Thank you to everyone for supporting Disability in Horror Month. In the campaign's second year, so many of you have gotten involved with writing, reviewing and celebrating creators with disabilities in all aspects of horror.
Some ground-breaking projects and incredibly interesting array of people are featured in this issue. Owen Kent talked with us about his upcoming film; set to change the way fans perceive disabled characters in their favorite movies. William Wyman gave us some insight in creating incredible horror art when he lost most of his sight.
Some of our favorite artists explain how their dark artwork is reflective of their mental health conditions. And a project helping injured veterans achieve their goals in the world of indie horror film-making.
All this and more inside this very important issue of our magazine. We hope that some of the pieces inside will challenge the way you view underrepresented disabled creatives and prompt you to explore how the horror community can become a more welcoming and inclusive space for everyone.
From Tod Browning’s controversial 1932 film ‘Freaks’, to more recent examples such as ‘Hush’, horror and disability have shared an uneasy relationship. Archetypal villains, disposable characters, and shock reveals have – for the most part – prevented viewers from experiencing horror media with complex, realistic disabled characters. We’re not advocating for filmmakers to stop writing disabled villains – rather to create well researched, detailed disabled characters and challenge the representation we have seen until this point.
Disability in Horror Month came about as several members of the Popcorn Horror team have disabilities. Inspired by the success of other social campaigns within horror, the team decided to mark June 2017 as a month for celebration and challenging preconceptions. The team began to look at how their respective conditions were being portrayed in the films they love, and explore innovative ways of promoting a cause close to our hearts.
Liam Irons, who designed the logo said, “Being involved in this project is really important as it’s something that comes into everyone’s lives at some point or another, whether it’s mental or physical health, and we all share our love of indie horror. Designing the logo was fun and challenging, I enjoyed every second of this!”.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
Disability in Horror Month 2018 has a few clear aims.
To promote the work of disabled horror creators, giving them a voice and opportunity to share their work with the horror community. Many mainstream disability organisations don’t actually have too many of the people they claim to represent within their workforce. Disability in Horror Month is all about getting the work of disabled creators in front of as wide an audience as possible.
To challenge societal views of disability; starting with the horror genre. Disability has often been used as a cheap plot device, a way to make a villain more shocking or frightening or to incapacitate a victim. And that’s on the rare occasions where a disabled character actually plays a significant role at all! The campaign aims to challenge creators, asking them to think about the representation of this minority in their work.
To promote greater diversity in horror.
We’ve been inspired by the work of the Women in Horror campaign, and the Graveyard Shift Sisters, who have asked us to re-examine gender and race representations in the genre. Only 2.4 percent of all speaking or named characters in film were shown to have a disability in 2015. Horror can be a force for good, with it’s loyal and engaged community; and could set the standard of representation for Hollywood.