jaws)showed that yes a black audience was out there. Blacula (1972), Scream Blacula Scream (1973),Blackenstein(1973),Ganja & Hess (1973) starring Duane Jones and remade as Da Sweet Blood of Jesus in 2014 by Spike Lee)Voodoo Black Exoicist (1973),Abby (1974)and J.D.’s Revenge (1976)which featured black stars such as William Marshall,Pam Grier and Carol Speed among others showed promise. But in 1975 the original Summer block buster and movie game changer JAWS premiered and the black horror movie as a stand alone genre dried up. The 1980’s saw black characters reduced to token parts in the horror movie genre. In my DVD collection I have the rare Blood Tide(1982) featuring James Earl Jones as an ethics challenged relics Hunter.Keith David did show hope for black folk surviving to the end in The Thing(1982)remake and in my opinion whether you call it a short film or a long video Micheal Jackson’s Thriller featuring Vincent Price did some good for people of color in horror. The struggle to scream continued. The same feeling I felt back in 1971 I relived in 1992 watching Candyman the first of a trilogy of movies(1999,2003) starring Tony Todd,while his body of work is not as extended the legendary Mr.Price he still earns the same level of respect in my book. Today even with the recent Oscar’s awards lack of color, with effort we do not have to look to the Hollywood powers that be to be creative Spike Lee’s executive producing of Tales From The Hood(1995) and the use of the INTERNET for web series like Alex Fernandez’s vampire saga Dawn (2015).We are in historic times for horror with the flow of books , INTERNET ,movies, wo etc… the struggle to scream continues.

 

***********

Born and raised in the Bronx, James is new to writing speculative fiction. After ten years as an artist representative and paralegal James decided in 2013 to make a better commitment to writing.jamesgoodridge headshot Currently, he is writing a series of short “Twilight Zone” inspired stories from the world of art, (The Artwork) and a diesel/punkfunk saga (Madison Cavendish/Seneca Sue Mystic Detectives) with the goal of producing compelling stories

 

 

HorrorAddicts.net 114, H.E. Roulo

ha-tag

Horror Addicts Episode# 114

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

h.e. roulo | particle son | the walking dead

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

174 days till halloween

richard cheese, down with the sickness, zombies, baycon, book release party, emerian rich, h.e. roulo, j. malcolm stewart, laurel anne hill, sumiko saulson, loren rhoads, lillian csernica, seanan mcguire, earthquakes, horroraddicts on kindle, babadook, netflix, chiller, lifeforce, colin wilson, the space vampires, tobe hooper, texas chainsaw massacre, mathilda may, siren, slasher, stack.com, death note, adam wingard, the woman in black, horror addicts guide to life, sandra harris, ron vitale, david watson, books, plague master: sanctuary dome, zombie dome, slicing bones, kindle buys, morbid meals, dan shaurette, london mess, fox uk, canniburgers, the walking dead recipe, nightmare fuel, japanese fable, slit mouth woman, surgical mask, particle son, revelation, portland band, dawn wood, stephen king, clive barker, grant me serenity, jesse orr, black jack, the country road cover up, the sacred, crystal connor, dracula dead and loving it, kbatz, kristin battestella, c.a.milson, the walking dead, dead mail, candace questions, colette, bees, david, bugs, the watcher in the woods, pembroke, jaws, gremlins, craig, devil, sparkylee, the thing, dogs, kristin, alien, robert, magic, daltha, clowns, pennywise, jaq, creature from the black lagoon, jody, night of the living dead, world book day, interview with a vampire, michael, haunting of hill house, kbatz, frankenstein, dracula, anne rice, jane eyre, sumiko, the stand, lillian,  jim butcher, changes, a.d., exorcist, mimielle, firestarter, bad moon rising, jonathan mayberry, edgar, alabama, alien from la, kathy ireland, ask marc, marc vale, mike, pittsburgh, driver’s test, what would norman bates do?, mother, voices, psycho, h.e. roulo, heather roulo.

