Greetings, and welcome back to Horror Business. We have one awesome episode in store for you guys because we’re talking folk horror with 1967’s Viy and 1983’s Eyes Of Fire. Both films are currently available on Shudder!
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We start by talking about some of the stuff involving horror recently. We discuss the Showtime series Yellowjackets.
We start with Viy. We briefly discuss the films history, in that it is the only horror film released in the Soviet Union, and how it’s based upon the same source material as Bava’s Black Sunday.
Justin talks about how the film initially wasn’t to his liking due to the protagonist’s tendency to “yuck it up” and play the oaf, but later during the films climax he found the film quite frightening.
Liam talks about how early on the film resembles a silent film with sound. The practical effects of the film are discussed, as is the concept of the film as a criticism of the church.
Liam argues that the film is a folk horror film mostly because it is a folk tale and how the antagonist ends up not being Satan but instead a vaguely pagan god-monster.
Up next is Eyes Of Fire. We discuss how we not only both saw the film for the first time at Horrorthon in 2016 but also it was the first time we’d even heard of the film, which is a shame because it’s quite good. We talk about how the film is quite good despite many of the special effects failing, and Justin talks about how this actually makes the film scarier because it lends the film a “weird nightmarish feel”.
We talk about some of the truly horrific imagery of the film, especially the “wood witch”. We discuss how the film relies on a truly unknowable source of horror, in that it eschews traditional horrific imagery and instead goes off in truly bizarre directions to frighten the viewer.
We discuss how the film avoids the trappings of colonial/folk horror stories in which colonists are pitted against Native American spirits or Native Americans are pitted against evil colonists and instead pits colonists against an evil that is entirely outside the Native American lore and remains entirely unexplained.
We talk about the idea of frontier America as a strange untamed land full of monsters as symbolic of imperial/colonialist fantasies is problematic but the idea of frontier America as a place full of literal monsters is fascinating.
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