Come Into Me's Lonnie Nadler Shares His Favorite Body Horror Films - Dread Central
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Come Into Me’s Lonnie Nadler Shares His Favorite Body Horror Films

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A couple of months ago, we ran an interview with writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler about their upcoming body horror comic mini-series Come Into Me, which will be published by Black Mask Studios in March. Featuring art by Piotr Kowalski, the comic, which is hailed as The Fly meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is already making waves and drumming up serious interest. In fact, the two writers have built such a name for themselves that they’re currently writing a Marvel series around Cable (interview interview here).

In anticipation of the upcoming release of Come Into me, we got Nadler to share several of his favorite body horror films, the ones that helped inspire his writing of the upcoming comic series. You can read them below!

Also, make sure to follow Lonnie on Twitter here.


5. The Thing

The Thing is the ultimate paranoia film, dripping with the dread of what lies hidden beneath the surface. In this case, that surface is the body itself. Carpenter and co. explore the idea that everyone is in the constant process of becoming, of putting on a facade, that nobody is who they present themselves to be. The film revels in the metaphor that we can never truly, ontologically know what other people are like inside, and for that reason you can’t trust anyone but yourself, not even the dog. These heavy themes are amplified by the all male cast, and thus The Thing doubly works as a subtle commentary on masculinity. All these elements combine to create a pitch black movie that fires on all cylinders, from the still-spectacular special effects, to Ennio Morricone’s chilling score, to Carpenter’s taut direction. Like some other films on this list, The Thing was way ahead of its time, but thankfully its cultural impact can now be seen across mediums, in everything from “Stranger Things” to Dead Space to the Oats Studios short films. Few films, in any genre, achieve such a lasting influence.


4. Under the Skin

A lot of people wouldn’t consider Jonathan Glazer’s non-didactic, evocative masterpiece “body horror” in the traditional sense. It may not be in your face with gorey special effects or feature mutating bodies, but look no further than the film’s apt title to put things in perspective. Under the Skin not only refers to Glazer’s goal – to get under the audience’s skin – but also refers to his subject of exploration. He’s asking us to consider, “What does it ultimately mean to be human when you strip away all that flesh and sinew that binds us?” The result is a pervasive existential angst and a persistent haunting atmosphere that that’s impossible to escape, just like our bodies. What I love most Under the Skin is its obsession with the fragility of flesh, the ease with which our bodies can be spoiled. By constantly forcing us to confront images of literal vacant bodies, awkward sexual encounters, and “deformed” individuals, it forces the viewer to question these organic vessels that carry us around, and what remains underneath it all. Glazer’s answer? Perhaps it is nothing but an endless black void.


3. Eraserhead

Cliche as it may be, I’ll never forget the first time I saw Eraserhead. I was alone in my university dorm room at 1:00 AM. What proceeded was a ninety-minute fugue-state that forced me to question everything I knew about cinema. I’d seen a couple of Lynch movies before, but I’d never felt so privy to someone else’s unfiltered, thoughts, perversions and all. I knew immediately that the film had left a mark on me, and to this day it’s that exact feeling I seek when watching movies. From the baby’s ultimate transformation, to Henry’s unbearable repression, to the mutated cheeks of the sweet Lady in the Radiator, Lynch explores the crossroads between sexuality and the grotesque, between inner and outer worlds, twisting familiar images into something entirely uncanny. Though there are no shortage of theories about Eraserhead’s intended meaning, it remains an enigmatic film to this day because Lynch refuses to give answers. For me, Eraserhead has always been about the horror of the spaces we inhabit and the others we allow into those spaces – our homes, our minds, and our bodies. But it’s precisely that inimitable mysterious mood that Lynch has founded his career upon, and that gestating desire for answers makes his films all the more alluring.


2. Possession

Possession didn’t garner much attention inside or outside the American horror community until recent years. It was hard to get a hold of and it’s not exactly the easiest film to recommend given the three-and-a-half minute miscarriage scene. For all its oddities, at the core of Żuławski’s magnum opus is an age old tale of love and the monsters it creates. Possession examines how over the course of a romantic relationship we bond with another person, mentally and physically, until a point of dependency. We belong to them, and they to us. When relationships come to a halt, when we are physically torn apart and the drug is gone, it possesses your every thought and transforms you into a different person. It throws your entire world out of joint, and both parties act psychotically and irrationally. Żuławski externalizes all those horrible and complicated feelings that come with dying love in the most horrific of ways, and while it may be too bizarre or metaphysical for some, there are few films that capture the emotional and physical horrors of break ups like Possession.


