What’s weighing on Americans? Look to horror movies for your answer—they’re one of the best measures of the American consciousness. From an early fascination with the Gothic, to the mutant horrors of the Atomic Age and alien enemies of the Cold War, to the inner demons of the psyche and the American Dream turned nightmare, the history of American horror films is a reflection of changing American cultural attitudes and values—and the fears that accompany them. This survey of the pivotal horror films produced in America examines the history of the genre as a reflection of cultural changes in the United States. It begins with an exploration of the origins of the genre, and follows its development until the present, using various films to document the evolution of Hollywood horror flicks and illustrate their cultural significance. The second part focuses on eight pivotal directors whose personal visions helped shape the genre—from early pioneers like Tod Browning and Alfred Hitchcock, to modern masters like John Carpenter and Wes Craven. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
A deadly curse plagues a small town, melting the flesh from its victimsthe violent revenge four warriors set in motion when their sacred burial grounds were disturbed for the sake of gold miners' greed! A new horror series written by Lance Henriksen (_Millennium, Aliens, Near Dark_) and Joseph Maddrey (_Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film_), with art by Tom Mandrake. New horror series by Lance Henriksen! Dark Horse horror gets under your skin! Mandrake is an artist who deserves to be a superstar.�Comic Book Resources Henriksen's undeniable talents as a storyteller are on full display here.�Rue Morgue
This book examines Brainstorm (1983), considering multiple drafts of the screenplay by three different screenwriters, the production history including the death of star Natalie Wood, the career of director and special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull, and the film's influence on future storytellers like James Cameron.
America Reflected offers eclectic film criticism and considerations of distinctive American voices from the ante-bellum era to the present. "Rollins examines the roles of language, satire, and film in reflecting the American consciousness through such diverse sources as Orestes Brownson, Benjamin Lee Whorf, Will Rogers, and Hollywood. Readers of America Reflected are in for a delightful voyage as they travel through American history and culture with Peter Rollins as their guide providing personal and scholarly insights into the shaping of the American mind." -Ron Briley is the Assistant Schoolmaster, Sandia Preparatory School, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and editor, The Politics of Baseball: Essays on the Pastime and Power at Home and Abroad (2010). "From cowboy philosopher Will Rogers to popular perceptions of two world wars and Vietnam, from the history of language to the language of film and television, Peter Rollins has devoted his career to exploring the intriguing ways in which the creative impulse both shapes and reflects American culture. His observations are fresh, illuminating and of enduring value." -John E. O'Connor, co-founder and long-term editor of Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies "Even those who have known and admired Peter Rollin's acclaimed works will here find enlightening surprises. Epistemology, language theory, war's polemics, filmed history, and an array of significant creators of American culture are all elegantly displayed. This book will make you a wiser person and charm you while it does it." -John Shelton Lawrence, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Morningside College. "Two decades ago I was privileged to work on a book, America Observed, with Alistair Cooke. Now we have America Reflected by Peter Rollins, one of the most respected cultural historians working today. Not only does Rollins make good observations about our lives and times, his reflections on a diverse set of subjects helps us to see the meanings of our observations." -Ronald A. Wells is Professor of History Emeritus at Calvin College, Michigan. "In America Reflected, Rollins gathers together glimpses of our shared worlds, so that we may observe their interconnections across media, genres, and time. From down-home values and front-porch philosophy, to tales of wars and chronicles of lives, the subjects considered here are all part of the stories we tell about ourselves and our social worlds." -Cynthia J. Miller, President, Literature/Film Association.
In sharp contrast to many 1960s science fiction films, with idealized views of space exploration, Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) terrified audiences, depicting a harrowing and doomed deep-space mission. The Alien films launched a new generation of horror set in the great unknown, inspiring filmmakers to take Earth-bound franchises like Leprechaun and Friday the 13th into space. This collection of new essays examines the space horror subgenre, with a focus on such films as Paul W.S. Anderson's Event Horizon, Duncan Jones' Moon, Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires and John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars. Contributors discuss how filmmakers explored the concepts of the final girl/survivor, the uncanny valley, the isolationism of space travel, religion and supernatural phenomena.
