DMLPBRE: Howard Ingham

Let’s get creepy…

Dead Machines Live People Book Release Extravaganza Presents:

Howard Ingham – Author, historian, genius.

Howard comes to us fresh from a successful kickstarter to fund a really unique project. Have you ever heard of Folk Horror? Well you can read more about it here.

Now on to some weird questions by an expert on the strange!

1. So I’m catching you just after you’ve finished a successful kickstarter to turn a blog series into a book. (A really COOL book about folk horror movies which everyone should go order.) You define folk horror as fiction in an isolated place, with unusual customs or traditions and a happening that is violent and or supernatural. The one that jumped right out at me was Carnival of Souls. (I love that movie, I think it’s fantastic and I don’t care what anyone says!) There’s a huge list, though, and it’s so hard to decide where to start. The hard question is, of the folk horror collection you’ve built up, which is your favorite?

That’s such a hard question. I’ve seen some absolute gems over the last year. There’s Viy, a delightful piece of Soviet whimsy, or Under the Shadow, which is about a mother and daughter in 80s Tehran being tormented by a djinn. Or Walkabout, which is a classic I hadn’t seen before. I think though it’s going to have to be Penda’s Fen, about a boy who starts out as a self-righteous prick and a bit of a bigot, and ends up over the course of a visionary journey we’ll on the way to being a queer gnostic prophet of the land. It’s a strange, radical story, full of dreams and visions, the ghost of Elgar, angels and devils. More than any of the others, it’s the one that made me think, yeah, that’s why I’m doing this.

2. Which one was the hardest to watch?

That’s easy. The Wicker Tree. Made nearly forty years after The Wicker Man by the same director, it’s… somewhat disappointing.

Scratch that. It’s terrible, painful to watch and when I saw it I found myself hitting pause every fifteen minutes and going off to do some laundry, or empty the dishwasher, or clean the hob on the cooker, anything at all to have a break from watching this.

3. How about an easier one. What do you think Space Barbie is up to these days?

For your readers who don’t know: Space Barbie is a Ukrainian alternative model who resembles a doll, but who also leads a past lives cult, claiming she was an intersex Lemurian mystic called Amatue. She is also, perhaps a little inevitably, a white supremacist and hates children, just in case you thought there might be any redeeming features there.

I do actually keep tabs on what she’s doing, which is mostly documented on Instagram and VK (Russian Facebook). She moved to Mexico City last year, where she’s doing the new age cult stuff but also working as a club DJ. I do not know if she is any good as a DJ. But her own singles have not been at all good.

4. What do you think is the the biggest thing popular media gets wrong about what we call ‘ancient Rome’?

It’s not the ethnic diversity – the media is getting that about right these days and getting flak from internet morons about it.

It’s more that the narrative of Rome as a benevolent empire stands unchallenged, and while all the literature (all written by men of a particular social standing) says that women had a place and slavery was an unchallenged idea, that doesn’t actually mean these things were true. And there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary if you know where to look.

(Which I wrote a book about.)

5. In all of fiction, mythology, media or even the real world, what or who is your favorite robot? 😀

Max from Channel 4’s Humans. The idea of a self-aware machine who not only entirely on his own comes to the conclusion that altruism is the only way but who even wonders about the divine and the irrational, and sees its value, appeals to me greatly.

Follow Howard Ingham on Facebook

Stop by his blog to read more about Folk Horror.

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