With the seemingly impenetrable jungle of websites featuring horror news, entertainment, and columns, it was initially tough for me to find a consistently horrific watering hole for interesting, in-depth reporting on the topics I love, like extreme horror and 1980s horror films.
Enter Bloody Disgusting. More specifically editorial columnist Meagan Navarro.
Navarro writes two of my favorite weekly columns on horror. Both columns are well researched and injected with actual reporting and historical perspective.
I don’t know Ms. Navarro, but she knows horror.
One of her columns is titled BUTCHER BLOCK. The description follows:
“BUTCHER BLOCK is a weekly series celebrating horror’s most extreme films and the minds behind them. Dedicated to graphic gore and splatter, each week will explore the dark, the disturbed, and the depraved in horror, and the blood and guts involved. For the films that use special effects of gore as an art form, and the fans that revel in the carnage, this series is for you.”
The latest BUTCHER BLOCK features the 2012 movie NO ONE LIVES, directed by Ryuhei Kitamura. It’s timely because Shudder released Kitamura’s latest film DOWNRANGE in April. Check out the column here.
Navarro delves into the special makeup effects of NO ONE LIVES and highlights the behind-the-scenes talents who make the violence in extreme horror cinema as realistic as possible.
I’d never heard of NO ONE LIVES, but now I can’t wait to watch this tale of bloody revenge. It stars Luke Evans, who played the Smaug-slaying Bard in Peter Jackson’s THE HOBBIT films.
Other recent BUTCHER BLOCK columns cover the films MARTYRS and FRONTIER(S). Once again, not the most popular (or American) horror films of all time. I like how Navarro tackles the cult favorites as opposed to the theatrical blockbusters that we’ve all seen.
Navarro’s style and approach are similar in her other weekly column titled IT CAME FROM THE ‘80s. Its description follows:
“With horror industry heavy hitters already in place from the 1970s, the 1980s built upon that with the rise of brilliant minds in makeup and effects artists, as well as advances in technology. Artists like Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff Jr., Tom Savini, Stan Winston, and countless other artists that delivered groundbreaking, mind-blowing practical effects that ushered in the pre-CGI Golden Age of Cinema. Which meant a glorious glut of creatures in horror. More than just a technical marvel, the creatures on display in ‘80s horror meant tangible texture that still holds up decades later. Grotesque slimy skin to brutal transformation sequences, there wasn’t anything the artists couldn’t create. IT CAME FROM THE ’80s is a series that will pay homage to the monstrous, deadly, and often slimy creatures that made the ‘80s such a fantastic decade in horror.”
I spent my teenage years in the ‘80s and grew up on HALLOWEEN, FRIDAY THE 13Th, and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, so it’s easy to see why I love this column so much.
But the ‘80s were more than Michael, Jason, and Freddy. The decade featured some of the wildest and weirdest films of all time. Many of them were obscure, and Navarro exposes them with the eye of a veteran journalist.
Navarro’s latest ‘80s column covers a whacked-out monster fest titled SPOOKIES. It was a particularly interesting piece because Navarro reports on all the drama that kept this way-out-there flick in limbo for four years. It explains a lot.
Her more recent ‘80s columns feature the roach-infested THE NEST and the loose Lovecraft adaptation FROM BEYOND.
Once again, Navarro gives the people who worked on the creature effects their just due and provides interesting insights into the making of the films.
Navarro’s other columns for Bloody Disgusting are awesome, too, especially for horror fans.
She recently wrote “Horror’s Top 75 Jump Scares,” which had to be tedious as hell to research but probably fun as hell to do.
Her other more recent columns include the “10 Most Brutal and Punishing Character Beat Downs in Horror” and the “10 Strongest Female Leads in Horror … So Far!”
So, if you’re a fan of extreme horror and 1980s horror like me, we’re in luck. We not only have someone with the ability to write interesting editorials on our favorite topics but someone who writes about them with the respect they deserve.
Thank you, Ms. Navarro.
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