Unearthing the fearful flesh and sinful skins at the heart of gothic horror, Jack Morgan rends the genre’s biological core from its oft-discussed psychological elements and argues for a more transhistorical conception of the gothic, one negatively related to comedy. The Biology of Horror: Gothic Literature and Film dissects popular examples from the gothic literary and cinematic canon, exposing the inverted comic paradigm within each text.
Morgan’s study begins with an extensive treatment of comedy as theoretically conceived by Suzanne Langer, C. L. Barber, and Mikhail Bakhtin. Then, Morgan analyzes the physical and mythological nature of horror in inverted comic terms, identifying a biologically grounded mythos of horror. Motifs such as sinister loci, languishment, masquerade, and subversion of sensual perception are contextualized here as embedded in an organic reality, resonating with biological motives and consequences. Morgan also devotes a chapter to the migration of the gothic tradition into American horror, emphasizing the body as horror’s essential place in American gothic.
The bulk of Morgan’s study is applied to popular gothic literature and films ranging from high gothic classics like Matthew Lewis’s The Monk, Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, to later literary works such as Poe’s macabre tales, Melville’s “Benito Cereno,” J.S. Le Fanu’s Uncle Silas, H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow over Innsmouth,” Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hillhouse, Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, and Clive Barker’s The Damnation Game. Considered films include Nosferatu, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Night of the Living Dead, Angel Heart, The Stand, and The Shining.
Morganconcludes his physical examination of the Gothic reality with a consideration born of Julia Kristeva’s theoretical rubric which addresses horror’s existential and cultural significance, its lasting fascination, and its uncanny positive—and often therapeutic—direction in literature and film.
Rice's parasitical language is akin to the acts of those naked 18th century pirates of desire. In Blood of Mugwump Rice cannibalizes the likes of Joyce, Faulkner, Burroughs, Eliot, and a whole host of dead angelic others. Now trapped inside a kinetic body that is always changing from male to female, Doug Rice (the youngest Mugwump) sets out to discover himself in his sister's body. All the while the familial matriarch, Grandma Mugwump, feeds on the flesh of young Doug. Once through the looking glass, Doug realizes that Caddie (his polysexual Faulknerian nightmare of a sister) is more terrifying and holy than the average saint. A frenzied sexual virus, genetically conveyed, mutates and possesses the meat of Doug's and Caddie's bodies forcing them to love each other in unspeakable, yet classical, ways.
Faust: A Tragedy, Part I
Eugene Stelzig Bucknell University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PT2026.F2S74 2019 | Dewey Decimal 832.6
Goethe is the most famous German author, and the poetic drama Faust, Part I (1808) is his best-known work, one that stands in the company of other leading canonical works of European literature such as Dante’s Inferno and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This is the first new translation into English since David Constantine’s 2005 version. Why another translation when there are several currently in print? To invoke Goethe’s own authority when speaking of his favorite author, Shakespeare, Goethe asserts that so much has already been said about the poet-dramatist “that it would seem there’s nothing left to say,” but adds, “yet it is the peculiar attribute of the spirit that it constantly motivates the spirit.” Goethe’s great dramatic poem continues to speak to us in new ways as we and our world continually change, and thus a new or updated translation is always necessary to bring to light Faust’s almost inexhaustible, mysterious, and enchanting poetic and cultural power. Eugene Stelzig’s new translation renders the text of the play in clear and crisp English for a contemporary undergraduate audience while at the same time maintaining its leading poetic features, including the use of rhyme.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Challenging the classic horror frame in American film
American filmmakers appropriate the “ look” of horror in Holocaust films and often use Nazis and Holocaust imagery to explain evil in the world, say authors Caroline Joan (Kay) S. Picart and David A. Frank. In Frames of Evil: The Holocaust as Horror in American Film, Picart and Frank challenge this classic horror frame— the narrative and visual borders used to demarcate monsters and the monstrous. After examining the way in which directors and producers of the most influential American Holocaust movies default to this Gothic frame, they propose that multiple frames are needed to account for evil and genocide.
Using Schindler’ s List, The Silence of the Lambs, and Apt Pupil as case studies, the authors provide substantive and critical analyses of these films that transcend the classic horror interpretation. For example, Schindler’ s List, say Picart and Frank, has the appearance of a historical docudrama but actually employs the visual rhetoric and narrative devices of the Hollywood horror film. The authors argue that evil has a face: Nazism, which is configured as quintessentially innate, and supernaturally crafty.
Frames of Evil, which is augmented by thirty-six film and publicity stills, also explores the commercial exploitation of suffering in film and offers constructive ways of critically evaluating this exploitation. The authors suggest that audiences will recognize their participation in much larger narrative formulas that place a premium on monstrosity and elide the role of modernity in depriving millions of their lives and dignity, often framing the suffering of others in a manner that allows for merely “ documentary” enjoyment.
