Rae Dawn Chong Headlines ‘7 Magpies’ - All-Black Female Director Horror Anthology Film
Photo Credit: S & A

Rae Dawn Chong Headlines ‘7 Magpies’ - All-Black Female Director Horror Anthology Film

nullExciting news coming out of the horror

landscape, a genre we don’t get to highlight enough on Shadow and Act. 

Seven African-American female writers and

directors (so, 14 total) have joined forces to create the horror anthology film

“7 Magpies.”

Some of the names are quite well known to

our readers, including authors Tananarive Due (“My Soul to Keep”) and Valjeanne

Jeffers (“Immortal” series), filmmaker Tiffany D. Jackson (horror short “The

Field Trip”), and most notably actress/director Rae Dawn Chong (“The Color Purple”, “The Visit,” “Beat Street”).  Yet all of the women involved are significant artists, extending outside

of film into the subset of horror and all-around speculative fiction.  

nullL.C. Cruell, creator and co-Executive

Producer of “7 Magpies,” is a longtime writer/director who felt inspired to

break the monolithic stereotypes of Black people not being involved in horror,

especially Black women. “It’s not a question of not existing…it’s a question of not

being believed in, backed, funded, hired, given a seat at the table,” she remarks.

Cruell continues that, “As hot as horror anthologies are right now (“The ABCs

of Death” 1&2, the “V/H/S” series and the upcoming “Tales of

Halloween,” “Holidays”, etc.), not one black woman has been included in a

single one, not even the all female one (“XX” – slated for a 2016 release)."

Inspired by

advice from noted filmmaker & cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, Cruell

crafted “7 Magpies” out of the classic superstition of the titular bird as an

ill omen, one in which the number of magpies one sees determined if one will

have bad luck or not.  The film’s name and plot, straight out of the creepy nursery

rhyme, while possessing multiple versions,

according to Cruell represent, “a form of oral storytelling key to many

cultures of color – and the perfect framework for the first all

African-American female horror anthology feature.” 

The other writers for the film include

Linda D. Addison (“How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend”), Crystal Connor (“The Darkness”), Eden

Royce (“Open All Hours”, Sumiko Saulson (“Happiness and Other Diseases”), and

Paula Ashe (“The Mother of All Monsters”); the directors, in addition to Chong,

Jackson, and Cruell, also include R. Shanea Williams (“Contamination”), Nicole

Renee Simmons, Lary Love Dolley (“Ectoplasm”), and Meosha Bean (“The Dark


“7 Magpies” is

co-executive produced by Stacy Pippi Hammon.

Aiming for “7

Magpies” to transcend all previous horror anthologies, Cruell and her writers

and directors want the film to be the most haunting horror film audiences will

see for some time.  With the range

of talent attached and devoted to making this happen, this can assuredly

happen.  Still in pre-production,

you can follow the “7 Magpies” team on Facebook.com/7MagpiesMovie and

Twitter at @the7Magpies.

Stay tuned to S&A for further developments on this film project.  

Curtis Caesar John is a longtime contributor

to Shadow And Act for which he created the regular feature ‘This Week in Black

Television.’  Currently the Film

Editor for Bold As Love Magazine, he also covers film and culture for Limité

Magazine and is the Film Programmer for mobile multicultural movie & music

app Project Catalyst. Follow him on Twitter at @MediaManWatch.


Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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