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Episode 41: Black History Month - VAMP (1986) & Def by Temptation (1990)

February is Black History Month and “Black Horror is Black History”. In this month's episode, we are talking about the underseen gems Vamp (1986) and Def by Temptation (1990). We briefly discuss the history of the Black vampire as anti-slavery and interracial narrative that is often missed in vampire literature. We also discuss the monstrous Other and femme noir as she is seen in the characters of Katrina (Grace Jones) and Temptation (Cynthia Bond). As well as highlight the timeline of black cinema history as seen in the horror genre.

These films highlight the difference between “blacks in horror” vs “black horror”, to which we get into the details as to how the roles of black actors changed from the 1980s into the 1990s, and all the tropes in between.

We welcomed a special guest, Dani Bethea (Wherethehorrorresides@TheDaniBethea) who shared their insight on both of these essential films in the history of Black horror. The Brother Ghoulish Podcast opens this episode - check them out on all podcast apps! @BrotherGhoulish

Enjoy and welcome to our dark side…

Intro/Outro Music: Robeast by Dance with the Dead

Artwork by: Jess Hrycyk

Editing work by: Jessica


The Spinsters Library:

George, Sam. “America’s first vampire was Black and revolutionary - it’s time to remember him” The 30 October 2020

D’Arcy, Uriah Derick. The Black Vampyre; A Legend of St. Domingo (1819)

Keahey, Andrew “We deserve to see more Black vampires on the screen” Black Youth . 19 February 2019.

Caputi, Jane and Lauri Sagle. “ Femme Noire: Dangerous Women of Colour in Popular Film and Television” in Race, Gender & Class: Volume 11, Number 2, 2004.

“The Black Death: A Brief History of Black People Dying in Horror Movies” Black Horror

Coleman, Robin R. Means “We’re in a golden Age of black horror films” The 29 May 2019

Reid, Mark A. Black Lens, Black Voices: African American Film Now - Chapter 4: Two African American Horror Films Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC, Oxford, 2005.

Burgin, Xavier. (2019) Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror Documentary (Film) Stage 3 Productions. Shudder.

Gateward, Frances. “Daywalkin’ Night Stalkin’ Bloodsuckas: Black Vampires in Contemporary Film” University of Colorado Boulder. 2 July 2004.

Madu, Margarita. “The Evolution of Black Horror” Chalk 15 October 2020


It’s Women in Horror Month! We will be talking about female body horror with a spotlight on the films of Julia Ducournau: Raw (2016) and Titane (2021).






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