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Outer Space: Hexus Journal Pick An Experimental Horror Bakers Dozen
The Quietus , October 13th, 2017 10:06

To start our run up to Halloween, Thogdin Ripley and Philippa Snow of avant-horror publishers Hexus Journal pick thirteen films that blur the worlds of horror and the avant-garde to frightening, funny and sometimes shocking effect

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HAND THING (Eric Fournier as Shaye St John, 2007)

"LONG STORY SHORT,” says Shaye St John’s ‘self’-authored bio on her website, shayestjohn.net, “I AM AN ENTERTAINER, I AM A MODEL, I AM A SINGER…I AM SO MANY THINGS! I AM ALSO THE WORLDS RECORD HOLDER FOR HAVING THE MOST PROBLEMS!"

Supposedly a supermodel injured in an accident, left wheelchair-bound, then brainwashed by the CIA, St. John is — I should say, unfortunately, was — the brainchild of the introverted, genius artist Eric Fournier, who passed away in 2010. A means for Fournier to publically provoke without revealing too much of himself, Shaye starred in several videos that Wikipedia calls “surrealist camp”, but which might also be called “public-broadcast horror”. They’re popular on YouTube, in what tends to be colloquially called “the weird part”, it would also not be wrong to call them “memes”, the way I Feel Fantastic is a meme.

Fournier always called them “triggers”, which prefigures the mainstreaming of the “trigger warning” phrase, and also accurately sums up the effect they have upon the viewer — quantifying why HAND THING or THE DRIP-DROP DIET are such fuel for nightmares, even though no really dark event takes place, is difficult; but they are extremely hard to watch alone. "[I]t's really hard in LA to show people something they haven't seen before," a friend of the artist said to Vice in 2015. “But he was able to create something that [...] if you saw it in person you're like—Holy shit, what is this? To be able to create something that really shocks people, and makes them freak out and question in a wonderful way is incredibly powerful."

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