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.

The Books of Blood and the horror of 1980s Britain
Darryl Jones

throughout the Books of Blood – one might even go so far as to say that it is the collection's controlling metaphor, and certainly a central tenet of the 1980s ‘body horror’ movement with which Barker was closely associated. Volume 1's ‘In the Hills, the Cities’ is identifiably a work of the 1980s, a late-Cold War fable in which a pair of British lovers on holiday in Yugoslavia

in Clive Barker
Gothic aesthetics and feminine identification in the filmic adaptations of Clive Barker
Brigid Cherry

appeal? Key points in this respect may emerge from the different weightings the male and female fans give to different aesthetic styles of cinematic horror, with male fans more likely to consider themselves hardcore horror fans and privilege the gore and explicit effects in body horror and splatterpunk, whilst female fans may be more likely to privilege the suggestive styles of the

in Clive Barker
George A. Romero’s horror of the 1970s
Linnie Blake

nation’s foundational texts as a means of exploring the ideological function of national identity discourses. These films were The Crazies, Martin and Dawn of the Dead. Deploying the conventions of contagion horror, supernatural horror and body horror respectively, Romero here explored the darkest nightmares of the nation’s earliest European settlers as a means of investigating the traumas of the present age. For in waging war against a small though strategically significant Asian nation, the United States had clearly reneged on its originary covenant with God and was

in The wounds of nations
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Marie Mulvey-Roberts

and film. The ways in which the Church, the medical profession and the state have targeted dangerous minds and bodies will be investigated in a variety of historical settings that include the monastic community, slave plantation, operating theatre, Jewish ghetto and battlefield trench. The resulting body horror has been portrayed in Gothic fiction, which, as Dale Townshend observes, ‘persists in

in Dangerous bodies
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Identity and culture in Clive Barker’s ‘The Forbidden’ and Bernard Rose’s Candyman
Brigid Cherry

and psychological horror, as well as an overall dislike of slasher films and gore, body horror or splatter cinema (and the favourites list generally reflects this), these fans can overlook these broad generic tastes in cases where the films contain other elements they privilege. Candyman (which, significantly, shares key features with other films on the list) incorporates elements of the romance

in Monstrous adaptations
Nordic Gothic and transcultural adaptation
Maria Holmgren Troy

”. 39 His thoughts on the connections between horror and laughter are relevant not only regarding Låt den rätte komma in , but also to Gothic humour in Riget . What I call ‘Gothic humour’ is thus related to body horror, the abject, the grotesque and the macabre; a combination of Gothic or horror and laughter. Lost in translation? – Gothic humour in Låt den rätte komma in and Riget

in Nordic Gothic
The sound of the cinematic werewolf
Stacey Abbott

chiaroscuro, and the cinematic preoccupation with body horror and the grotesque as typified in the work of Lon Chaney (such as in Phantom of the Opera ). Additionally, these early sound films continue an established and international tradition of drawing upon recognised examples of Gothic literature ( Frankenstein (J. Searle Dawley, USA, 1910), The Sorrows of Satan (Alexander Butler, UK, 1917), The Beetle (Alexander Butler, UK, 1919), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (John S. Robertson, USA, 1920 ), Drakula (Károly Lajthay, Hungary, 1921), Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau

in In the company of wolves
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Linnie Blake

with a nation’s horror cinema offers a significant means of not only grappling with the traumatic past and in so doing measuring the effects of social, political and cultural transformation of the nation on its citizens, but of exposing the layers of obfuscation, denial or revisionism with which those wounds are dressed in service of dominant ideologies of national identity. Accordingly Chapter 1 24 German and Japanese horror explores the ways in which the generic conventions of body horror, which by its very definition has the capacity to disgust and outrage

in The wounds of nations
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Traumatic events and international horror cinema
Linnie Blake

will demonstrate however, this silence is shattered by German and Japanese body horror, as the unquiet dead cinematically return in a variety of victim, perpetrator and witness positions to apportion blame, exact retribution, offer testimony and atone. This study begins, then, with an exploration of the politically controversial yet critically occluded German film maker and critic Jörg Buttgereit – the most self-consciously experimental of my chosen directors – whose pre- and post-reunification films Nekromantik (1987) and Nekromantik 2 (1991) find a place here

in The wounds of nations