"James Rieger's Frankenstein is relatively special among editions: it is the definitive scholarly text, and it is also the most readable copy for the classroom and the general reader. . . .The Rieger Frankenstein is very simply the best edition of this tremendously important and popular novel."—William Veeder, University of Chicago
Outbreak narratives have proliferated for the past quarter century, and now they have reached epidemic proportions. From 28 Days Later to 24 to The Walking Dead, movies, TV shows, and books are filled with zombie viruses, bioengineered plagues, and disease-ravaged bands of survivors. Even news reports indulge in thrilling scenarios about potential global pandemics like SARS and Ebola. Why have outbreak narratives infected our public discourse, and how have they affected the way Americans view the world?
In Going Viral, Dahlia Schweitzer probes outbreak narratives in film, television, and a variety of other media, putting them in conversation with rhetoric from government authorities and news organizations that have capitalized on public fears about our changing world. She identifies three distinct types of outbreak narrative, each corresponding to a specific contemporary anxiety: globalization, terrorism, and the end of civilization. Schweitzer considers how these fears, stoked by both fictional outbreak narratives and official sources, have influenced the ways Americans relate to their neighbors, perceive foreigners, and regard social institutions.
Looking at everything from I Am Legend to The X Files to World War Z, this book examines how outbreak narratives both excite and horrify us, conjuring our nightmares while letting us indulge in fantasies about fighting infected Others. Going Viral thus raises provocative questions about the cost of public paranoia and the power brokers who profit from it.
A History of Horror
Dixon, Wheeler Winston Rutgers University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PN1995.9.H6D59 2010 | Dewey Decimal 791.43616409
Ever since horror leapt from popular fiction to the silver screen in the late 1890s, viewers have experienced fear and pleasure in exquisite combination. Wheeler Winston Dixon's A History of Horror is the only book to offer a comprehensive survey of this ever-popular film genre.
Arranged by decades, with outliers and franchise films overlapping some years, this one-stop sourcebook unearths the historical origins of characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman and their various incarnations in film from the silent era to comedic sequels. A History of Horror explores how the horror film fits into the Hollywood studio system and how its enormous success in American and European culture expanded globally over time.
Dixon examines key periods in the horror film-in which the basic precepts of the genre were established, then banished into conveniently reliable and malleable forms, and then, after collapsing into parody, rose again and again to create new levels of intensity and menace. A History of Horror, supported by rare stills from classic films, brings over fifty timeless horror films into frightfully clear focus, zooms in on today's top horror Web sites, and champions the stars, directors, and subgenres that make the horror film so exciting and popular with contemporary audiences.
Peter Ackroyd’s writing is obsessed with the defining heterogeneity of London—its rich diversity of human experience, mood, and emotion, of actions and events, and of the tools through which all of this heterogeneity is represented and reenacted. But for Ackroyd, one of the foremost of the so-called “London writers,” this energizing heterogeneity also has a sinister side, largely originating outside social norms and mainstream pathways of cultural production. Touching on everything from occult practices to the plotting of radical groups, crime and fraud, dubious scientific experiments, and popular, dramatic forms of ritual and entertainment, Ackroyd contends that these forces both contest prescribed cultural modes and supply the city with its characteristic dynamism and capacity for spiritual renewal.
This idiosyncratic London construct is particularly prominent in Ackroyd’s novels, in which his ideas about the city’s nature and his connection to English literary sensibilities combine to create a distinct chronotope with its own spatial and temporal properties. A Horror and a Beauty explores this world through six defining aspects of the city as Ackroyd identifies them: the relationship between London’s past and present, its uncanny manifestations, its felonious tendencies, its inhabitants’ psychogeographic and antiquarian strategies, its theatricality, and its inherently literary character.
When you think of British horror films, you might picture the classic Hammer Horror movies, with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and blood in lurid technicolor. Yet British horror has undergone an astonishing change and resurgence in the twenty-first century, with films that capture instead the anxieties of post-Millennial viewers.
Tracking the revitalization of the British horror film industry over the past two decades, media expert Steven Gerrard also investigates why audiences have flocked to these movies. To answer that question, he focuses on three major trends: “hoodie horror” movies responding to fears about Britain’s urban youth culture; “great outdoors” films where Britain’s forests, caves, and coasts comprise a terrifying psychogeography; and psychological horror movies in which the monster already lurks within us.
