Back to OCCULTURE: “Zombie Chainsaw Massacre” // A Subversive Tribute to George Romero & Tobe Hooper

I recently had the pleasure to talk again with Ryan Peverly for another episode of the OCCULTURE podcast. In the spirit of Halloween, our topic was a tribute of sorts to recently deceased horror directors George Romero and Tobe Hooper.

As expressed in my previous post, horror has been a part of my life's blood for decades and few things in life make for better conversation. My interest in the pop culture surrounding horror prepped me for future interests in the paranormal, the supernatural, the occult and magic.

Over the past month of preparation, I got to review many of my favorite films from the two icons of horror we focused on. It always amazes me how much there is still to be gained from rewatches of classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Night of the Living Dead. These movies just never get old to me for the fact that as I age and mature and gain a broader understanding of political and social history, the more alive the context of the works become.

A big influence on our discussion came from my interview and reading of the writer and film critic, Jon Towlson. The impact of the late 60s and early 70s counterculture is a thread that carries through many of the films we discussed and frames the incorporated themes in a much deeper way. On the surface the general public never gets past the gore or visceral shock of these movies to consider that there's a subversive subtext at work sparked by the turbulence of the period.

I intended for a shorter discussion but it was impossible given the lenghtly filmography of both filmmakers. Really, an entire discussion could be had on any of the films we touched on so I of course  failed to point out some of the interesting things that I noted recently.

Overall I enjoyed the discussion and the opportunity to highlight these ever important movies and the men behind them. Brining further attention to Towlson's book Subversive Horror Cinema: Countercultural Messages of Films from Frankenstein to the Present that was featured here earlier this month was also a pleasure. 

I want to thank Ryan for asking me on and also for being a champion and follower of this blog. I consider my efforts to be niche to say the least and his introducing me to his audience is too kind.

If nothing else, I hope you all enjoy some great horror movies and stories over the remaining days of October and sink into a state of enchantment while the veil between the living and the dead is said to be thinnest. 

I live this stuff year round but there's something very potent about the energy of this time when usually disengaged communities collectively put their focus on spirits, ghosts and the weird. The air is buzzing with paranormal activity – a great time to be alive... or dead. 


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