Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!

Chris Justice

Chris Justice's picture
Staff Writer

Born and raised in New Jersey (Exit 9), I live, after an enchanting two-year detour in New Mexico, with my wife and two children in a farmhouse built in 1939 in Owings Mills, Maryland. During the day, I'm the Director of Expository Writing at the University of Baltimore; at night, on weekends, and during other flashes of inspiration, I'm a freelance writer.

Hoping to never fit in anywhere, when I'm not teaching, watching horror films, or writing, I can usually be found fishing, hiking, reading, plucking my bass, rooting for the 49ers or Devils, or chillin' with my wife and kids.

I also enjoy spreading government conspiracies and talking to myself in mall parking lots. A humanist and liberal arts nerd at heart, there is little I find boring. Not too many nights pass without at least one dream-episode involving some type of monster registering in my unconscious. Last night it was rabid chipmunks; the night before, the ghost of my Little League coach, who turned zombie, then became lunch for a giant squid.

I hold a master's degree in Modern Studies from Loyola College and a bachelor's in English from Rutgers University. While living in Albuquerque, I earned teacher certification in Secondary English Education at the University of New Mexico and recently completed a Certificate in Online Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I formerly served as an Assistant Professor of English and Mass Communication at The Community College of Baltimore County.

Once a staff writer for Greater Media Newspapers in New Jersey, my words have since appeared in The Baltimore Sun, Senses of Cinema, PopMatters, Bay Weekly, Slow Trains Literary Journal, and Blue Ridge Country. My monthly column, The Tackle Box, was featured in PopMatters from 2007-2009 and focused on how the sport of fishing has been portrayed in popular culture. I also recently completed the following book chapters, which have appeared (or will appear) in upcoming anthologies: one about the sexploitation films of Edgar G. Ulmer; one about the role of travel and family vacations in Michael Haneke's films; another about the Back to the Future trilogy and its relationship to Ronald Reagan's political rhetoric; one about Joseph H. Lewis' seminal lovers on the run film, Gun Crazy; and finally, another about how depictions of the Arctic helped define and establish the mise-en-scene of eco-horror films. I'm also working on several creative writing projects.

Posts by Chris Justice

Oil and a Dangerous South: Alternate Geopolitical Readings of "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"

Texas Chain Saw Massacre poster (French)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. I know, I know. Provocative interpretations of Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (TCSM) abound. I was reminded of that once again after reading Planks of Reason: Essays on the Horror Film while writing an essay (that had nothing to do with TCSM) for another publication. And of course, our articles and reviews this month served notice once again: TCSM may be the most provocative horror film in American history. (read more...)

Review: The Last Winter (2006)

Last Winter poster

The popularity of horror films set in polar settings is hard to ignore. In the 1950s, during one of horror's most misunderstood subgenres - the creature feature film - polar landscapes were a common setting that harbored dinosaurs, aliens, and mutant insects. However, those landscapes assumed roles subordinate to their narratives' focus because more pressing geopolitical issues related to the Cold War dominated the day. (read more...)

Review: Corridors of Blood (1958)

Corridors of Blood poster

Robert Day's Corridors of Blood is a provocative, taut early installment of the medical thriller made popular by contemporary authors such as Robin Cook and Michael Crichton. It's 1840 in London, and Boris Karloff is Dr. Thomas Bolton, a well-meaning surgeon who moonlights once a week as a general practitioner for the poor. Since he performs amputations, his research focuses on developing anesthetics to make surgery painless. Supported by his son and niece, Bolton publicly displays his latest development, a primitive form of gaseous anesthesia, but his demonstration fails miserably when his patient awakens while Bolton is cutting his arm. Chaos ensues, and Bolton is suspended from practicing medicine. Nevertheless, he continues his research, and becomes addicted to the anesthetic gases.(read more...)

Review: The Devil Commands (1941)

The Devil Commands poster

It's hard to imagine the history of film or literature without mad scientists. We'd never have encountered Victor Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Moreau, or a host of other colorful, enduring characters that have captivated our souls for decades. The Devil Commands is a testament to that prototype's allure.

As a popular narrative trope, mad scientist stories appear, on the surface, simple. Enter your typical mad scientist. He's crazy and consequently initiates a firestorm of chaos. Hell breaks loose, innocents die, he's hunted down and eventually caught, punished, or exterminated. However, underlying these conventions lurk crucial thematic and generic questions that defy cursory analysis. Is the scientist's "science" scientific? What drives him mad: his inherently evil intentions or the science itself and his quest for knowledge? Is the chaos intentional or accidental? Is the chaos a result of the scientist or his science?(read more...)

Review: The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

Incredible Shrinking Man poster

Okay, let's face it: size does matter.

Based on Richard Matheson's novel The Shrinking Man and directed by cult sci-fi and horror guru Jack Arnold of It Came from Outer Space, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Tarantula fame, The Incredible Shrinking Man is considered one of science fiction's best films. Its strengths, however, lurk more in the horrific implications it presents than its science fiction.(read more...)