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RUE MORGUE Issue 191 Nov/Dec 2019

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
note from underground

Earlier this week, the Rue Morgue office agreed to take on an intern to work co-op hours toward completing high school. Later that day, the school called to cancel the internship – the student’s mother, a deeply religious woman, forbade it. I hope that sharing this anecdote doesn’t embarrass the student in question (hey, you made it into Rue Morgue anyway; suck on that, Mom!) because my intention is to draw attention to the fact that, in spite of the horror T-shirts being stocked at Hot Topic and the fancy cocktails I sipped on Warner Bros’ dime when they whisked me off to the It: Chapter Two premiere in LA, and in spite of the indignation I saw online when we polled last issue’s VS debate (Has Horror Finally Been Accepted…

2 min
library of the damned

Once upon a time, not long after I started at Rue Morgue, I made a rather flippant comment that virtually anything could be improved with zombies. Now, after nearly two decades of shamblers being shoehorned into every terrain, situation, and era imaginable, I think it might be time to take that statement back. But vampires… that’s a different story, especially when it takes place more than 150 metres below the ocean’s surface, deep in unfriendly Soviet waters. Welcome to the cursed voyage of the USS Roanoke in Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufmann’s 100 Fathoms Below (recently re-released in trade paperback by Blackstone Publishing). Frequent readers already know that I love a good vampire story. Heck, sometimes I’ll even love a mediocre one. But 100 Fathoms Below is great, doing for…

1 min
body horror

Hailing from Last Rogue Tattoo in Michigan, Christopher Bettley cut his teeth tattooing horror-related pieces for the past sixteen years. A genre fan since the tender age of eight, he has amassed a devoted clientele who come to him for anything pertaining to the dark and macabre – be it a black-and-grey mash-up sleeve of horror’s most notorious slashers or a photo-realistic colour rendering of a scene from a favourite film. “I think realism is what most people come to me for, but I just didn’t want to pigeonholed into one style,” he tells Rue Morgue. “If I could describe my tattoos, I would say I’m decent at rendering (realism) and I would call my neo-traditional more ‘allegorical macabre’ in nature.” CHRISTOPHER BETTLEY LOCATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan INSTAGRAM: @christopherbettley…

7 min
koko-di koko-da

CONFESSION: WHEN THE TITLE KOKO-DI KOKO-DA CAME UP AT THIS YEAR’S FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, I assumed it was some kind of whimsical anime and passed it over. I soon realized my mistake: Koko-di Koko-da is the polar opposite of lighthearted. The second feature by Swedish filmmaker/animator Johannes Nyholm is a brooding, starkly horrific, deeply metaphorical study of guilt and psychological trauma. After taking Fantasia’s Camera Lucida award and winning praise at numerous other festivals this year, it sees U.S. theatrical release, followed by VOD exposure, beginning in November from Dark Star Pictures. Koko-di Koko-da takes its title from a traditional French lullaby that is sung in the film’s opening minutes by Mog (Peter Belli), a sinister showman in a white suit who leads a pair of strange followers through a…

2 min
listen to my nightmare

Between Ari Aster’s Midsommer and the announcement of the forthcoming documentary Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror, I think it’s safe to say that folk horror is officially a thing. It’s a difficult subgenre to describe but, generally speaking, it involves macabre happenings on an English countryside, ancient traditions, and pagan rituals gone bad. Bottom line: it pulls cinematic influence from Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973). Since Paul Giovanni’s soundtrack of traditional, seductive folk music played such a key role in that film, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the folk horror label is now popping up in music, used by new artists and retroactively applied to past releases. Folk horror music isn’t just relegated to folk sounds, however, it can permeate across any…

4 min

EVEN THE BEST FILMMAKERS STRADDLE THE LINE BETWEEN HOMAGE AND BLATANT COPYING. SOME HAVE EVEN ACCUSED ONE OF THE GENRE’S BIGGEST NAMES OF RIPPING OFF A CANADIAN HOLIDAY CLASSIC FOR HIS SEMINAL 1978 SLASHER FILM. IS HE GUILTY? TWO OF OUR WRITERS ENTER THE RING TO BATTLE IT OUT… YES! CARLY MAGA “If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Carpenter’s reverence for Black Christmas is as clear as Barb’s glass unicorn.” We’ve all heard the legend – Bob Clark told John Carpenter that if he ever did a sequel to his 1974 sorority house horror Black Christmas, it would see the murderous Billy escape from a mental institution a year after the original film and return to the same house, only this time on Halloween. And that’s where Carpenter got the idea for…