 

Horror Addicts Guide to Life now available on Amazon!
http://www.amazon.com/Horror-Addicts-Guide-Life-Emerian/dp/1508772525/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1428730091&sr=8-1&keywords=horror+addicts+guide+to+life

 

Baycon.org

 

HorrorAddicts.net blog Kindle syndicated

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Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

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h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, Dawn Wood, Lillian Csernica, Killion Slade, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr.

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b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

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Review: Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning In Zombies

10668827_949314288430213_2894372591177431099_oMovies and books about zombies are more popular now then they’ve ever been. Some stories about zombies  are humorous while others are scary, but zombies carry a deeper meaning. They represent society’s fears of disease, social isolation, the collapse of civilization, mind control and the fear of playing god. These are only a few of the fears that zombies represent, we haven’t even touched on the biggest fear, which is the fear of the science that makes the zombie apocalypse possible.

In her book Undead Obsessed: Finding Meaning In ZombiesJessica Robinson examines how zombies are a metaphor for our fear of science getting out of hand. She also gets into how the zombie apocalypse could happen and how science may be responsible but at the same time may be the only thing that can save us. A line from the intro in Undead Obsessed really set the tone for this book. Jessica says she once had a professor who said “every film has a message, but if you really want to know what society is afraid of watch horror movies.” The main idea of this book is to find out why we’re afraid of zombies.

This book goes deep into the meaning behind zombies. Jessica Robinson tackles voodoo zombies such as the ones in Serpent And The Rainbow and the flesh eaters that we know from Night Of The Living Dead. It also gets into what zombies are, how the zombie plague can be transmitted, and how to survive in a world full of zombies. Jessica does this by using examples from such movies as The Crazies, World War Z and The Walking Dead.

My favorite part of this book were the chapters dedicated to surviving the apocalypse. I like the talk on how people would need to work together to survive and how egos need to be put aside. Another good point that is brought up in Undead Obsessed is how in most zombie movies scientists are the ones who start the apocalypse such as in the movie 28 Days Later (actually animal rights activists had a lot to do with it also) but in a movie like World War Z, it’s a scientist who is the hero. Scientists get a bad wrap in movies and it’s probably because people fear that scientists are smarter than them and are withholding information. Though we also have to realize that in certain situations we would have to rely on science to fix the world’s problems.

Undead Obsessed is a zombie book unlike any other and a must have for zombie literature fans. While I admit that some of the science in this book went way over my head, I found it an entertaining read. Undead Obsessed is for the horror fan that likes to look past the blood and guts for the deeper meaning

Some people watch zombie movies and see it as simple entertainment.  In this book Jessica Robinson shows us that there is more meaning to zombie films then people think. The main idea I got from Undead Obsessed is that science can be harmful and beneficial. Watching a zombie movie is a way to help us understand these fears. This is a great analysis of what zombies stand for and it will change the way that you look at horror in general. There is always a deeper meaning if your willing to look for it.

HorrorAddicts.net 107, Wm. A. Yandell

Horror Addicts Episode# 107

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Intro Music by: Cancer Killing Gemini

Click to listen!

54 days till Halloween!

wm. a.  yandell, mixed messages, jennifer’s body

heard it in the graveyard, halloween prep, end of the world radio, dead mail, avery, horror poetry, amy lowell, after hearing a waltz by bartok, events, night of the living dead, nosferatu, edgar allan poe, neve campbell, anne rice, books, the clinic, matthew weber, don pitsiladis, michaelbrent collings, this darkness light, dark blossom, vincent stoia, red beans and rice, feeding the lwas vodou cookbook, amy sumida, best band season 8, unveil, mixed messages, flash fiction friday, kadriah wade, they buried her deep, theme song contest, master of macabre contest, jennifer’s body, hemlock grove, under the dome, terry m. west, heroin in the magic now, crawl or die, crystal connor, the last road, crossback, wm. a. yandell

http://traffic.libsyn.com/horroraddicts/HorrorAddicts107.mp3

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

———————–

Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

horroraddicts@gmail.com

————————

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Dan Shaurette, Marc Vale, KBatz, Mimielle, Dawn Wood

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

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Camp 417

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Austria in 1945. The war is coming to an end, the allied forces are winning the war and the Nazis have their backs against the wall. Hitler is not worried because he has a team of scientists that have been working on a project that will change everything and let the Nazi’s win the war. Scientists are taking live people and turning them into flesh-eating creatures.

