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The Instagram blending horror, S&M and Satanism

Posting 80s cinema, occult references, style and subculture, hit follow on @nightflesh, @dazedfashion’s Instagram of the week

In the sea of inspiration pages and re-grammed references that we call Instagram, it can be hard to find something that’s unique. Cue: @nightflesh, a blog-turned-Instagram-account run by a pretty anonymous Brit with a penchant for horror movies, music, art, BDSM, the occult and the unusual. Fuelled by the curator’s wildly imaginative streak and his desire to unearth lesser-known visuals from the past, the account broadcasts everything from BDSM artworks to 80s horror movie VHS graphics and the pages from 70s books and magazines that centred around witchcraft and the occult. 

Who are you?

Nightflesh: A weirdo sometimes artist and musician, based in Birmingham, England.

How would you describe your account?

Nightflesh: Predominantly an image collection for the realms of film, music, art, fashion design, BDSM, the occult and the unusual, while acknowledging the absurdity of it all. It tends to explore, and give exposure to, what's out there now and is lesser known from the past. Things that aren't restricted by mainstream limits or formulaic repetition.  

What made you start Night Flesh?

Nightflesh: I started a blog some years ago that was similar and after time away from that combined with the changes in social media, it felt right and easy to get going again in this current form. There didn't seem to be the same content anywhere else.

What's the criteria for a Nightflesh post and how would you define the aesthetic?

Nightflesh: Fantasy is vital. Whether playful or otherwise, if it feels right and cohesively works in the sequence of posts then that's enough. The aesthetic is pretty open, though psychedelia, sexuality, personas and lawlessness often appear in the themes.

What is it that fascinates you about the occult?

Nightflesh: Learning the history is interesting. Defiance and subversion of the norm are important aspects too, which bleed into punk and metal music and other underground DIY music cultures that encourage empowerment. 

Where do you source your content?

Nightflesh: Mostly by looking through foreign movie posters, vintage BDSM photography and illustration, VHS and book cover art, creative/artist accounts on Instagram, film stills, any fashion documentaries and articles from past decades, and graphic design material from the genres of punk and metal music. I have thousands of images saved. Tangible materials are kept to a minimum.

What are your favourite sources?

Nightflesh: These aren’t sources per se, but eroticcult, houseofselfindulgence, trash-fuckyou and witchfinger share certain zones.

Do you take submissions?

Nightflesh: Yes, submissions, takeovers, collaborations and other creative plans are in the works for next year.

What do your references reveal about you?

Nightflesh: Perhaps that playing it safe isn’t a concern.

What songs or artists would you choose to soundtrack your account?

What are your favourite horror movies?

Nightflesh: I’ve probably inadvertently seen Jaws, Aliens and Tremors the most. Under The Skin is a favourite recent one, it’s real fucking classy and unsettling and a great example of how maybe horror is about loneliness and longing. I’m always seeking out foreign films, they’ve been nailing it for a long time. There are so many 70s and 80s picks that are always fun for a blast. The best of Carpenter, Lynch, Argento, Cronenberg, Fulci, Craven and Hitchcock and Stephen King adaptations. Then some other favourites have a strange quality like Possession, Wolfen and Picnic At Hanging Rock. I’m waiting for some good new psychedelic horror films to be made, there are moments of that recently but there should be more. British TV has a lot of good work from the 70s worth looking at too, for example The Stone Tape. 

Has anything unexpected come out of posting your content?

Nightflesh: The direct messages are fun after posting BDSM images – random males initiate communication not realising they’re talking to a man instead of a dominatrix. So far it was mainly surprising to find there’s a fucking cool community of bullshit-free artists and creatives and their fans on Instagram, that’s great to see happening – supportive and accessible and honest weirdos.