TALKIN’ TO DRACULA AND HIS CREW: THE GOTH SUBCULTURE’S ETERNAL AFFAIR WITH HORROR (NYC online)

Date/Time
Date(s) - Thu. Dec. 17, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

Instructor
Andi Harriman

Admission
$10 USD BUY TICKETS HERE or buy a Miskatonic NYC full Semester pass for $30 HERE

Thou dost feel that I shudder. — My teeth chatter while I speak, yet is is not with the chilliness of the night — of the night without end.
Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial

In 1983, Tony Scott’s The Hunger introduced one of the most important moments of goth history. Cast as a vampire, David Bowie and his co-star Catherine Deneuve stalk the nightclub looking for prey. With fog so thick it casts a strange haze on the pit of writhing dancers, Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” begins its nine-minute long requiem with a foreboding, echoing bassline and a screeching guitar. Frontman Peter Murphy appears in frame behind a cage – his face sunken in, the light perfectly angled towards his high set cheekbones. The strobe light clicks, counting the seconds until Bowie’s character locks in on his victim. Here, goth’s past and future converge – forever and ever.

This lecture will discuss the inextricable link between horror and the goth subculture through music, visuals, fashion, and spaces – with an emphasis on the 1980s. It will focus on the allure of the unknown and its pleasurable horrors, as well as their underlying meanings. While the foundation of goth gathers inspiration from early horror films (Dracula, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), it also influenced later iterations of the horror genre through visuals and soundtrack selections (The Crow, Queen of the Damned). Additionally, we will discuss how the aesthetics of the horror genre leaked into the interior of the club: not only did the music set the tone, but the decor of its walls created the overall atmosphere, which at times included meat bags (Planet X, Liverpool) and an elevated coffin surrounded by candelabras (The Magic Circle, Zürich). Topics covered will also include Freud’s das unheimliche (the uncanny) within album art – such as X-Mal Deutschland’s cover for their 1982 single for “Incubus Succubus” – as well as Danielle Dax’s performance in The Company of Wolves, and Propaganda Magazine’s video trilogy. Plus, musical and visual samples from beloved artists including The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees as well as the ghastly theatrics of bands such as Specimen, Neva, Parálisis Permanente, and the Virgin Prunes.

Please note these are live events – they cannot be downloaded and watched later, so please be sure you are available at the time and timezone the classes are being offered in before registering.