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Dracula: Blood and Soil

S A L T C I T Y S H I V E R S

The genesis of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is sometimes traced to the 15th Century – specifically, to 1462, when Vlad Drăculea, Voivode (Warlord) of Wallachia seized a Saxon town called Târgoviște and murdered the entire populace in the most gruesome manner imaginable. This, however, is a mistake: other than his name and his potent cocktail of aristocracy and cruelty, Drăculea lent very little to Dracula. The real genesis of Stoker’s masterpiece can perhaps be traced to the earliest German “best sellers,” many of which contained legendary accounts of Vlad’s sadism – and those accounts no doubt influenced Stoker when he was researching Dracula between 1890 and 1897 (although Stoker first heard the Vlad Drăculea legend in 1881).

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A “Saltie” Crocsploitation Double Feature Part One: Black Water

Sometimes … like when my newly acquired pre-ordered copy of a brand new shark movie is defective … I must turn to sharksploitation-adjacent genres to quench my parched soul. Usually, this results in a viewing of croc movies. This was no exception. So allow me to present my almost scientifically flawless analysis of the Black Water movies. Shall we begin at the beginning with Black Water numero uno? Of course we shall. 

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Phantasm IV’ (1998)

Phantasm: The 4th One…

Most of this movie takes place in flashbacks from the first one, or in cars on a dirt road. The rest takes place in the desert. Talk about filming on a budget. I feel like they didn’t get a permit to shoot most of this.

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Heaven Beside You, Hell Within (Cantos X – XXXIV)

S A L T C I T Y S H I V E R S

(This is part five of a five-part series on Hell and horror – you can read the other posts in this series here.)

Down and down we fell like lightning into depths unplumbed and dark, two falling flames amidst an endless void. I called to David Bowie, trusted guide and ghostly muse: “Are we to fall forever?”

“No,” said he, “our destination now is near.” And within moments we had touched down lightly on the dark and sunless core of Hell. The rocky ground was bare; the air cold, stale, and thick. Around us implements of torture stood unused, in cobwebs shrouded like forgotten wedding gowns. No sinner was in sight, no demon there to greet or caution us, no flames, no punishment.

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Gretel and Hansel’ (2020)

Slightly better than ‘The VVitch‘…

I suppose it wasn’t bad. I have a lot of the same complaints about this movie as I did The VVitch (2015). Visually, this movie was stunning. Though it wasn’t quite as beautiful as The VVitch the director put the same level of effort into making every scene a work of art. I think it even works a little better than The VVitch, even if the quality wasn’t quite as good. This movie is more of a psychedelic horror like Argento’s Suspiria (1977). It’s visually stimulating and deeply unnerving, likely in an effort to get the audience to trip. It even used synth music in the same stylings as the old horror movies to assist in making every scene discomforting.

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