Whenever a film becomes a surprise hit (and leaves an impression on Hollywood executives that are seeking to mine similar material for profit), there are sometimes some unexpected, positive side effects. In the case of Jordan Peele’s Get Out, which captured the attention of both ticket buyers and studio heads, the shock waves of success helped to unearth and bring attention to some forgotten gems and underappreciated actors and filmmakers that helped pave the way for Peele’s triumph.
Professor Robin R. Means Coleman, the author of Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present, grew up in the right time and place to become a horror fan, namely Pittsburgh in the 1970s. It would have been almost impossible to avoid being bitten by “the zombie-bug” in this era in Pittsburgh, when some of the greatest and most influential horror films were being created in and around the city by the legendary George Romero.
Luckily, Means became a horror fan due to this influence, because if she didn’t, none of us would be able to read her critical dissection and history of the role of Black actors, writers, and directors in horror films. Horror News Network had the pleasure of interviewing Means Coleman about her book and recent developments in the genre, most significantly, Jordan Peele’s smash success of 2017, Get Out. read more
Most fans probably immediately go to Shaft, Black Caesar, Foxy Brown, or Dolemite when they think of the Blaxploitation craze of the 1970’s. Although the genre is mainly associated with these type of urban crime action flicks, the Blaxploitation movement also featured films that veered towards romance, comedy, and of course, horror.
After the release of Blacula in 1972, B-Movie factories such as AIP produced a string of blaxploitation horror features such as Blackenstein, Scream, Blacula, Scream, and Abby (also known as “The Black Exorcist”). And in 1976, producer Sam Arkoff and director Arthur Marks combined the traditional gangster tropes of blaxploitation and added supernatural elements to the mix to form the past-lives regression shocker called J.D.’s Revenge. read more