Offering in-depth analysis of numerous films, including The Descent, Outpost, and The Woman in Black, this book takes readers on a lively tour of the genre’s highlights, while provocatively exploring how these films reflect viewers’ gravest fears about the state of the nation. Whether you are a horror buff, an Anglophile, or an Anglophobe, The Modern British Horror Film is sure to be a thrilling read.
Grant, Barry Keith Rutgers University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PN1995.9.M6G69 2018 | Dewey Decimal 791.4367
Monster Cinema introduces readers to a vast menagerie of movie monsters. Some are gigantic, like King Kong or the kaiju in Pacific Rim, while others are microscopic. Some monsters appear uncannily human, from serial killers like Norman Bates to the pod people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And of course, other movie monsters like demons, ghosts, vampires, and witches emerge from long folklore traditions. Film expert Barry Keith Grant considers what each type of movie monster reveals about what it means to be human and how we regard the world.
Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of film history, Grant presents us with an eclectic array of monster movies, from Nosferatu to Get Out. As he discovers, although monster movies might claim to be about Them!, they are really about the capacity for horror that lurks within each of us.
Planet Auschwitz explores the diverse ways in which the Holocaust influences and shapes science fiction and horror film and television by focusing on notable contributions from the last fifty years. The supernatural and extraterrestrial are rich and complex spaces with which to examine important Holocaust themes - trauma, guilt, grief, ideological fervor and perversion, industrialized killing, and the dangerous afterlife of Nazism after World War II. Planet Auschwitz explores why the Holocaust continues to set the standard for horror in the modern era and asks if the Holocaust is imaginable here on Earth, at least by those who perpetrated it, why not in a galaxy far, far away? The pervasive use of Holocaust imagery and plotlines in horror and science fiction reflects both our preoccupation with its enduring trauma and our persistent need to “work through” its many legacies.
To the Bones
VALERIE NIEMAN West Virginia University Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3564.I355T68 2019 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Darrick MacBrehon, a government auditor, wakes among the dead. Bloodied and disoriented from a gaping head wound, the man who staggers out of the mine crack in Redbird, West Virginia, is much more powerful—and dangerous—than the one thrown in. An orphan with an unknown past, he must now figure out how to have a future.
Hard-as-nails Lourana Taylor works as a sweepstakes operator and spends her time searching for any clues that might lead to Dreama, her missing daughter. Could this stranger’s tale of a pit of bones be connected? With help from disgraced deputy Marco DeLucca and Zadie Person, a local journalist investigating an acid mine spill, Darrick and Lourana push against everyone who tries to block the truth. Along the way, the bonds of love and friendship are tested, and bodies pile up on both sides.
In a town where the river flows orange and the founding—and controlling—family is rumored to “strip a man to the bones,” the conspiracy that bleeds Redbird runs as deep as the coal veins that feed it.
Saw, Hostel, The Devil’s Rejects: this wave of horror movies has been classed under the disparaging label “torture porn.” Since David Edelstein coined the term for a New York magazine article a few years after 9/11, many critics have speculated that these movies simply reflect iconic images, anxieties, and sadistic fantasies that have emerged from the War on Terror. In this timely new study, Aaron Kerner challenges that interpretation, arguing that “torture porn” must be understood in a much broader context, as part of a phenomenon that spans multiple media genres and is rooted in a long tradition of American violence.
Torture Porn in the Wake of 9/11 tackles a series of tough philosophical, historical, and aesthetic questions: What does it mean to call a film “sadistic,” and how has this term been used to shut down critical debate? In what sense does torture porn respond to current events, and in what ways does it draw from much older tropes? How has torture porn been influenced by earlier horror film cycles, from slasher movies to J-horror? And in what ways has the torture porn aesthetic gone mainstream, popping up in everything from the television thriller Dexter to the reality show Hell’s Kitchen?
Reflecting a deep knowledge and appreciation for the genre, Torture Porn in the Wake of 9/11 is sure to resonate with horror fans. Yet Kerner’s arguments should also strike a chord in anyone with an interest in the history of American violence and its current and future ramifications for the War on Terror.
