John Grassi's recent essay "The Unhappy Undead" was published in PopMatters and will be included in Centipede Press' new collection: Studies in the Horror Film Night of the Living Dead. An excerpt from his first novel, The Order of the Malachi was a finalist in L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Award.
This isn’t the China that the propaganda ministers in Beijing tirelessly promote. This isn’t what their corporate partners in America want people to see. Yet Fan doesn’t flinch from this personal tragedy, this disintegration of a family.
Torture is symptomatic of a society that’s given up on liberal democracy, due process of law, and common decency. When the use of torture is accepted, a moral threshold has been crossed and only barbarism can follow.
The Order has a veiled reference to The Exorcist and its demon Pazuzu. It’s illustrative to compare these two films, for they’re both concerned with the same themes—occult knowledge and the nature of evil.