These creatures will destroy everything in their path. They are drawn by loud sounds and are only effected by sunlight. The problem is: Can they be controlled? Will they only kill the allies or will they eat every living thing they see and destroy humanity. It all started at Camp 417: Where the dead live.

Camp 417 by Finnean Nilsen Projects has its moments. It has a lot of action. plenty of scary imagery, good battle scenes and 1945 Austria is described in vivid detail. My only problem with Camp 417 was that there were so many different characters and different minor story-lines that at times I was confused as to who was doing what. Also a lot of characters had their own sub plots going on, but it was hard to keep track of them all  and there was too much going on at the same time.

Camp 417 is an ambitious novel.  I loved the concept of an alternative view of history and I liked the idea of Adolf Hitler being involved in the story. This book is a prequel to a series called Outpost. This book was written by two brothers through the website Webook.com which is a social networking site that allows readers to comment as each chapter of the story is completed.

While reading Camp 417 I felt like I was reading a comic book without pictures. That being said, the action is all described in vivid detail and I got the impression that the authors really did their research on the history of World War 2. One item that I thought was a nice touch was that the zombies are never called zombies in the book. The living dead were not refereed to as zombies until after Night Of The Living Dead in 1968. In Camp 417 they are referred to as pale snakes and sondies. One great scene in this book was when a bunch of pale face men in prison uniforms come out of the woods and attack a group of unsuspecting soldiers. At this point the novel goes from a military action adventure to a blood drenched horror story.

What I liked most about this book was when the soldiers discover the lab where the zombies are being created and the dialogue between the characters in the camp when they are debating if the allies would do the same thing. My favorite character was the Great Assanti because he was so different from anyone else in the story. I also loved how much action there was. Camp 417 has car chases, air battles, gun fights, tanks smashing zombies and gruesome death scenes. This would make one exciting movie and is a must read if you love zombie fiction.

September/October Events

September 23rd / Cabaret Perilous! / San Francisco Ca / Live Burlesque  at the Uptown Club! Show starts at 7pm, performers include: The Shanghai Pearl, Bazuka Joe, Lola Martinet, Casey Castile, Shannon Vau De Vire, Chrissy Lux and many more. For more information go to:  www.hubbahubbarevue.com


October 6th / Funker Vogt / New York NY /Funker Vogt is a synth pop band from Germany, they will be performing with Life Cried and Die Sektor. This is an all ages show starting at 10pm at the Gramercy Theatre. For more information go to: www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=241987649158352

October 14th-16th / Sci Fi Horror Weekend / Tulsa Oaklahoma / This convention includes a dealer’s room, a pajama party massacre, a brain eating contest, costume contest, scream queen contest, movie showings an appearance by Sid Haig, performances from Axis  and Pittersplatter and much much more. For more information go to www.scifihorrorweekend.com

October 14th-16th / Zombiemania / Conneaut Lake Pennsylvania / This is a fundraiser convention for the American Cancer Society. The events include a zombie contest and a seminar on ghost hunting by the Beaver County Ghost Hunters. All of George Romero’s zombie movies will be shown along with Q and A’s with John Russo and Nick Tallo who both worked on Night of the Living Dead. For more information go to zombiemania.org.

October 14th-16th  / Rock and Shock / Worcester Massachussetts / This is a horror convention and rock concert combo. Guests include Lance Henriksen, Robert Englund and guitar god Ace Frehley. Some of the bands performing include:  Insane Clown Posse, Mushroomhead, The Bones and Alesana. For more information go to: rockandshock.com.