Richard Matheson (1926-2013) was a prolific author and screenwriter whose career of more than 60 years has shaped the horror and fantasy genres in literature, film, and television. This volume examines seven of Matheson’s full-length novels, a sampling of short stories, and several film adaptations. The chapters, which are arranged in three thematic sections, emphasize Matheson’s historical prominence, consider his precursors and successors, and situate him within narrative traditions of mythology, cinema, genre, and memory studies.
Drawing from fictional and real accounts, movies, personal interviews, and tours of mental hospitals both active and defunct, Rondinone uncovers a story at once familiar and bizarre, where reality meets fantasy in the foggy landscape of celluloid and pulp.
A Nightmare on Elm Street. Halloween. Night of the Living Dead. These films have been indelibly stamped on moviegoers’ psyches and are now considered seminal works of horror. Guiding readers along the twisted paths between audience, auteur, and cultural history, author Kendall R. Phillips reveals the macabre visions of these films’ directors in Dark Directions: Romero, Craven, Carpenter, and the Modern Horror Film. Phillips begins by analyzing the works of George Romero, focusing on how the body is used cinematically to reflect the duality between society and chaos, concluding that the unconstrained bodies of the Living Dead films act as a critical intervention into social norms. Phillips then explores the shadowy worlds of director Wes Craven. In his study of the films The Serpent and the Rainbow, Deadly Friend, Swamp Thing, Red Eye, and Shocker, Phillips reveals Craven’s vision of technology as inherently dangerous in its ability to cross the gossamer thresholds of the gothic. Finally, the volume traverses the desolate frontiers of iconic director John Carpenter. Through an exploration of such works as Halloween, The Fog, and In the Mouth of Madness, Phillips delves into the director’s representations of boundaries—and the haunting consequences for those who cross them. The first volume ever to address these three artists together, Dark Directions is a spine-tingling and thought-provoking study of the horror genre. In analyzing the individual works of Romero, Craven, and Carpenter, Phillips illuminates some of the darkest minds in horror cinema.
Creatively spent and politically irrelevant, the American horror film is a mere ghost of its former self—or so goes the old saw from fans and scholars alike. Taking on this undeserved reputation, the contributors to this collection provide a comprehensive look at a decade of cinematic production, covering a wide variety of material from the last ten years with a clear critical eye. Individual essays profile the work of up-and-coming director Alexandre Aja and reassess William Malone’s much-maligned Feardotcomin the light of the torture debate at the end of President George W. Bush’s administration. Other essays look at the economic, social, and formal aspects of the genre; the globalization of the US film industry; the alleged escalation of cinematic violence; and the massive commercial popularity of the remake. Some essays examine specific subgenres—from the teenage horror flick to the serial killer film and the spiritual horror film—as well as the continuing relevance of classic directors such as George A. Romero, David Cronenberg, John Landis, and Stuart Gordon. Essays deliberate on the marketing of nostalgia and its concomitant aesthetic and on the curiously schizophrenic perspective of fans who happen to be scholars as well. Taken together, the contributors to this collection make a compelling case that American horror cinema is as vital, creative, and thought-provoking as it ever was.
In volume one, The Darkside Of Acting Up introduced a collection of plays. The book was well received garnering solid 5-star reviews. In volume 2 the book presents an anthology of short stories and scripts. Delving back down that dark rabbit hole The Darkside Of Acting Up: Volume Two, is an exploration of isolation, fear, and the grotesque imaginations of the mind.
