Browsing Category

Editorial

Personal opinions and commentary.

Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 2.17.33 PM

Yes I Am Afraid of the Dark, Thanks for Asking

Editor’s Note: NickSplat is now available on VRV! It includes Nickelodeon content from the 1990’s and beyond, including “AAAHH!!! Real Monsters,” “Are You Afraid of the Dark?,” “CatDog,” “Clarissa Explains It All,” “Doug,” “Kenan & Kel,” “Legends of the Hidden Temple,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “The Angry Beavers” and “The Wild Thornberrys,” among others. To celebrate, we’re sharing our childhood experiences with these shows and inviting you to rewatch these classics with us.

I was an anxious kid growing up. I worried about improbable scenarios, invisible threats, and even the fates of characters on TV. So when Are You Afraid of the Dark? came on each weekday evening with its spooky opening music, I usually scrambled to shut off the TV or switch to playing The Rocketeer on my Super Nintendo—it was the 90s, you were stuck with what was airing on TV and whatever garbage videogame you asked your parents to get for your birthday based on the cover art.

FeatureImage

How Dragon Ball Super Solves the “Sissy Villain” Problem

Editor’s Note: This article references the Toei dub of Dragon Ball Super.

Growing up, I identified with the villains in stories. Characters like Scar from The Lion King, Envy in Fullmetal Alchemist and Loki within the Marvel Universe were some of my favorites in the media I consumed, and the list only grew longer as I got older.

It was a few years before I realized why I gravitated towards the “pretty”, flamboyant villains who frequently wore purple eyeshadow: I was gay and nonbinary, and these were often the only mirrors I had when consuming media. They were characters I could connect to with ease.

image2

You Called for Me: Masculine Pain and Isolation in Akira

From Breaking Bad’s arrogant, embittered Walter White to Conan the Barbarian’s titular brute, the masculine urge to dominate is a prevalent narrative force in popular art. How many movies and shows consist more or less solely of men struggling with one another for control over a lover, a kingdom, a company? Katsuhiro Otomo’s legendary 1988 animated sci-fi feature Akira, a brutal film about a futuristic Tokyo gripped by unrest and corruption, a gang of rough-edged young biker punks, and the mysteries surrounding a group of children with terrifying psychic powers, delves deep into this stock element of so much action-driven fiction, probing at the seldom-touched origins of masculine violence with surprising poignancy.

image4

Goku is the John Cena of Dragon Ball and That’s Fine Actually

When I was a kid, there were few responsibilities I took as seriously as my daily obligation to join Toonami Tom and watch the newest decade-late rerun of Dragon Ball Z. It didn’t matter if I’d seen the episode a million times—the battles fought by Goku, Piccolo, Vegeta, and all their friends against countless colorful foes lit up the dopamine centers of my adolescent brain like a Christmas tree.

I love Dragon Ball Z. I always have, and I always will. But I have a confession to make:

I don’t give a crap about the super powerful, never-give-up, unwaveringly-cheerful main character of the series. I don’t care about Goku.

Header

Midnight Void: I’m Not Your Wolf Man, Guy

There are films that simply belong to another place—a place reserved for the indefinable, the indefensible, the irredeemable, cinematic slime banished long ago to a dimension that is accessible only in the darkest hours. So leave your humanity behind, embrace the social mutant within, and enter… the Midnight Void.

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 6.11.02 PM

The Surprising Origins of One of Sci-Fi’s Scariest Supernatural Threats

In the early 2000s, Stargate was the sci-fi franchise to beat. Star Trek was running both Voyager—generally held to be the weakest series in the franchise—and Deep Space Nine, now a critical hit but representing a vast divergence from The Original Series and The Next Generation. Enter Stargate SG-1, a live-action series based on Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin’s 1994 film Stargate, a tale about an ancient portal allowing for interstellar adventures. SG-1 would go on to run for ten years, accompanied by a line of toys, books, and even Stargate-shaped coasters.

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 12.44.18 PM

How YouTube Makes Childrens’ Entertainers Behave Like Machines

In 2018, YouTube is a nightmare. Neon thumbnails and meaningless titles litter the trending videos page, a state far removed from the platform’s humble beginnings in 2005. Ruling over this state like a distant sovereign is the algorithm, a power that prioritizes quantity and view count over quality. At the algorithm’s whims, YouTube’s top creators endlessly churn out videos and sacrifice their sanity.

image4

The Cursed Interior: Women in Horror

Editor’s Note: This piece contains graphic imagery.

“Emotional.” The word refers not to the experience of having emotions, but to being overwhelmed by them, to becoming a vector for their messy, difficult expression. It conjures up images of puffy red eyes, snot oozing over trembling lips, voices twisted by grief into unintelligible squeaking.

It’s also a word used almost exclusively to refer to women. Our culture has a deep aversion to the uglier aspects of women’s inner lives—not just tears and anger, but the things that fester inside us from our girlhoods to our deathbeds. Our deepest resentments, our smothered dreams, our cruelly cultivated hatred for our own bodies.

Wide (1)

[START]: VRV Music Project

We’re proud to announce our latest artist collaboration project: VRV MUSIC! 🎉

What is VRV Music you ask? It’s the next step in a series of creative initiatives where we partner with, support, and help promote independent creators!

header

How the Australian Government Funded a Wave of Bizarre Horror Films, Embarrassed the Critics, and Kickstarted the Careers of Hollywood Writers

In 1975, Peter Weir’s haunting Picnic at Hanging Rock cast a spell on viewers worldwide; the ambiguous tale lulled its audience into a dreamy haze with the mystery of three schoolgirls vanishing at the titular Hanging Rock. The picture heralded a New Wave of Australian cinema, and local critics were ecstatic to have such a work represent the continent to filmgoers across the globe.

Header

Midnight Void: Night Train to Terror

God and the Devil share a cabin aboard a train barreling through the night. A Night Train to Terror, if you will. Oh, I almost forgot, in the car up ahead there’s this breakdancing guy in DayGlo sweats. He’s the lead singer of this band, and they only have one song. I know they only have one song because they perform it over and over, and over again. There’s also a saxophone player, he gets a solo at one point. But back to the night train. Its destination could only be one place, a place we know all too well by this point: The Midnight Void.