Back to IndieWire

HBFF Preview – Tariq Nasheed’s Indie Mad Scientist Horror Film ‘The Eugenist’

HBFF Preview - Tariq Nasheed's Indie Mad Scientist Horror Film 'The Eugenist'

One of several 2012 The Hollywood Black Film Festival profiles we’ll be posting leading up to the festival’s opening date October 25 and closing on October 28.

Titled The Eugenist, it’s an indie feature length horror film from director and author Tariq Nasheed.

New York Times best-selling author Tariq Nasheed steps out of his realm of dispensing ‘game’ and relationship advice once again.

Nasheed’s books The Mack Within, Play or Be Played, The Elite Way, and his all-time classic The Art of Mackin’ definitely have a worldwide audience, but last year he transformed his knowledge of the historical and psychological effects of slavery on the African diaspora, which he regulary speaks about in connection to men and women bettering themselves on his popular podcast ‘The Mack Lessons Radio Show,’ into his documentary Hidden Colors, which uncovers the untold history of people of Aboriginal, Moor, and African descent and features captivating interviews with Dr. Booker T. Coleman, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Shahrazad Ali, Dr. Phil Valentine, and others.

With The Eugenist, director Nasheed once again aims to explore complex themes, this time under the umbrella of a narrative horror film.  The plot revolves around a group of college students who stumble upon an abandoned school.  Unbeknownst to them, the school was targeted for a eugenics population control experiment.  The students decide to explore the school just for kicks, but once inside, they find out that the school is not so abandoned.

For those unaware, eugenics is an applied science and/or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits like blindness or deafness (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics).  In simpler words, it focuses on selective breeding.  Historically, eugenics aimed at manipulation of human populations and though popular in the early 20th century, it became negatively viewed when Nazi abuses enforced ‘racial hygiene’ and human experimentation on groups they considered “undesired.” But with genetic and reproductive technologies now seeing an upswing, the topic is very much in the news these days. 

And those knowledgeable of classic “mad scientist” horror films from the 1930’s know that its been theorized that that many of these films,  like Frankenstein, Island of Lost Souls, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydewere reflective of the ideologies and fears of the eugenics movement.  More from The Eugenist fill unfold on the official website in the coming months. 

Aaron Stongoni, writer of sequel films Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis and Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grace is already a horror expert, so you should expect that aspect of the film to be done somewhat traditionally, though tradition isn’t necessarily Nasheed’s wont – so don’t expect the Black man or woman in the flick to die first! 

The film also stars Nyell Segura and Rachelle Neal

It’ll screen at the HBFF when its doors open next week.

Here’s its trailer again:

This Article is related to: News