Horror Favourites – Eric LaRocca

Readers who love poignant horror with LGBT characters will not want to miss Starving Ghosts in Every Thread by Eric LaRocca. To celebrate the release of his new novella Eric spoke to us about his favourite horror film.

Fresh from his MFA program at Emerson College, author Eric LaRocca independently released his debut novella, Starving Ghosts in Every Thread, on Friday, May 1stt, 2020. Although this is Mr. LaRocca’s first full length literary endeavor, his short fiction has seen publication in various anthologies and literary journals in the US and abroad such as, Of Devils & Deviants, Stiff Things, and Year’s Best Hardcore Horror: Volume 2.

A somber mixture of dark fantasy and queer horror, Starving Ghosts in Every Thread follows a young girl named Teddy as she harbors a gruesome secret – her body literally unravels unless she feeds off the emotions of others. When she encounters another girl from town with an equally disturbing secret, it’s not long before Teddy’s insatiable hunger fueled by guilt begins to threaten her safety and violently touch all those who cross her path with disaster.

“This is the book I was afraid to write,” LaRocca explains. “It’s so deeply personal. I think horror and dark fantasy are the perfect genres to explore profoundly upsetting themes like guilt and abandonment.” He goes on to reveal, “Honoring my sexuality is also hugely important to me. There are so many talented openly queer writers currently working in the realm of speculative fiction and it’s a privilege to add my voice to the mix.”

Starving Ghosts in Every Thread was released on Friday, May 1st 2020. Readers can order paperback and Kindle copies at the following link: https://amzn.to/2UbDsPY

Below talks about his favourite horror film Possession

“Andrzej Zulawski 1981 cult classic, Possession (alternatively titled The Night the Screaming Stops) will forever hold a special place in my heart simply because it’s cinema at its most audacious. The film is a master class in unbridled dread and psychological terror. What begins as a seemingly unremarkable domestic drama chronicling the degeneration of a married couple’s (a pre-Jurassic Park Sam Neil and a divinely masterful Isabelle Adjani) relationship soon turns into a harrowing descent into madness and psychosexual depravity with Lovecraftian undertones tossed in for good measure.

Although often incorrectly promoted as a benign “possession story” in the United States at the time of its initial ludicrously truncated release, Possession instead explores the intense ownership one feels for another when in a relationship and grimly illustrates the pernicious consequences of that self-appointed ownership, that concept of possession. Moreover, Zulawski’s film explores the inherent duality of human nature – good and evil – and in the tradition of Canadian body horror auteur, David Cronenberg, gives physical meaning to these metaphorical concepts. This is especially evident in the infamous “subway sequence” when Adjani’s character has a literal “miscarriage of faith”, fluids oozing from her every orifice. The scene is absolutely mesmerizing to watch and serves as the electric centerpiece of the entire film. I dare audience members to watch it and not be awestruck by Adjani in her most fearless role.

I initially encountered Possession while in my Undergraduate program at Western Connecticut State University. I was first completely captivated by Adjani’s award-winning performance, her high-octane mania as we followed her further into the depths of her self-made debauchery. I think Possession excels as a film simply because it asks many questions throughout the course of its 120-minute run time but doesn’t necessarily provide explanations for each question. Who is the man with the pink socks? Why exactly is Bob’s schoolteacher a doppelganger of Adjani’s character? What does the creature actually represent? These are merely a few of the myriad of questions one might contemplate upon initial viewing. I, myself, still struggle with the answers.

Although Possession is vastly different from my newly released novella, Starving Ghosts in Every Thread, I think both works are siblings of a similar sorrow. There’s a discernible melancholia rippling beneath the surface in both pieces. After all, palpable horror is often rooted in the exquisite misery of sadness.”

Starving Ghosts in Every Thread was released on Friday, May 1st 2020. Readers can order paperback and Kindle copies at the following link: https://amzn.to/2UbDsPY

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Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

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