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Horror cinema, historical trauma and national identity
Author: Linnie Blake

This book explores the ways in which the unashamedly disturbing conventions of international horror cinema allow audiences to engage with the traumatic legacy of the recent past in a manner that has serious implications for the ways in which we conceive of ourselves both as gendered individuals and as members of a particular nation-state. Exploring a wide range of stylistically distinctive and generically diverse film texts, its analysis ranges from the body horror of the American 1970s to the avant-garde proclivities of German Reunification horror, from the vengeful supernaturalism of recent Japanese chillers and their American remakes to the post-Thatcherite masculinity horror of the UK and the resurgence of hillbilly horror in the period following 9/11 USA. In each case, it is argued that horror cinema forces us to look again at the wounds inflicted on individuals, families, communities and nations by traumatic events such as genocide and war, terrorist outrage and seismic political change, wounds that are all too often concealed beneath ideologically expedient discourses of national cohesion. Thus proffering a radical critique of the nation-state and the ideologies of identity it promulgates, horror cinema is seen to offer us a disturbing, yet perversely life affirming, means of working through the traumatic legacy of recent times.

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Horror cinema and traumatic events
Linnie Blake

Conclusion: horror cinema and traumatic events In exploring the response of genre films from Japan and Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom to the traumatic social, cultural and personal legacies of the Second World War, Vietnam and 9/11 and to the broader cultural changes engendered by transformations to traditional gender roles since the 1970s, this study has engaged with a number of debates drawn from horror film scholarship, trauma theory, post-colonial studies and cultural studies. Specifically though, it has been concerned with the ways in

in The wounds of nations
Generic and thematic mutations in horror film
Editors: Richard J. Hand and Jay McRoy

From its earliest days, horror film has turned to examples of the horror genre in fiction, such as the Victorian Gothic, for source material. The horror film has continually responded to cultural pressures and ideological processes that resulted in new, mutated forms of the genre. Adaptation in horror cinema is a useful point of departure for articulating numerous socio-cultural trends. Adaptation for the purposes of survival proves the impetus for many horror movie monsters. This book engages generic and thematic adaptations in horror cinema from a wide range of aesthetic, cultural, political and theoretical perspectives. These diverse approaches further evidence the horror genre's obsession with corporeal transformation and narratological re-articulation. Many horror films such as Thomas Edison's Frankenstein, John S. Robertson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, David Cronenberg'sVideodrome, Abel Ferrara's Body Snatchers, and Terence Fisher's The Gorgon are discussed in the book. The book sheds welcome light upon some of the more neglected horror films of cinema's first century, and interrogates the myriad alterations and re-envisionings filmmakers must negotiate as they transport tales of terror between very different modes of artistic expression. It extends the volume's examination of adaptation as both an aesthetic process and a thematic preoccupation by revealing the practice of self-reflexivity and addresses the remake as adaptation. The book analyses the visual anarchy of avant-garde works, deploys the psychoanalytic film theory to interpret how science and technology impact societal secularisation, and explores the experimental extremes of adaptation in horror film.

An introduction
Richard J. Hand and Jay McRoy

why horror film narratives remain a consistently successful source for adaptations, be they generic or thematic, in horror cinema, one need consider horror’s relation to the broad concept of myth . In his seminal study In Frankenstein’s Shadow: Myth, Monstrosity, and Nineteenth-Century Writing , Chris Baldick makes use of the concept of ‘myth’ à la Claude Lévi

in Monstrous adaptations
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Traumatic events and international horror cinema
Linnie Blake

Introduction: traumatic events and international horror cinema In a catastrophic age … trauma itself may provide the very link between cultures: not as a simple understanding of the pasts of others but rather, within the traumas of contemporary history, as our ability to listen through the departures we have all taken from ourselves.1 Horror is everywhere the same.2 Since the late 1970s psychoanalytically informed and often Holocaust-focused academics have brought into being an interdisciplinary area within the Humanities known as Trauma Studies. Broadly

in The wounds of nations
Generic hybridity and gender crisis in British horror of the new millennium
Linnie Blake

6 Zombies, dog men and dragons: generic hybridity and gender crisis in British horror of the new millennium Horror thrives best when emotions are bottled up and nobody bottles them up quite like us.1 For over twenty years British horror cinema has been characterised by a will to generic hybridity, as earlier film texts and genres are endlessly worked and re-worked as a means of exploring the traumatic legacy that Thatcherite machismo bequeathed to those who grew either to hyper-masculine empowerment or economic and political emasculation in its shadow. Standing

in The wounds of nations
Jörg Buttgereit’s Nekromantiks
Linnie Blake

which Nekromantik was released in West Germany was an extremely conservative one. And as in Britain (see Chapter 6) this impacted directly on contemporary horror cinema. All horror films shown, both on video and in picture houses were heavily cut, with numerous classics of the genre, such as The 30 German and Japanese horror Evil Dead (1982) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) being banned outright on video. Refusing to submit Nekromantik to the agency responsible for implementing the code of Freiwillige Selbst Kontrolle, or ‘voluntary self-control’ under which

in The wounds of nations
Post-war national identity and the spirit of subaltern vengeance in Ringu and The Ring
Linnie Blake

seen in the case of post-war Germany, nonetheless remain gravely wounded by the events of the historic past.3 As this chapter will argue, the capacity of onryou-style narratives to undertake such culturally grounded explorations of national trauma is a product of the genre’s history in Japan, specifically its implicit opposition to the right-wing militarism that led to the Pacific War. For since the 1960s, Japanese horror cinema has repeatedly had the female corpse return from the dead to demand retribution for the hitherto concealed wounds inflicted on the nation by

in The wounds of nations
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Leonora Carrington’s cinematic adventures in Mexico
Felicity Gee

and it was definitely full of references to the film makers who had influenced me: directors from the golden age of American horror cinema, Buñuel, and of course the silent masters … Mansion of Madness puts one in mind of the kind of things that they used to show in Paris. I’ve seen some of the Grand Guignol shows and I loved them. 41 Aspects of surrealism, silent cinema, and horror are deployed in the film to explore connections between eroticism and madness; it is in ‘the domain of the erotic that reality and the fantastic really come together’. 42

in Surrealism and film after 1945
Quentin Falk

the anthology to be filmed. Aside from interiors at the studios, the locations included Stoke Poges golf course and the village and church of picturesque Turville in Buckinghamshire, which, three years earlier, had been used rather differently as the site for a Nazi incursion in Went the Day Well? What then was to be made of this comic intrusion, and generally of a film, which has now achieved the kind of stature that it is included in reverential terms in every important anthology of horror cinema? In the autumn of 1945, reviews were decidedly mixed. The Times

in Charles Crichton