This fascinating study relates horror film to recent interpretations of the body and the self, drawing from feminist film theory, psychoanalytic theory, cultural criticism and gender studies. Applying the term horror broadly, this work includes discussions of black comedy, thrillers, science fiction, and slasher films. Central to this book is the view of horror as a modern iconography and discourse of the body. Badley's thought-provoking analysis of films by directors Tim Burton, Tobe Hooper, George Romero, Ridley Scott, Brian De Palma, David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Jonathan Demme, and Clive Barker, will be of interest to both scholars and students.
Body horror, a genre trope that showcases often graphic violations of the human body, is also justifiably called biological horror. The true biological nature of the horror elicited by these films is here discussed in light of hybrids, metamorphoses, mutations, aberrant sex, and zombification.
An alien entity that can take any living form invades an isolated scientific research station in the Antarctic. John Carpenter's "The Thing "is best known for some of the most startling visual effects - surreal, lurid, shocking perversions of the human body - ever committed to celluloid. At London's National Film Theatre in 1995, Quentin Tarantino named "The Thing" as one of his favorite films. Yet when it was released in 1982, it fared badly against another alien encounter movie, "E.T.," and critics panned it. But "The Thing "has aged well, and its influence can now be detected in everything from "Seven" to "Red Dwarf "and "The X Files." In her elegant and trenchant study, Anne Billson argues that "The Thing" has never been given its due.
Released in 1983, David Cronenberg's Videodrome is one of his most original and provocative works, fusing social commentary with shocking elements of sex and violence. Crossing the boundary between science fiction, horror, and social criticism, Videodrome remains a unique and brilliant work in the oeuvre of cinema's greatest maverick. Tim Lucas had behind-the-scenes access to every facet of production when Videodrome was filmed in 1981. His unique perspective provides interviews with cast and crew, including exclusive, never-before-published interviews with Cronenberg, commentary and analysis of the film, and over sixty black-and-white and color photographs, many never before seen.
A legendary fusion of science fiction and horror, Alien (1979) is one of the most enduring modern myths of cinema - its famously visceral scenes acting like a traumatic wound we seem compelled to revisit. Tracing the constellation of talents that came together to produce the film, Roger Luckhurst examines its origins as a monster movie script called Star Beast, dismissed by many in Hollywood as B-movie trash, through to its afterlife in numerous sequels, prequels and elaborations. Exploring the ways in which Alien compels us to think about otherness, Luckhurst demonstrates how and why this interstellar slasher movie, this old dark house in space, came to coil itself around our darkest imaginings about the fragility of humanity. This special edition features original cover artwork by Marta Lech.
Beginning with the unconventional sources of Clive Barker's inspiration, the book follows Barker from his pre-Hellraiser cinematic experience through the filming of the horror classic. It examines various themes (such as the undermining of the traditional family unit and the malleability of the flesh) found throughout the film series and the ways in which the representation of these themes changes from film to film. The religious aspects of the films are also discussed. Characters central to the franchise--and the mythos--are examined in detail. Included is a foreword by actor Doug Bradley, who portrayed the infamous Pinhead.
Lynch endlessly vacillates between Hollywood conventions and avant-garde experimentation, placing viewers in the awkward position of not knowing when the image is serious and when it's in jest, when meaning is lucid or when it's lost. His vexed style in this way places form and content in a perpetually self-consuming dialogue. But what do Lynch's films have to do with religion? Wilson aims to answer that question in his new book, The Strange World of David Lynch...Wilson illuminates not only Lynch's film but also the study of religion and film by showing that the most profound cinematic experiences of religion have very little to do with traditional belief systems. His book offers fresh ways of connecting the cinematic image to the sacred experience.
Publication Date: 2018-11-06
It's not often that a remake outshines its original but David Cronenberg's "reimagining" of The Fly (1986) is one of those rare exceptions. Equal parts horror, science fiction, and romance, The Fly takes the premise of its 1958 original—a man unintentionally fusing with a housefly during an experiment in teleportation—and reinterprets the plot as a gradual cellular metamorphosis between these two organisms. This book teases out the intricate DNA of The Fly and how it represents the personalities of many authors, including a distinguished history of Man-as-God tales stretching back to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818). Drawing from interviews with cast, crew, film commentators, and other filmmakers, Emma Westwood interlaces the "making of" travails of The Fly with why it is one of the most important examples of master storytelling ever committed to screen.
"Shivers" (1975) depicts a venereal parasite infecting both male and female characters, but the manner in which women are victims as well as victimizers problematizes the function of the monster in this and other David Cronenberg films.
Operating self-sufficiently on the fringes of the Japanese film industry for almost his entire career, the work of independent filmmaker Tsukamoto Shinya is perhaps best-known for its uncompromising, musical freneticism, as well as its corporeal spectacle. However, Tsukamoto’s dynamic clashing of visual media signifiers, such as those of theatre and television (industries within which he also operated prior to his film career during the 1980s), and how these impact upon his reflexive cinematic style, has yet to be fully considered.
Drawing on Laura Mulvey’s conception of the ‘uncanny’ in response to cinema’s potential to confuse animate and inanimate, as well as Tsukamoto’s own under-discussed background in experimental street theatre and television advertising production, this essay seeks to examine Tsukamoto’s unique method of stop motion photography within his signature, self-produced feature Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989). The intention is to show that these hyperbolic sequences instill not only an uncanniness in their live-action subjects, who are rendered inanimate then reanimated to form staccato, cyborg characters, but also a ‘medial uncanny’ that simultaneously emulates and subverts the qualities of a vast range of visual media, particularly television and its associated post-medial peripherals and artifacts.
At its surface, Scanners is a comic-bookish, sci-fi, male-centric action/adventure fantasy, featuring predictable themes of world domination and good vs. evil; but like much of Cronenberg's work, the movie uses fantastic imagery and sardonic wit to tell a larger than life tale about the directions thirty-something baby-boomers are about to take as they are handed, or grab, the reins of power from the previous generation. [...]to his homeless garb, Vale is now dressed in white from head to toe, the image of purity, a blank canvas.
Because of his inability to focus his telepathic powers, Vale is driven senseless by the internal chatter of the people who are wordlessly ushered into a loft by Ruth. RSO (the Robert Stigwood Organization) was a highly successful independent record label that ventured into film production finding wild success with Saturday Night Fever (1 977) and Crease (1 978), and followed up with the abysmal failure of the indescribably awful Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978). According to The Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com/title/tt0081455/trivia), RSO paid for product placement in Scanners and then went out of business.