Chuck JacksonUniversity of Houston-Downtown

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Petrification and Petroleum
Affect, the Gas Pump and US Horror Films (1956–73)
in Film Studies
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (dir. Don Siegel, 1956), The Birds (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1963), and Night of the Living Dead (dir. George Romero, 1968) imbue scenes that take place at a gas pump with a horror so intense, it petrifies. As three of the earliest American horror films to feature a monstrous exchange at the pump, they transform the genre by reimagining automotive affect. This article examines the cinematic mood created when petrification meets petroleum, providing an alternative look at American oil culture after 1956, but before the oil crisis of 1973.

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