East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Horror movies for families and other wonders

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I am going to share a video-essay I just saw on Youtube, because it is really interesting and has a lot to say about writing horror and writing my kind of horror, but before we get to that I’ll have to make a little introduction and give a little explanation.

Back in the mid-80s I started getting really interested in Hong Kong movies. Up to that point I had seen mostly Bruce Lee features (lots of friends from primary school got sent to karate lessons because of that), the occasional kung fu movie and of course Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires, the Hammer/Shaw Bros collaboration. In the second part of the ’80s more Hong Kong movies started being distributed more regularly in my country, and we finally got Jacky Chan and his former team, the Lucky Stars.
Then, in the early ’90s movies by Ringo Lam, Tsui Hark and John Woo finally hit the screens.

In a post on my other blog, yesterday, I mentioned how A Chinese Ghost Story is one of the two big horror movies from the 80s that really shaped my tastes and my interest in the genre.

And a few days ago, while recording our podcast, Paura & Delirio (that’s the Italian not-correct-but-good for Fear & Loathing) I talked with my partner-in-crime Lucia Patrizi about family movies – and how some horror movies can be good for children provided there’s an adult there to talk things out.
Indeed, I have a friend that takes this approach to horror movies with his young daughter – and she’s a wonderful, intelligent and mature child.

Family-oriented horror is something Hong Kong did very nicely in the ’80s, and a movie that comes to mind is Mr Vampire, from 1985.

And I was planning on pitching to Lucy an episode on the subject of family-friendly, horrific but not childish horror, possibly with a Hong Kong angle, when I chanced on one of the latest episodes from Accented Cinema, and it basically says all I wanted to say, and more, and better than I could ever do. And actually using Mr Vampire as an example!

So, here is the video.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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