Film, Horror, and the Body Fantastic

by Linda Badley


Drawing from feminist film theory, psychoanalytic theory, cultural criticism, and gender studies, Badley interprets horror film as a discourse of the body.

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November 1995


Pages 208
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics The Arts/General
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This fascinating study relates horror film to recent interpretations of the body and the self, drawing from feminist film theory, psychoanalytic theory, cultural criticism and gender studies. Applying the term horror broadly, this work includes discussions of black comedy, thrillers, science fiction, and slasher films. Central to this book is the view of horror as a modern iconography and discourse of the body. Badley's thought-provoking analysis of films by directors Tim Burton, Tobe Hooper, George Romero, Ridley Scott, Brian De Palma, David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Jonathan Demme, and Clive Barker, will be of interest to both scholars and students.

Table of Contents

IntroductionThe Body FantasticSpectral Effects: Postmodern GhostsFrankenstein's ProgenyDeconstructions of the GazeDavid Cronenberg's Anatomy LessonsLooking for the Mother in The Silence of the LambsAfterwordNotesBibliographyFilmographyIndex



Badley carefully looks at the anatomy and significance of horror and its impact on concepts of the self. She extends her study beyond horror films and literature to the broad cultural landscape that encompasses music, art, and even childrens' toys and cereals...Her handling of popular culture is encyclopedic, even dense: her scholarly surgeries range from a postmodern deconstruction of Freud and his theories...through a precise analysis of the spectatorship of the horror film...— Choice

....Badley makes a good case for the confluence of contemporary horror films and contemporary theorists of the body....she establishes an interesting relationship between the represented body in contemporary horror films and contemporay theoretical discourses on the body...offers interesting readings...largely useful as a reference tool.— Science-Fiction Studies

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