Welcome class!

This was a great semester. I only hope you enjoyed wading through my dissection of cinema’s most glorious genre at least half as much as I enjoyed dissecting it (which was a lot). It was fun for me seeing the series expand over time, and even more fun seeing what you guys responded to – I could not have been more surprised or amused that Baboon Holocaust, a random bit thrown into the first lesson, became the star of the series. Horror 101 could not have a nobler mascot than a horde of killer baboons.

I wish Horror 101 could go on forever, but alas there is only so much to talk about, and I don’t want to see the series peter out into increasingly weaker installments. I want the series to go out with a bang, and I think the most fitting way to do that is to have a final exam… in the form of a good ol’ fashioned contest!

There are two categories to chose from here. You can enter both if you want.

1) The signature bit of Horror 101 was the hypothetical films, like Baboon Holocaust, used to contextualize and better illustrate an archetype or other portion of a lesson. I want you to create your own film in the same style as I did in Horror 101, picking a time period (with release date) for your film, and stocking it with a great cast filling the various archetypes we discussed in class. I’m testing your grasp of the genre, so plausibility for both release date and cast earns extra points. Try to jam in as many Horror 101 lessons as possible too. Though do not send me something epically long. Try to keep it fairly succinct.

For those who don’t feel comfortable or creative enough to make up a horror movie (though as anyone who watches a lot of horror movies can tell you, it isn’t that hard), you also have the alternate option of picking a film that was not overly discussed in Horror 101 (don’t pick Scream, for example) and breaking it down using the terms from class.

2) For the artists and Photoshop hobbyists out there, make a movie poster for one of the hypothetical films from Horror 101 – be it Baboon Holocaust, or one of the others. There are no rules or guidelines here. Just make a movie poster or VHS box cover or what have you, with a title, and maybe even a tagline if you’re feeling frisky. This is the area where I think we can have the most fun. So I hope a lot of people go this route!

Email me at wormmiller@gmail.com with HORROR 101 in the subject line. Sadly, the contest must be confined to the boundaries of the contiguous United States for prize mailing purposes (apologies rest of world).

I will give y’all up through next Sunday (Feb 13) to turn in your “exams.”

The prize?

Well, aside from sheer glory, I’ll toss in a copy of my super face-meltingly awesome work of zombie literature, A Zombie’s History of the United States (which Booklist called “compelling and unsettling,” which I love since the book is supposed to be funny), and a mysterious horror film DVD (I don’t even know what it’ll be yet!). I have not decided how many winners I will pick yet, though likely at least two. It all depends on the number and caliber of entries.

I also plan to post the best of the submissions on the site, so everyone can bask in your Photoshop brilliance or retarded movie idea.

Good hunting, class!

The Solo Hero
The Couple
The Stragglers
The Guy Who Knows Things
The Jokester
The Victim Pool
The Slasher
The Horde