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Subversive Horror Cinema: Countercultural Messages of Films from Frankenstein to the Present

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  12 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Horror cinema flourishes in times of ideological crisis and national trauma--the Great Depression, the Cold War, the Vietnam era, post-9/11- and this book argues that a succession of filmmakers working in horror--from James Whale to Jen and Sylvia Soska--have used the genre, and the shock value it affords, to challenge the status quo during these times. Spanning the ...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published March 20th 2014 by McFarland & Company (first published January 1st 2014)
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Barbie Wilde
Apr 27, 2014 Barbie Wilde rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, cinema, cronenberg
- A joy to read if you're a fan of horror who is not only interested in the splatter, but in the cause and effect of the genre -

While it might be tempting to dismiss horror movies as only frivolous entertainment, Jon Towlson makes an excellent case for regarding the genre as a reflection of society's mores and values at the time. Directors may turn to horror because it is easier to explore subversive themes using the constructs and tropes of the genre. And the subtexts of the writers' original
...more
Wes
Apr 13, 2014 Wes rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Horror Films
I absolutely loved this book. I read it in a 3-day marathon sprint, after initially picking up the book to sample Squirm director Jeff Lieberman's fine introduction, but Jon Towlson's stylish, intelligent writing had me hooked from the outset when the author revealed that one of the starting points for the book was a pivotal late night television screening of The Crazies in 1978 and how George Romero's film about a disastrous military blunder in small town Pennsylvania was strangely analogou ...more
Tom Donaghey
Jul 26, 2014 Tom Donaghey rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Horror movies are to be experienced, not thought through. You pay your money, grab some popcorn and a drink, sit in the dark and prepare yourself to face monsters and monstrosities, gore and repulsive images, disturbing and downright scary things. For that hour and a half you are transported to a demented world, one slightly beyond our own but a world that you sense lurks in a dark alley, dimly lit basement, or in that house just down the road.
The main idea is to go have a good scare while kno
...more
Rick
Sep 11, 2014 Rick rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this study of subversive horror films throughout the ages. Well written. An enjoyable read.
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Jon Towlson is a film critic and the author of THE TURN TO GRUESOMENESS IN AMERICAN HORROR FILMS, 1931-1936 (McFarland, 2016), CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (CONSTELLATIONS), (Auteur/Columbia University Press, 2016) and SUBVERSIVE HORROR CINEMA: COUNTERCULTURAL MESSAGES OF FILMS FROM FRANKENSTEIN TO THE PRESENT (McFarland, 2014). He is a regular contributor to STARBURST MAGAZINE, and has also ...more
More about Jon Towlson...

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