Sunday, October 4, 2015

Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s

I recently had the good fortune to be included in Spectacular Optical's second film anthology, Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s. Edited by film writers and programmers Kier-la Janisse (House of Psychotic Women) and Paul Corupe (Canuxploitation), this impressive volume was released a few months ago and is focused on various aspects of the Satanic Panic: the decade-long fear of a Satanic conspiracy that gripped the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK in the 1980s and into the early ‘90s.

Convinced Satan lurked everywhere, the media, government, Christian right, and parents targeted pop culture from music videos to role playing games, and more. The book's various chapters discuss things like the memoir Michelle Remembers, Russ Martin’s satanic erotic novels, Dungeons & Dragons, Christian propaganda, kids’ cartoons, horror films, news broadcasts, music censorship, MTV, heavy metal, Christian rock, and crimes like the McMartin trial and Ricky Kasso case. My own chapter is on heavy metal horror films like Trick or Treat, Rocktober Blood, The Gate, Black Roses, and many more.

In addition to Janisse and Corupe, some of my fellow writers include Gavin Baddeley (Lucifer Rising: Sin, Devil Worship and Rock n’ Roll), Rue Morgue’s Liisa Ladouceur and Alison Lang, David Flint (Sheer Filth!), Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Rape Revenge Films: A Critical Study), Flavorwire’s Alison Nastasi, and many more. There are original illustrations from Rick Trembles and Mike McDonnell, and it's packed with stills, posters, comics, and plenty of great visuals.

The book is also the subject of a worldwide tour, with events and film screenings throughout Canada, in London, Austin, Australia, Boston, New York, and more. I'm conducting tonight's book launch in Philadelphia at PhilaMOCA. Join me at 7 p.m. for a multi-media tour of the satanic 1980s. Admission is $10 and I'll be selling books after the presentation. Happy Halloween!

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