(CW: Violence against women.)
Hello, Gentle Readers!
I’m traveling again, which means longform content is postponed ‘til next week; a Most Dangerous Game will go live on Wednesday as usual, though — and if you’re a Patreon supporter, it’s actually already available via early access on my patron-exclusive feed.
To keep you occupied in the meantime, I present to you a remarkably creepy short film from the most unlikely of source: A fashion house. In 2008, BOUDICCA (named for this rad lady) presented “The Library Kills” at the Fashion in Film festival in London. The theme that year was “If Looks Could Kill”; the festival intended to “[explore] the compelling links between cinema, fashion, crime, and violence,” particularly with regard to cinematic genres like thriller and horror.
“The Library Kills” is presented almost like a slideshow; it’s composed almost entirely of still images, although the occasional shot does include some animation. The rhythm and pacing of the piece is essential to the storytelling, as is the soundtrack/soundscape that accompanies it.
What I get from it is basically a serial killer narrative: A man stalks, kidnaps, and kills victims before dismembering them and disposing of them in isolated locations; he also possibly makes suits out of the victims’ skins, a la Ed Gein. He doesn’t get away with it, though. He’s caught, his crimes discovered, and revenge is meted out against him by the people he sought to victimize. I feel like there’s some commentary on the Lacanian gaze in here, too — eyes are a recurring visual motif, with the implication being that they’re watching and spying on others, unobserved, with a level of focus that underlines the obsession.
“The Library Kills” is the kind of horror that leaves a squirming, uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach. Watch it here:
[Photo via MichaelGaida/Pixabay]