On the 200th anniversary of the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Transmedia Creatures presents studies of Frankenstein by international scholars from converging disciplines such as humanities, musicology, film studies, television studies, English and digital humanities. These innovative contributions investigate the afterlives of a novel taught in a disparate array of courses - Frankenstein disturbs and transcends boundaries, be they political, ethical, theological, aesthetic, and not least of media, ensuring its vibrant presence in contemporary popular culture. Transmedia Creatures highlights how cultural content is redistributed through multiple media, forms and modes of production (including user-generated ones from “below”) that often appear synchronously and dismantle and renew established readings of the text, while at the same time incorporating and revitalizing aspects that have always been central to it. The authors engage with concepts, value systems and aesthetic-moral categories—among them the family, horror, monstrosity, diversity, education, risk, technology, the body—from a variety of contemporary approaches and highly original perspectives, which yields new connections. Ultimately, Frankenstein, as evidenced by this collection, is paradoxically enriched by the heteroglossia of preconceptions, misreadings, and overreadings that attend it, and that reveal the complex interweaving of perceptions and responses it generates.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Undead Ends is about how we imagine humanness and survival in the aftermath of disaster. This book frames modern British and American apocalypse films as sites of interpretive struggle. It asks what, exactly, is ending? Whose dreams of starting over take center stage, and why? And how do these films, sometimes in spite of themselves, make room to dream of new beginnings that don’t just reboot the world we know? Trimble argues that contemporary apocalypse films aren’t so much envisioning The End of the world as the end of a particular world; not The End of humanness but, rather, the end of Man. Through readings of The Road, I Am Legend, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Children of Men, and Beasts of the Southern Wild, this book demonstrates that popular stories of apocalypse can trouble, rather than reproduce, Man’s story of humanness. With some creative re-reading, they can even unfold towards unexpected futures. Mainstream apocalypse films are, in short, an occasion to imagine a world After Man.
Arthur Munby (1828–1910) was a Victorian gentleman from a respected family of Yorkshire lawyers. He left behind diaries that record his life-long obsession with working-class Victorian women, whom he interviewed, photographed and wrote about. This obsession led to his relationship with, and eventual secret marriage to, his maidservant Hannah Cullwick.
Working women fascinated Munby because they disrupted his Victorian ideal of femininity: their bodies were altered by physical exertion and dirt, and they were also often deformed by disease. Drawing not only on the diaries but also on a vast, untapped archive of documents, photographs, poems and sketches, Watching Hannah is far more than an account of a compulsive observer of working women and a fetishist of hard-working female hands, however. The author analyzes Munby's obsessions in relation to changing definitions of gender, sexual identity and class to reveal wider male preoccupations with femininity, the body, deformity, masculinity and – most of all – sexuality, at a pivotal point in European history.
“But women were never out there making horror films, that’s why they are not written about – you can’t include what doesn’t exist.”
“There are really, very few women horror filmmakers working today, that’s why so few are coming up.”
“Women are just not that interested in making horror films.”
“How can you be a woman and be a fan of horror?”
This is what you get when you are a woman working in horror, whether as a writer, academic, festival programmer or filmmaker. These assumptions are based on decades of flawed scholarly, critical and industrial thinking about the genre. Women Make Horror sets right these misconceptions. Women have always been making horror, they have always been an audience for the genre, and today, as this book reveals, women academics, critics and filmmakers alike remain committed to a film genre that offers almost unlimited opportunities for exploring and deconstructing social and cultural constructions of gender, femininity, sexuality and the body.
Women Make Horror is the first book-length study of women filmmakers in horror film, the first all-women edited book on horror film, and the first book to call out the male-bias in written histories of horror and then to illuminate precisely how, and where, these histories are lacking. It re-evaluates existing literature on the history of horror film, on women practitioners in the film industry and approaches to undertaking film industries research. It establishes new approaches for studying women practitioners and illuminates their unexamined contribution to the formation and evolution of the horror genre. The book focuses on women directors and screenwriters but also acknowledges the importance of women producers, editors and cinematographers. It explores narrative and experimental cinema, short, anthology and feature-filmmaking, and offers case studies of North American, Latin American, European, East Asian and Australian filmmakers, films and festivals.
Women Make Horror is designed to not only engage and inspire dialogue between the academy, filmmakers, industry gatekeepers, festival programmers and horror film fans. With this book we can transform how we think about women filmmakers and genre.
Add a gurgling moan with the sound of dragging feet and a smell of decay and what do you get? Better not find out. The zombie has roamed with dead-eyed menace from its beginnings in obscure folklore and superstition to global status today, the star of films such as 28 Days Later, World War Z, and the outrageously successful comic book, TV series, and video game—The Walking Dead. In this brain-gripping history, Roger Luckhurst traces the permutations of the zombie through our culture and imaginations, examining the undead’s ability to remain defiantly alive.
Luckhurst follows a trail that leads from the nineteenth-century Caribbean, through American pulp fiction of the 1920s, to the middle of the twentieth century, when zombies swarmed comic books and movie screens. From there he follows the zombie around the world, tracing the vectors of its infectious global spread from France to Australia, Brazil to Japan. Stitching together materials from anthropology, folklore, travel writings, colonial histories, popular literature and cinema, medical history, and cultural theory, Zombies is the definitive short introduction to these restless pulp monsters.