1. Tie: The Fly / Videodrome / eXistenZ

These are the most quintessential of all body horror films in my mind. Truthfully, all of Cronenberg’s films should be on this list, and there’s no filmmaker who gave more to the genre than him. Cronenberg kept with horror for over two decades and his infatuation with the human body was apparent from his earliest films. What makes Cronenberg’s body of work stand out is his curiosity and refusal to abide by genre tropes. While gore or sexuality are staples of horror it’s abundantly clear that the viscera is not merely for the sake of it with Cronenberg, but rather a means to investigate deeper themes about how we interact with technology, each other, and our subconscious desires. While The Fly was almost immediately perceived as a genre-blending masterpiece, his other work, like Videodrome and eXistenZ, were largely panned upon release because the public didn’t understand what he was doing. How could they? Nothing like it had ever been seen before. Cronenberg was operating way ahead of his time, using his art and twisted imagery in attempt to understand how humans might physically engage with technology, with the future, each other, and how that could lead to either the evolution or the degeneration of the species. Cronenberg understands better than anyone that the basis of humanity is that we exist as physical beings and yet we have an innate desire to be more than that.


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Los Angeles Overnight – Do Us a Favor and Watch This Exclusive Clip

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Weird. That’s exactly what this exclusive clip from the indie flick Los Angeles Overnight is, and we’re ready to share every pixel of it with ya! Why? Because we like weird. A lot.

The directorial debut of filmmaker Michael Chrisoulakis will launch a limited national, theatrical release on March 9, followed by a digital release through Freestyle Digital Media on March 20.

Synopsis:
Inspired by the L.A. Modern Noir genre and populated with distinct and dynamic characters, Arielle Brachfeld (Consumption) stars as Priscilla, a struggling actress who inherits a bevy of colorful villains after desperation drives her and her gullible boyfriend, a lovelorn mechanic (Azim Rizk, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), to steal big from the Los Angeles underworld.

No amount of preparation could ever prepare this actress for a blood-soaked role filled with seedy criminals and “hot loot.” Entirely shot in Los Angeles, the cast is appropriately peppered with titans of the Hollywood scene including Peter Bogdanovich, Sally Kirkland, and recent CineAsia Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Lin Shaye.

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Insidious Composer Joseph Bishara’s Score for The Worthy Being Released Tomorrow

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Tomorrow will see the digital release of the original soundtrack for The Worthy, a post-apocalyptic thriller that was one of the largest Arabic genre film productions in the Middle East. Featuring music by Joseph Bishara (Insidious, The Conjuring), the album will be released via the composer’s label, void recordings. Pre-orders are already open on Bandcamp.

Bishara explains, “Going into this, it was clear that [director] Ali [Mostafa] didn’t want a necessarily Middle Eastern sound though the film is of the region. He described it as taking place in a world after extremism, a relatable and possibly devastating scenario.

The composer adds, “Thematically the film deals with personalities that emerge through orchestrated chaos and how various types handle danger and adversity. There is a clear path for the hero to rise out of the situation, and his musical journey was worked backwards starting with the final scene, then deconstructing into the earlier setup.

The Worthy was directed by Ali F. Mostafa and written by Vikram Weet. It stars Ali Suliman, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Mahmoud Al Atrash, Samer Ismail, and Habib Ghuloom.

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Zena’s Period Blood: The Lure of it All

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It can be difficult finding horror films of quality, so allow me to welcome you to your salvation from frustration. “Zena’s Period Blood” is here to guide you to the horror films that will make you say, “This is a good horror. Point blank. PERIOD.”

“Zena’s Period Blood” focuses on under-appreciated and hidden horror films.


The LureAll right, guys. Sorry that this review will get personal, but this is ultimately my love letter to director Agnieszka Smoczynska for her expert filmmaking. You may come across verbiage that is inappropriate and may get me fired, but I know no other way to write about this film. The Lure is a freaking horror musical with way too much good bait not to be caught by it. See what I did there? Well, expect more of my fangirling because that’s all you will get.

Even the beginning credits, hovering ghostly over an illustrated intro, uncover a glimpse of the enchantment of mermaids in a lagoon crowded with their leftovers, which we witness are human skeletons. At the end of this magnificent, almost museum-like exhibition, you see the hands and kiss of a mermaid luring another human into the water. Here, you understand your uselessness in warning future humans of this alluring peril.

The live action begins at night with three members of a cabaret band singing on a beach. Instantly, you see what dilemmas will occur as soon as two pairs of eyes emerge from under the sea. Silver (Marta Mazurek) appears first, a blonde mermaid with eyes of astonishment and love for the form and voice of the shore-fixed human boy Mietek (Jakub Gierszal). Golden (Michalina Olsanska) emerges second, eyes of animalistic hunger that she uses to lure her victims before feeding. At this point, you could pause the film and deduce the conflict you will endure: Silver wants to be with Boy; Golden wants to eat humans; Boy sees new, hot girl. But trust me… play the movie and never pause it again.

