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RUE MORGUE Issue 193 March/April 2020

Launched in 1997 by Rodrigo Gudiño, RUE MORGUE is the world’s leading horror in culture and entertainment brand, spearheaded by its multiple award-winning magazine, RUE MORGUE and RUE MORGUE DIGITAL; RUE MORGUE TV specialty horror channel; RUE MORGUE LIBRARY book series; RUE MORGUE PRESENTS FRIGHTMARE IN THE FALLS horror expo and RUE MORGUE PRESENTS CINEMACABRE MOVIE NIGHTS monthly film series.

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MARRS Media Inc.
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
play dead

VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE – COTERIES OF NEW YORK PC Draw Distance Fans of White Wolf’s classic roleplaying game Vampire: The Masquerade have been clamouring for another World of Darkness (WoD) adventure in the wake of 2004’s Bloodlines. With a sequel to that cult favourite set for release in 2020, Polish developer Draw Distance adds to the excitement with Coteries of New York, a visual novel that utilizes the classic Vampire sourcebook New York By Night. Though it sports some wonderful writing and moody characterization, the game’s limited scale sometimes gets in the way of its mostly excellent narrative. As a fledgling who’s embraced without approval from New York’s Prince (think head vampire), you’re thrust into the warring egos and systems of belief that belong to the city’s centuries-old denizens. After being taken in by…

12 min
art of darkness, heart of light

YOU MAY NOT RECOGNIZE THE NAME INSTANTLY, BUT YOU WILL MOST CERTAINLY REMEMBER A MOVIE POSTER OR BOOK COVER CONCEIVED AND EXECUTED BY GRAHAM HUMPHREYS:once seen, they’re hard to unsee, or forget. This British artist has been our beloved genre’s mainstay since the early 1980s, when he instantly drew attention to his unique style with original artwork for Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead: no small achievement when the director himself had this to say about it, “Graham immediately understood the essence of our film and painted an image that ripped up the traditions and threw the movie right in your face.” Other poster gigs soon followed, ranging from now iconic films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street to the more divisive House of 1000 Corpses, and including recent indie classics…

1 min
crafting a classic

IDENTIFYING KEY IMAGERY IS THE START OF THE PROCESS. I RELY ON MY INTUITION TO GUIDE ME FOR THE COMPOSITIONS. I try to create narratives with the imagery – how characters are connected, the expressions and gestures, the settings – all of these will signify context and emotional texture. Where material doesn’t exist, I’ll turn to the internet for body doubles and specific props. Often, I’ll photograph myself, or colleagues. The reference is crucial. Hands are always very expressive. Once I’ve collated my selection, I print out the images and trace them in pencil. This eliminates the difference in image quality, which can affect the perception. The pencilled elements are scanned into Photoshop, cut out, and moved around in order to find the most powerful composition and narrative thread. (Sometimes I…

2 min
a tale from the deep woods

THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS Stephen Graham Jones Saga Press Stephen Graham Jones returns with his unique brand of Indigenous horror with The Only Good Indians, a supernatural revenge tale set on the reservation, which doesn’t shy away from the realities of that life. Four young Blackfoot men are hunting illegally on the Elders’ territory, when they massacre a herd of elk. Although they are caught by the game warden, their actions offend Elk Head Woman, a spirit of the Elk herd, who takes her bloody revenge years later. The book unravels over three distinct parts. The first, “The House That Ran Red,” puts the reader in the head of hunter Lewis. After he sees an unborn elk calf on his living room floor, he becomes suspicious of his Native co-worker and his own partner, who…

6 min
endemic epidemic

Society has a tenacious habit of burying undesirable topics, only for the horror genre to dig them up and transmute them into accessible and entertaining (if challenging) narratives. It’s the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down – though perhaps a bucket of blood is the more appropriate analogy for Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum, where a zombie epidemic sweeps across the nation, sparing only the Native population, who are somehow immune to the undead condition. Though it’s never revealed exactly why, the answer could only be something in the blood; the same sticky red stuff that’s been used by the Canadian government to quantify the status of an Indigenous person. Taking its name from the controversial practice of measuring Native heritage for legal citizenship, Blood Quantum takes a…

2 min

AUTOPSY CASE NO.1269351 Extraterrestrial horror has been approached from a lot of angles over the years, but the premise that really seems to capture our imaginations is the alien parasite that invades by usurping our collective consciousness. With four adaptations of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and variations on mind-controlling alien parasites found in movies such The Faculty, Slither, and The Puppet Masters, we see our deep-seated fears of lost autonomy reflected in their stories. While it’s a comfort to know that we’re unlikely to meet such a species in real life, let’s not forget that Earth has its own slew of mind-controlling parasites in the natural world; some of whom are scarier than fiction. The Hymenoepimecis argyraphaga, for instance, is a wasp in Costa Rica that lays its eggs into the abdomen…