A Horror Movie From Every Decade since 1900…

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Film & TV, Journal | Leave a comment

A lot of my friends took the “31 horror movies in October” challenge. Binging on horror flicks all month sounds like total bliss to me, but with a work trip to New York at the end of October and me being behind on my scripts, there was just no way I could’ve pulled it off. Still, I wanted to make sure that I spent some of the Halloween season sitting around and ingesting loads of horror, so I decided to watch as many as I possibly could and justify it all with this meandering blogpost that would go largely unread.

My first mission, priority one, was to watch one film from every decade since the relative birth of horror cinema. By most accounts the first real “feature-length” horror film is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari filmed in 1919, released in 1920 (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Starring John Barrymore came out a few months later and so is recognized only as the first American horror film), but as far back as the late 19th century there were films that featured macabre elements and many short films were dedicated to adapting famous horror literature. So I split the difference and chose 1900 as my year, meaning the minimum mission requirement was to get 12 horror movies under my belt, way more doable than 31. After that mission was complete I just kept watching horror films at random until it was time to cobble together this post.

My process for deciding what I watched was pretty haphazard. For the most part whatever the first thing that Netflix recommended based on the algorithm data I’ve built there over the years was what got played. The earliest decades had to be googled. I ended up getting gleefully stuck on the silent horror films and watched more of them than my exercise warranted. Something about those first, quiet monsters really spoke to me. They are so theatrical and minimal and the actors really gave their all to them.

I had only one other rule about what I would or would not watch. If I’d seen the movie in the last ten years then I had to find something else. If it had been longer than ten years, it was fair game for reevaluation.

So there you go. Here’s my best attempt at seeing as many horror movies as I possible could this October. As with all the bullshit that makes it onto my journal page, this whole post is more for me than it is for you, I obsesses on stuff like this. I can only hope someone out there will dig it too.

The films are listed in the order in which I saw them, NOT from “best” to “worst”.

Happy Halloween.

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It Was My Honor

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Journal, Writing | 1 Comment
Ashley (L) and Rachel (R). Photograph by Sarah Deragon.

Ashley (L) and Rachel (R). Photograph by Sarah Deragon.

A few months ago a reader of mine by the name of Rachel Schiff reached out to me via Facebook. Her girlfriend, Ashley Faulkner, is also a reader, and her girlfriend’s brother, Chris Faulkner, had turned them on to my comics in the first place. One big happy family. Rachel told me that she was going to propose to Ashley. Rachel’s intention was to write a comic book that would act as her proposal, have a friend draw it for her and then have their local comic shop slip the comic into Ashley’s pull box. Rachel asked me if I’d be interested in writing something for it. I was more than happy to oblige.

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Tuesday night was more than a political victory

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Journal, News & Politics | Leave a comment

With a near-record level of Latino votes going to Democrats and an 18 point spread between men and women (with as much as 55% of female votes going to Obama), plus major national shifts towards the legalization of pot and marriage equality and a historic number of women serving in the Senate (including the first openly gay Senator), what we saw Tuesday night was a defining moment for our nation that will be difficult, if not imposible, to roll back.

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Dear Grown Ass Man in Skinny Jeans

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Journal, Writing | 2 Comments

Submitted as evidence.

I’m gonna start at the heart of it, and I hope you hear where I’m coming from. Cause, see, ultimately, it’s all about your guts. Not your bravery. There’s nothing brave about wearing those jeans. No, I’m talking about your actual guts. The ones in your stomach. Because when your forty, your guts are forty. They’re heavy and they’re tired.

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The Sonic House

Posted on by Joshua Dysart Posted in Architecture & Design, Journal, Music | 1 Comment


A detail of the Sonic House, featuring the wooden instrument/dining table and the microphone rigged stairs.

American multimedia artist Doug Aitkin has created an amazing piece of modern architecture right here in my town of residence, Venice, Ca. (home to some truly world class architecture as it is). Keep reading for details and link to a video of the house… Read more