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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.

Abstract only
Jonathan Rayner

regimentation of treatment in the service of a primary political objective: to define and broadcast an expedient, respectable and marketable form of Australian identity at a crucial moment in the development of national consciousness. It is to the credit of the emergent filmmakers and the diversity of their individual work that alternatives, opposites and challenges to the stated or unstated rubric for Australian cinema have continued to appear. The evolution of home-grown genres, which adapt or hybridise existing narrative or

in Contemporary Australian cinema
Adapting the metaphor of psychopathology to look back at the mad, monstrous 80s

/Contra affair, a cultural memory which has been almost entirely suppressed in terms of popular consciousness, but which resurfaces in the two films to drive home a cynically political teaching. The purposeful references to the scandalous and surreal political situation unfolding in the background give these otherwise lightweight films their edge – suggesting that perhaps these misfit protagonists are direct

in Monstrous adaptations
Jonathan Rayner

, whether historical or contemporary, rural or urban, conservative or radical are dominated by the majority masculine presence. By reiteration of the stereotype and exclusion of an alternative, the national character becomes circumscribed in social, sexual, moral and political terms: the essential Australian is male, working-class, sardonic, laconic, loyal to his mates, unimpressed by rank, an improvisor, non-conformist, and so on. These virtues are defined and refined under the hard conditions of

in Contemporary Australian cinema
An introduction

) As a genre, horror abounds with mythic resonance. The essays that follow engage 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 rearticulation. Additionally, they illustrate

in Monstrous adaptations

film demonstrates graphically how resistance is brutally crushed in such an environment. Baccolini and Moylan make two other points about critical dystopias that we can apply to Brazil , arguing that ‘the typical dystopian text is an exercise in a politically charged form of hybrid textuality’. 13 This study argues that all Gilliam’s films are exercises in hybrid textuality, but the dystopian

in Terry Gilliam
Monstrous becomings in Abel Ferrara’s Body Snatchers

recuperates, albeit tenuously, a modernist politics of cohesion. As the film’s teenage heroine and narrator, Marti Malone (Gabrielle Anwar), asserts while the helicopter in which she is riding destroys a convoy of supposedly pod-laden military transport vehicles, ‘In the end, it had to happen . . . our reaction was only human.’ Produced during the forty-plus years of capitalist panic known as the Cold War, 1

in Monstrous adaptations
Recursive and self-reflexive patterns in David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and eXistenZ

‘Become your enemy’. In the closing scene of the film, Cronenberg focuses on questions about the conditions and possibilities of political action in the context of celebrity culture. What makes Geller, and her ‘real-life’ equivalent Yevgeni Nourish, targets of the opposing side and its assassins are their public visibility, their status as celebrities. Two groups function as opponents: inside the

in Monstrous adaptations
National identity and the spirit of subaltern vengeance in Nakata Hideo’s Ringu and Gore Verbinski’s The Ring

Iwo Jima (1949) or Halls of Montezuma (1951) revisiting the Pacific War for explicitly nationalitistic purposes, asserting the superiority of US modes of social and political organisation in the face of the deindividuated alterity of the ruthless Japanese threat. It is similarly visible in more socially liberal and ostensibly anti-racist offerings of the Cold War, such as Joshua Logan’s Sayonara

in Monstrous adaptations
Abstract only
Jonathan Rayner

The AFC genre The role of these films as quasi-official representatives of, rather than representations of, the nation did endow the industry with cultural and political legitimacy during those early difficult years. The institutional commitment to the cultural flagship may well have cushioned film producers from some of the commercial consequences of their judgements at a time when the commercial consequences were particularly harsh … [period films] possessed attributes which were the reverse of those

in Contemporary Australian cinema