Kier-La Janisse to present School of Shock at Dead by Dawn; New High School Horror Mixtape!


Acclaimed writer Kier-La Janisse (HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN) boasts a great talent: the mixtape. Often coinciding with essays and programming duties, the soundtracks to whatever happens to be Janisse’s focus at the time are often wild blends of pop, dialogue and score that make for true auditory delight. As Scotland’s Dead by Dawn film festival approaches—at which we’ll be presenting the UK premiere of OCULUS—Janisse has crafted another, this directly tying in with the lecture she’ll be presenting at the event titled, “School of Shock: Pain and Pleasure in the Classroom Safety Film.”

Taking the stage at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse on Friday, April 25th, “School of Shock…” will present some of the most notorious educational films of the 40-year golden age of social hygiene onscreen, broken into five sections: Safe Play, Drugs, Driver’s Ed, VD and Work Safety. We’ll also briefly look at educational television PSAs, from the British Public Information Films through the incredibly grisly Australian drunk driving commercials of the 1990s. 

In a press release, the writer and programmer expands:

For many genre fans, a love affair with horror and the grotesque began early on, sometimes fueled by unlikely sources. One of these was the classroom safety film. Thousands of these films were made in North America from the 1940s through the 1980s, when companies like Centron, McGraw-Hill, Coronet, Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Avis Films, Highway Safety Films, Crawley Films, Bell Labs, the NFB and others thrived  on the burgeoning market for classroom or workplace educational films.

Subjects ranged from safety in and around vehicles, to drug abuse and venereal disease, teaching children scary lessons about everything from dental hygiene to how to spot a pedophile. The most memorable of these films deliberately used horror visuals to entice and/or shock children and teens into paying attention.

You can hear VOLCANOES: A HIGH SCHOOL HORROR MIXTAPE below. For more on School of Shock and Dead By Dawn, visit the festival’s official site here. And for Janisse’s writing on educational film terror here at Fango, see a Q&A about railway scare film THE FINISHING LINE here, and some serious Driver’s Ed shock here.

VOLCANOES: A High School Horror Mixtape by Kier-La Janisse on Mixcloud

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Samuel Zimmerman

Fangoria.com Managing Editor Samuel Zimmerman has been at FANGORIA since 2009, where fresh out of the Purchase College Cinema Studies program, he began as an editorial assistant. Since, he’s honed both his writing and karaoke skills and been trusted with the responsibility of jury duty at Austin’s incredible Fantastic Fest. Zimmerman lives in and hails from The Bronx, New York where his pants are too tight and he’ll watch anything with witches.

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