Horrorcore: How Hip Hop Met Horror – article by Daz Lawrence

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horrorcore13Horrorcore is a subgenre of hip hop music based on horror-themed lyrical content and imagery. Its origins derived from hardcore and gangsta rap artists such as the Geto Boys and Insane Clown Posse, who brought the genre into the mainstream, if somewhat fleetingly. The term horrorcore was popularised by openly horror-influenced hip hop groups such as Flatlinerz and Gravediggaz.

horrorcore2 Horrorcore is the hottest potato within the hip hop genre, upsetting the purists and proving too extreme for mass consumption, it has even seen so-called ‘godfathers’ of the scene distancing themselves as pioneers. It has been argued that Jimmy Spicer’s 1980 single “Adventures of Super Rhyme” was perhaps the first example of anything that resembled horrorcore, due to the segment of the song in which Spicer recounts his experience of meeting Dracula. Interestingly, even this came after the wave of Blaxploitation films which flooded 42nd Street…

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M.R. James – author

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Montague “Monty” Rhodes James OM, MA, FBA (1 August 1862 – 12 June 1936), who used the publication name M. R. James, was an English author, medievalist scholar and provost of King’s College, Cambridge (1905–18), and of Eton College (1918–36).

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Though James’s work as a medievalist is still highly regarded, he is best remembered for his ghost stories, which are considered as among the best in the genre. James redefined the ghost story for the new century by abandoning many of the formal Gothic clichés of his predecessors and using more realistic contemporary settings. However, James’s protagonists and plots tend to reflect his own antiquarian interests. Accordingly, he is known as the originator of the “antiquarian ghost story”.

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James was born in Goodnestone Parsonage, near Dover in Kent, England, although his parents had associations with Aldeburgh in Suffolk. His father was Herbert James, an Evangelical Anglican clergyman, and his mother…

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Karen Black – Actress

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Karen Blanche Black (née Ziegler; July 1, 1939 – August 8, 2013) was an American actress, screenwriter, singer and songwriter. She is best known for her appearances in such films as Easy Rider (1969), Five Easy Pieces (1970), Airport 1975 (1974, ironically), The Day of the Locust and Nashville (both 1975), Alfred Hitchcock’s final film Family Plot (1976), and Capricorn One (1978). Though always reliable, these performances did not lead her to the glitz and reward of many A-list actors, leaving her to appear in fun but lower-budget fare, including many horror films, such as The Pyx (1973); Trilogy of Terror(1975) and Invaders from Mars (1986).

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Born in Park Ridge, Illinois, Chicago (the same area Harrison Ford grew up), her mother a celebrated children’s author, her father a business man, Black’s family name derives from her Czech, German and Norwegian ancestry. Her sister is the actor and special effects…

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The Amazing Colossal Man

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The Amazing Colossal Man is a 1957 science fiction horror film, directed by Bert I. Gordon, produced by Gordon, Samuel Z. Arkoff, James H. Nicholson and starring Glenn Langan, Cathy Downs, William Hudson and Larry Thor.

The film revolves around a 60 foot mutant man produced as the result of an atomic accident. Distributed by American International Pictures (AIP) at the top of a program double-bill with British horror film Cat Girl, the film was followed by a sequel, War of the Colossal Beast, which appeared in 1958. During the 1960’s the title was syndicated to TV by American International Television.

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Lt. Col. Glenn Manning (Glenn Langan from Dragonwyck) is an officer in the U.S. Army who suffers serious burns to over 90% of his body (and hair loss) following an inadvertent exposure to plutonium radiation from a bomb blast. He miraculously survives the explosion and his burns completely heal, but the radiation causes him to abnormally…

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Scooby Doo: The Early Years – article

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Scooby Doo, Where Are You! was the first incarnation of the long-running Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon series, Scooby-Doo. Created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, the cartoon premiered on CBS September 13, 1969, and ran for two seasons for a total of twenty-five episodes. The punctuation-sensitive will note the early incarnations utilise neither a question mark nor a hyphen in the title!

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Scooby Doo, Where Are You! was the result of CBS and Hanna-Barbera’s plans to create a non-violent Saturday morning program that would appease the parent watch groups that had protested the superhero-based programs of the mid-1960s. Originally titled Mysteries Five (after the band the featured teenagers were a member of), and later Who’s S-S-Scared?, Scooby Doo, Where Are You! underwent a number of changes from script to screen, the most notable of which was the downplaying of the musical group angle borrowed from The Archie Show. However, the…

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Ghost Weddings – article

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In Chinese tradition, a ghost marriage (Chinese: 冥婚; pinyin: mínghūn; literally: “spirit marriage”) is a marriage in which one or both parties are deceased. Other forms of ghost marriage are practiced worldwide, from Sudan, to India, to France since 1959. The origins of Chinese ghost marriage are largely unknown, though reports of it being practiced in the present day have become more frequent. Whilst Sudanese and French ‘posthumous’ marriage largely revolves around a bereaved widow marrying one of the groom’s brothers or a partner killed in war, the Chinese variant regularly sees the joining in matrimony of a living person and a corpse.

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Chinese ghost marriage was usually set up by the family of the deceased and performed for a number of reasons, including the marriage of an engaged couple before one member’s death, to integrate an unmarried daughter into a patrilineage, to ensure the family line is continued…

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Stelvio Cipriani – composer

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Stelvio Cipriani – born 20th August 1937, in Rome – is an Italian composer, mostly of movie soundtracks, many of which were for genre films, including, horror, gialli thrillers and crime films. Cipriani is still active, performing both live and recorded works, his output totalling over 200 scores. He has occasionally worked using the pseudonym Steve Powder.

cipriani2 Cipriani grew up in a decidedly un-musical household, the catalyst for expressing his musical talent actually coming from hearing the local church organ. The priest encouraged this interest and alerted his family to his passion and quick progress in learning to both read music and play keyboards. Although he covered all bases by initially becoming an accountant after school, he had followed the more traditional path for Italian composers and had enrolled at a Santa Cecilia music conservatory aged fourteen, studying piano and harmony. At this stage, it had become the pattern among many Italian composers…

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