The Lure excels at giving you its own history, anatomy, and peculiarities of a mermaid. It does it in such a stylish way through camera movement, reasonable curiosity, and attractive scores. Even at the moment we discovered that mermaids in human form don’t have vaginas or buttholes, I felt that I was in the room with everyone else with an interested but let’s move on look. All of these delightful oddities happened under splashes of effervescent colors reminiscent of Dario Argento’s 1980 classic Inferno. Smoczynska seamlessly blends the old and the new.

And it’s all horror. I specifically remember when Zygmunt, the nightclub manager, asked the mermaids where they learned to speak Polish. They answered, “The beaches of Bulgaria.” Okay. Here, I would’ve asked, “Well, why aren’t you in Bulgaria anymore? What happened to the person who taught you guys Polish?” But Zygmunt only noticed their sex appeal inflating his cash flow. The mermaids were hot and could sing. I’d probably be in the I’m-totally-winning-and-nothing-can-stop-me mood as well. He already had a profitable band called the Figs n’ Dates. Adding these mermaids to the mix just multiplied the moola.

Matter of fact, the mermaids were such stars that they formed their own band, The Lure. The Lure should be a band in real life. If they were, my dream would change from taking over the universe in a Ric Flair speedo to just being the band’s only background dancer. At that point, just call me The Twerk Sage or Headmistress Twerk, because I’d be the master of the art of twerking. I actually thought about this. Check it out. I’d grow my underarm hair long enough to braid it to the hair from my scalp. Then I would connect the red lipstick from the corners of my lips to the corners of my bloodshot eyes. Yes, you’d be disgusted. But I’d do all this to prove that my twerking is so mesmerizing that you can’t help but stay in the club and stare at me. And guess what? I’m staring back at you—just you, my armpits sweating and all. But I stop only when the music stops. I’d be mind-blowing. I’d have to be. I refuse to be the only one in the band (or the cast) that lacks talent. Hopefully, this is a testament to the great acting, music, and overall production you will witness when you see this movie. Don’t worry. I’m not in it.

The standout performances were often encapsulated in handheld camerawork that triggered intimacy between you and the story, which you wanted when you were first seduced by these characters and this world but ultimately despised with the realization that everyone would suffer in the end. Some things happened so seamlessly in this movie that I didn’t even realize the movie magic I had just witnessed. For example, I actually thought I had viewed the transformation of a human-shaped figure into a mermaid; but after exploring closer, I realize that Smoczynska simply understood my brain and chose to David Blaine the crap out of it. Like, how am I writing her this love letter when I’m already married? See? She’s good.

Another detail that stood out was that the girls passed out when they were away from a body water for too long (e.g., a pool or a bathtub). The only thing I can compare it to is me with a new purse. My husband often finds me in a tactless, unconscious position throughout the world if a new bag hasn’t entered my life in a specific amount of time. As a lesson to everyone, find somebody who knows how to water you properly so you can stay alive. Now, back to the review. Actually, back to marriage. Communication is important. Sometimes I wonder why my husband can’t just read my mind. Perhaps it’s for the same reason I can’t read his. I have better things to do. But it would be great to communicate in some other way than just talking. For example, Golden and Silver communicate using what I gathered was sonar. You will hear it throughout the movie as metallic, oceanic vibrations. How convenient would that be, communicating with my husband in a posh dining restaurant, letting him know that that skank in the window booth needs to stop looking over here before I add more blush to her cheek with my elbow? See why I need the Ric Flair speedo?

Speaking of clothing, I applaud the costume design, led by Katarzyna Lewinska. Although the costumes were straightforward, they were unforgettable and fit expertly in the world. I saw costumes that I called instant wears. Zena’s English Dictionary (which I am making into a real thing) defines “instant wears” as any outfit that an individual sees, screams at, Instagrams immediately with caption #fashiongoals, searches Amazon for, finds (of course), places into shopping cart (of course), and verifies delivery date so that unworthy members of the household know that he or she is expecting a package. Speaking of instant wears, I would wear this movie if it was an outfit. That’s how much I loved it. You’re wearing The Lure. Well, why yes, I am. That sounds spicy.

The Lure left me with opposing emotions of fulfillment and deficiency. On one hand, I had just experienced a great musical with great visuals; on the other, I had been ripped apart by Silver’s final decision, almost solidifying that I could never endure this journey again. I usually keep movies like this on my shelf. This allows me to relive particular scenes mentally without being lured into the entire excursion that leads to the inevitable heartbreak.

Check out The Lure as soon as you can. Yes, it is named after the band in the film. However, there is so much that will lure you in. There is so much that lures characters to each other—the lure of the unknown, love, money, hunger, and so much more. You, too, will ask yourself: What did I just watch? Why did I just watch it? And how have I not seen anything like it before? This is a great horror. Point blank. PERIOD.

Love,

Zena from Zena’s Period Blood


In addition to contributing to Dread Central, Zena Dixon has been writing about all things creepy and horrific for over six years at RealQueenofHorror.com. She has always loved horror films and will soon be known directing her own feature-length horror. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @LovelyZena.

 


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