Tortured Souls and Mister B. Gone’s new myths of the flesh
Xavier Aldana Reyes
This chapter focuses on Clive Barker's Tortured Souls and Mister B. Gone, which shows a sustained engagement with the body and continues to escape the boundaries of classic horror to form its own elaborate mythologies. The Cenobites, characters who straddle the line between the torturer and the tortured, are possibly Barker's most famous creation; their stories have developed over ten films and an equally impressive number of comics. Like Hellraiser, Tortured Souls proposes a new carnal mythology introducing a pantheon of transmogrified superhumans. Mister B. Gone opens with a three-word exhortation: 'Burn this book'. The experience of reading Mister B. Gone is framed around finding out more about terrific deeds and losing one's mind in the process. Mister B. Gone is more than a straightforward horror novel chronicling the life of a fictional demonic memory.
This article analyses the role of blood in the American series True Blood. It opens with a reassessment of sexual readings of vampires that complements previous work on their metaphorical significance for Queer Studies and focuses on the complex AIDS burger sequence,in Season One. The article then explores how artificial blood, ‘TruBlood’, may function as a radical attack on vampires which mirrors how commodity culture has adapted to suit the needs of marginal communities. Lastly, the article turns to non-genetic blood ties to show how ‘true’,blood (i.e. personal or individual) is the only substance that actually unites creatures in the series.
The aim of this article is twofold. On the one hand, it offers a survey of found footage horror since the turn of the millennium that begins with The Blair Witch Project (1999) and ends with Devils Due (2014). It identifies notable thematic strands and common formal characteristics in order to show that there is some sense of coherence in the finished look and feel of the films generally discussed under this rubric. On the other hand, the article seeks to reassess the popular misunderstanding that found footage constitutes a distinctive subgenre by repositioning it as a framing technique with specific narrative and stylistic effects.
Thomas Ligotti and the ‘suicide’ of the human race
Xavier Aldana Reyes and Rachid M'Rabty
Thomas Ligotti, who began writing in the 1980s, is perhaps Gothic's
best-kept secret. Until the recent publication of his first two collections
of short stories by Penguin, his Gothic work (reminiscent, but by no means
derivative, of Poe and Lovecraft) has remained relatively obscure. This
chapter explores what could be termed Ligotti's materialistic
pessimism, or the belief that conscious and rational life is inherently
tragic, as it is largely dominated by the experience of pain and the
realisation of the inevitability of death. More specifically, the chapter
focuses on one of Ligotti's recurring solutions to the quandary of
existence, suicide, in selected stories from Songs of a Dead Dreamer (1986),
Grimscribe (1991), Teatro Grottesco (2006) and The Spectral Link (2014), but
also in his non-fiction treatise The Conspiracy against the Human Race
(2010) and his interviews in Born to Fear (2014). For Ligotti, antinatalism,
or mass suicide as a way of preventing future generations from suffering the
same fate, becomes an appealing, perhaps even the only real, option for a
human race who has, thus far, preferred to believe in the absurdity of
futurity and the fallacy of persistence.
Xavier Aldana Reyes, Harry M. Benshoff, Kevin Corstorphine, Alicia Edwards, Jack Fennell, Jonathan Greenaway, Ardel Haefele-Thomas, Emma Liggins, Paul Murray, Claire V. Nally, Sorcha Ní Fhlainn, Rocío Rødtjer, and Caleb Sivyer