Fear in its many facets appears to constitute an intriguing and compelling subject matter for writers and screenwriters alike. The contributions address fictional representations and explorations of fear in different genres and different periods of literary and cultural history. The topics include representations of political violence and political fear in English Renaissance culture and literature; dramatic representations of fear and anxiety in English Romanticism; the dramatic monologue as an expression of fears in Victorian society; cultural constructions of fear and empathy in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876) and Jonathan Nasaw’s Fear Itself (2003); facets of children’s fears in twentieth- and twenty-first-century stream-of-consciousness fiction; the representation of fear in war movies; the cultural function of horror film remakes; the expulsion of fear in Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go and fear and nostalgia in Mohsin Hamid’s post-9/11 novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
From King Kong to Candyman, the boundary-pushing genre of the horror film has always been a site for provocative explorations of race in American popular culture. In Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from 1890's to Present, Robin R. Means Coleman traces the history of notable characterizations of blackness in horror cinema, and examines key levels of black participation on screen and behind the camera. She argues that horror offers a representational space for black people to challenge the more negative, or racist, images seen in other media outlets, and to portray greater diversity within the concept of blackness itself. Horror Noire presents a unique social history of blacks in America through changing images in horror films. Throughout the text, the reader is encouraged to unpack the genre’s racialized imagery, as well as the narratives that make up popular culture’s commentary on race. Offering a comprehensive chronological survey of the genre, this book addresses a full range of black horror films, including mainstream Hollywood fare, as well as art-house films, Blaxploitation films, direct-to-DVD films, and the emerging U.S./hip-hop culture-inspired Nigerian "Nollywood" Black horror films. Horror Noire is, thus, essential reading for anyone seeking to understand how fears and anxieties about race and race relations are made manifest, and often challenged, on the silver screen.
The American Villain: Encyclopedia of Bad Guys in Comics, Film, and Television seeks to provide one go-to reference for the study of the most popular and iconic villains in American popular culture. Since the 1980s, pop culture has focused on what makes a villain a villain. The Joker, Darth Vader, and Hannibal Lecter have all been placed under the microscope to get to the origins of their villainy. Additionally, such bad guys as Angelus from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows have emphasized the desire for redemption—in even the darkest of villains. Various incarnations of Lucifer/Satan have even gone so far as to explore the very foundations of what we consider "evil." The American Villain: Encyclopedia of Bad Guys in Comics, Film, and Television seeks to collect all of those stories into one comprehensive volume. The volume opens with essays about villains in popular culture, followed by 100 A–Z entries on the most notorious bad guys in film, comics, and more. Sidebars highlight ancillary points of interest, such as authors, creators, and tropes that illuminate the motives of various villains. A glossary of key terms and a bibliography provide students with resources to continue their study of what makes the "baddest" among us so bad. Examines in detail how villains and villainesses have appeared in comics and other media over the decades Shows how villains and villainesses have reflected the fears, anxieties, and hopes of American society at any given period Provides scholarly material that gives readers additional important historical context in five essays Ensures that diverse and obscure villains and villainesses are given equal coverage
Evil isn't simply an abstract theological or philosophical talking point. In our society, the idea of evil feeds entertainment, manifests in all sorts of media, and is a root concept in our collective psyche. This accessible and appealing book examines what evil means to us. • Includes the insights of scholars from widely different academic fields to inspect evil from various points of view, giving readers a broader perspective on the topic • Compiles expert opinions from American, American expatriate, European, Asian, and Middle Eastern contributors • Covers the portrayal of evil in many different forms of media—film, television, music, art, video games, literature, poetry—as well as in politics, current events, and the legal arena
"This book provides a cultural and critical analysis of the cinematic zombie tradition. Closely examining influential works Victor Halperin's White Zombie, Jacques Tourneur's I Walked with a Zombie, Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2, Dan O'Bannon's The Return of theLiving Dead, Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, and, of course, Romero's entire "Dead" series, it establishes Zombies in Gothic tradition"--Provided by publisher.
For nearly forty years the zombie films of George A. Romero have presented viewers with hellish visions of our world overrun by flesh-eating ghouls. This rigorous but entertaining study shows how these films use Christian imagery from the Bible and Dante to probe deeper questions of human nature and purpose, while also giving a chilling and darkly humorous critique of modern, secular America that should be heeded by Christian and humanist alike.
The horror genre is continually being reinvented as societal fears evolve. As technology has developed and become ubiquitous in modern life, horror films have effectively played upon our increasing reliance on technology as a source of anxiety. Focusing on advancements from the advent of electricity to the Internet, this book explores how technology--ostensibly humanity's means of conquering fear and the unknown--has become a compelling and abundant source of dread in horror films.