Raising the Dead

Dear Weirdlings,

As human beings who connect with other human beings, it’s understandable to long for connection with those who have passed on before us. The ways we attempt to connect to the dead are varied, from tradition means such as spiritualism to more modern methods incorporating advanced digital technologies. Whatever form it takes, the longing to reach out to what has passed on remains.

In addition to two stories that address different ways of raising the dead, this week’s dose of the weird includes work discussing depictions of gender in horror and unsavory appetites.


Movies

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Leatherface, and Gender (Gayly Dreadful)

Taking a look at portrayals of how gender nonconformity is portrayed in horror, Red Broadwell points to Leatherface as a surprisingly positive representation.

Insane Appetites: Cannibalism in Dumplings and Antiviral (The Screening Space)

Kim McDonald explores one of humanity’s greatest taboos in her discussion of how two different movies explore cannibalism.


Games

Diablo 4 — Everything We Know So Far (GameSpot)

Highlights from the anticipated Blizzard game, including gameplay, character classes, and the story thus far.


Life & Lore

Chatbots That Resurrect the Dead: Legal Experts Weigh in on ‘Disturbing’ Technology (The Conversation)

With the recent announcement of a patented technology that uses AI and computer learning to digitally resurrect lost loved ones, the legal aspects of using our data after death comes into question.

This concept is brilliantly explored in the fictional narrative podcast Life-e.af/ter, in which a man gets caught up in a strange mystery after connecting with the voice of his lost wife.

This Gorgeous New North Carolina Martini Bar is Housed in an Old Coffin Shop (Matador Network)

Blending the historical and modern, the Corpse Reviver Bar takes its name from the former coffin shop in which it’s housed.


Literature

The Spirit Writing of Lucille Clifton (The Paris Review)

Famous for her poetry, Clifton also followed the path of a spiritual medium, working with automatic writing to create a number of documents. “Clifton’s spirit writing, while ostensibly fitting into a race- and gender-blind New Age tradition, should be read as an important contribution to Black feminist theories of embodiment,” notes Marina Magloire. “Clifton’s spirit communications foreshadow contemporary global issues like climate change and the rise of the far right, and they position Black women at the vanguard of addressing these issues.”


Short of the Week

Juliette,” directed by Lora D'Addazio, is about a shy girl terrified to catch a ride with two older girls who aren’t paying attention to the road. What unfolds is a gorgeously animated psychological thriller.

I recommend following this one up with an episode the Horror Queers podcast, which provides some interesting analysis of the symbolism in the film.

Andrea Blythe
Andrea Blythe writes speculative poetry and fiction. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks, including Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale (Interstellar Flight Press, 2020).