In honor of the Halloween season, Monday’s edition of “The Freak Power Ticket” (October 28th) concluded a two-part reflection on the popularity of the horror genre in contemporary popular culture — especially vampire and zombie narratives.

Producer/host Ted Coe interviewed special guest Professor Dick Hebdige (UCSB’s Departments of Art and Film & Media Studies), who is currently teaching a university course about the phenomenon.

Public Domain.

Still from George A. Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD

Author of the important cultural studies work Subculture: The Meaning of Style, Hebdige connected punk-rock aesthetics to both romantic gothicism and apocalyptic scenarios. Discusing the historical and political context of George A. Romero‘s groundbreaking film, Night of the Living Dead (and the entire allegorical oeuvre of America’s undisputed “Zombie King”), Hebdige also linked Italian horror cinema to an avant-garde tradition, and post-9/11 undead works to current anxieties over global crises. The conversation also devoted attention to the seductive literary and cinematic tales of vampirism coming from the imaginations of female authors like Anne RiceStephenie Meyer (the Twilight Saga), and Charlaine Harris (True Blood).

Photo Courtesy UCSB's Department of Film & Media Studies

UCSB Professor Dick Hebdige (Art and Film & Media Studies)

The broadcast also announced a public screening of the 2012 Cuban zombie-satire Juan of the Dead, this coming Wednesday, October 30th, 7pm, at UCSB’s Pollock Theater. That night, Film & Media Studies Professor Cristina Venegas will facilitate a Q&A with the visiting writer/director Alejandro Brugués.

An edited podcast of the program is now available for download and playback below.

“The Freak Power Ticket” airs on Mondays in the fall from 11am-12noon.