Signal Horizon

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The Horror Pod Class Season 3 Finale: Blood Quantum With Special Guest Gemma Files

Welcome to the Junior Year Episode 32 of the Horror Pod Class. My name is Tyler and I am the editor-in-chief of Signal Horizon, a magazine dedicated to exploring horror both in and out of the classroom. When I’m not managing Signal Horizon, I am a teacher at a local high school here in Kansas City, Missouri. Tonight, as I am every night, I am joined by my co-host and monster ambassador here at Signal Horizon, award-winning writer Orrin Grey! 

Tonight we are joined by a special guest. Gemma Files is a Canadian horror writer, journalist, and film critic. Her short story, “The Emperor’s Old Bones”, won the International Horror Guild Award for Best Short Story of 1999, and Her novel Experimental Film won the Shirley Jackson Award and the Sunburst Award. Her short stories have continually been picked for “Best of the Year” anthologies. Welcome to the pod, Gemma! 

What are we watching and reading:

Gemma: Just got a download of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic, which I’ve been looking forward to forever, and also found out that Tor is re-issuing the books she once thought destroyed her career–Certain Dark Things, her Mexican cartel vampire noir, and The Beautiful Ones, her Belle Epoque melodrama of manners with telekinesis. Which is great, ‘cause they’re both brilliant, and so is she. Otherwise, I’m finally coming back in print after ChiZine Publications collapsed, because Open Road Media picked up all my back-stock, and I’m doing a seasonal overview of Hannibal now it’s back on Netflix; Season One is already up at Speculative Chic, and I’m just into making notes on Season Two. I’m also working on a new novel, and I have a new collection coming out from Grimscribe Press, edited by Jon Padgett. The novel is set in 998 AD in a nunnery in Northumbria, and it’s sort of like…The Devils meets Midsommar. Oh, and a collection of my stories is being translated into Spanish, while two other stories have recently been translated into Italian and Russian.

Tyler: New Child’s Play. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. Finished Imaginary Friend by Michael Chabosky

Orrin: 1988 The Wind, Jean Ray The Great Nocturnal out of Wakefield Press

Here is the review

Dark Corners of the Web:

Essential Question: How does Blood Quantum demonstrate some of the elements of Indigenious Horror. 

Gemma: Well, for me, the name of the game is most definitely colonialism, and it may well be the shittiest game human beings have ever invented.

Summary: The dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi’gMaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague.

Directed by Jeff Barnaby

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael GreyeyesMichael GreyeyesTraylor
Elle-Máijá TailfeathersElle-Máijá TailfeathersJoss
Forrest GoodluckForrest GoodluckJoseph
Kiowa GordonKiowa GordonLysol
Olivia ScrivenOlivia ScrivenCharlie
Stonehorse Lone GoemanStonehorse Lone GoemanGisigu
Courtesy of Off Screen

Speaking of the “indian burial ground” trope:

Other Books/Movies/Art

Cargo, The Nightingale (put in stuff about my Tasmanian heritage here GF), The Sineaters (Toughest Indian in the World) Sherman Alexie


Buffalo Bill opens a pawn shop on the reservation

right across the border from the liquor store

and he stays open 24 hours a day,7 days a week

and the Indians come running in with jewelry

television sets, a VCR, a full-lenght beaded buckskin outfit

it took Inez Muse 12 years to finish. Buffalo Bill

takes everything the Indians have to offer, keeps it

all catalogues and filed in a storage room. The Indians

pawn their hands, saving the thumbs for last, they pawn

their skeletons, falling endlessly from the skin

and when the last Indian has pawned everything

but his heart, Buffalo Bill takes that for twenty bucks

closes up the pawn shop, paints a new sign over the old


charges the Indians five bucks a head to enter.

More Modern Problematic Films

Bone Tomahawk-His movies are DEF NOT MY JAM. Brawl in Cell Block 99 and new Puppet Master

S Craig Zahler


Meeks Cut Off


Production value is good, but otherwise…

It’s a drama. About men with family issues, native american rights and social history, life on a res, and similar important issues. With zombies thrown in here and there (and really, just a couple zombie interactions after an hour in).If you like dramas, this is great. If you want to explore Indigenous life / rights / issues, also great. But if you’re looking for horror that isn’t psychological, you’ll be sorely disapponted.

EDIT: now that I’m finished… it’s about one guy and his issues with his dad. EVERYTHING else is secondary at best. BAD and boring, unless you want drama / family issues. It was cool to see a First People language used, but after that, you could replace every character with their white trash equivalent, and the movie would not be significantly changed. So much possible, so much fail.