As the introduction to Part II has already pointed out, there are many reasons why a new wave of undead films has come to populate cinemas since the 1990s. By the end of the second decade of the new millennium, the latest boom of zombie and vampire films has even reached the stage when self-ironic and parodic treatments are almost more common than serious and straightforward ones which use the undead as metaphors for direct social criticism, and this parodic intention is also characteristic of the Shakespeare-inspired works. The cross-pollination between
The volume offers a new method of interpreting screen adaptations of Shakespearean drama, focusing on the significance of cinematic genres in the analysis of films adapted from literary sources. The book’s central argument is rooted in the recognition that film genres may provide the most important context informing a film’s production, critical and popular reception. The novelty of the volume is in its use of a genre-based interpretation as an organising principle for a systematic interpretation of Shakespeare film adaptations. The book also highlights Shakespearean elements in several lesser-known films, hoping to generate new critical attention towards them. The volume is organised into six chapters, discussing films that form broad generic groups. Part I comprises three genres from the classical Hollywood era (western, melodrama and gangster noir), while Part II deals with three contemporary blockbuster genres (teen film, undead horror and the biopic). The analyses underline elements that the films have inherited from Shakespeare, while emphasising how the adapting genre leaves a more important mark on the final product than the textual source. The volume’s interdisciplinary approach means that its findings are rooted in both Shakespeare and media studies, underlining the crucial role genres play in the production and reception of literature as well as in contemporary popular visual culture.
What is the essential nature of Camille, perceived by her parents and sister as the girl they knew and nurtured, before the deadly accident? If substance refers to the essential nature of something, what Les Revenants precisely explores is substance: specifically, the substance of being alive (and that of being dead), a recurring trope in gothic and zombie narratives. This is clearly stated in relation to the vastly popular The Walking Dead (AMC, 2010–present), in which some zombies retain an ominous similarity to other humans, especially when the undead are
by the militaristic authoritarianism that had underscored American
life from the accession of Kennedy to the resignation of Nixon, the
civil rights violations of the latter’s terms of office, the might of the
government–business matrix and the plight of the poorest and most
marginalised of the nation’s citizens – particularly within the nation’s
run-down and dangerous ‘stagflationary’ cities. Chapter 3 will thus
The traumatised 1970s
explore the films of the independent director who single-handedly
transformed the zombie from undead Caribbean
to plunder we can see the fate of the
American people writ large. Pillaging an eclectic selection of nonessential items from the stores, goods that echo the watches and
rings, fur and leather coats, luxury foodstuffs and branded liquor
previously coveted by our heroes, the bikers effectively re-enact the
progressive degeneration of the pioneer ideal in time. Hypnotised
by the spectacle of so many goods so readily attainable the group
thus comes to share the desires of the undead and, in so doing, to
invite their own destruction. Only the African-American Peter and
), 1988; Peter Pitt,
‘A reminiscence of Elstree’, Film and Television
Technician, February 1989, pp. 8–9; Pitt, ‘The men who
called “Action”‘, The Veteran, 75 ( 1995 ), pp. 13–15; Pitt, ‘Elstree’s
Poverty Row’, Films and Filming, September 1984, pp.
16–17; Mike Murphy, ‘The undead: the early years of Hammer
films’, Dark Terrors, 9 (1994), pp. 45–50; Brian
other, are explored by other films of the period which utilise the
mise-en-scène of similar, New Town-type locations. For example,
Psychomania (aka The Death Wheelers) (Don Sharp, 1972) tells the
story of a biker gang that hangs out at a pagan stone circle situated in the English countryside. They commit suicide so they can
return as the ‘undead’, and then take trips into town in order to
wreak havoc on the living. The bikers, led by Tom (Nicky Henson),
call themselves ‘The Living Dead’. A key sequence in this film
features the gang terrorising shoppers in a
Children in 1983, its cover a stylised depiction of the saint pierced by arrows.
Anna Powell, ‘God’s Own Medicine: Religion and Parareligion in U.K. Goth Culture’
and Jessica Burnstein, ‘Material Distinctions: A Conversation with Valerie Steele’, in
Lauren M.E. Goodlad and Michael Bibby (eds), Goth: Undead Subculture (Durham,
NC: Duke University Press, 2007), p. 361.
Oscar Wilde, ‘The Grave of Keats’ (1881), The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other
Poems (London: Penguin, 2010), p. 121.
Richard A. Kaye, ‘“Determined Raptures”: St. Sebastian and the Victorian
expression of a controlling impulse,
albeit at the level of play.
The sexualisation of the vampire figure also connects it with
Eros. Vampirism is, after all, popularly known as the cult of the undead, or
in other words, of the living corpse. For the vampire, blood, the life force, is an object
of desire to be ingested in order to continue to live.
In Glissements , blood has a special place, appearing
prior to the twins’ first transformation in which Persephone helps
Neo, Morpheus and Trinity to rescue the Keymaker. The Keymaker’s guards are surprised while watching the film Brides of Frankenstein. Persephone enters the room as the film shows the undead
108 Adapting philosophy
occupant of a coffin throwing off the lid. There is a cut to a medium
long shot of the first henchman who sits up, having been lying down
on the sofa, followed by a medium shot of the second jumping to
his feet. The full movement from