British Horror Cinema

British Horror Cinema

British Horror Cinema

British Horror Cinema

Synopsis

The horror film is now one of the most popular and talked about film genres and yet, outside of the Hammer studio, very little has been written about British horror. Going beyond Hammer, British Horror Cinema investigates a wealth of horror filmmaking in Britain, from early chillers like The Ghoul and Dark Eyes of London to acknowledged classics such as Peeping Tom and The Wicker Man .Contributors explore the contexts in which British horror films have been censored and classified, judged by their critics and consumed by their fans. Uncovering neglected modern classics like Deathline , and addressing issues such as the representation of family and women, they consider the Britishness of British horror and examine sub-genres such as the psycho-thriller and witchcraftmovies, the work of the Amicus studio, and key filmmakers including Peter Walker. British Horror Cinema also features a comprehensive filmography and interviews with key directors Clive Barker and Doug Bradley.Chapters include:*the 'Psycho Thriller'*the British censors and horror cinema*femininity and horror film fandom*witchcraft and the occult in British horror*Horrific films and 1930s British Cinema*Peter Walker and Gothic revisionism

Excerpt

It is now nearly thirty years since David Pirie published his seminal A Heritage of Horror, and far too many since it was last in print. In the intervening period there has been an explosion of interest in the Gothic in general, and in horror cinema, Gothic or otherwise, in particular. Whereas the unfortunate Pirie had little more to draw on for critical sustenance than works such as Mario Praz's The Romantic Agony (1933), Devendra P. Varma's The Gothic Flame (1957) and the journal Midi-Minuit Fantastique- all of them admittedly formidable in their different ways - the modern enthusiast for horror in all its forms has a truly remarkable number of texts to consult, as our contributors' bulging references amply testify.

However, in the case of texts on British horror cinema, too many fail to progress beyond considering what has become a pretty limited canon. In this respect, Jonathan Rigby's recent English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema deserves particular welcome for bringing such a wide range of films within its ambit, as does the ten-part survey of British horror in the 1970s and 1980s carried out by the magazine Flesh and Blood. Indeed, the appearance in recent years of genre magazines written by enthusiasts for enthusiasts has been one of the most welcome developments on the horror scene, helping to create a valuable sense of community among horror fans in hostile times, allowing new writers on horror to emerge and develop, and drawing attention to neglected films and directors. Magazines such as Little Shoppe of Horrors, Dark Terrors and Hammer Horror have also performed an invaluable service in minutely excavating the archaeology of Britain's most prolific supplier of fantasy films, Hammer studios. In fact the diligent burrowings of the researchers associated with these Hammer fanzines, together with academic work on the studio and its leading director by Peter Hutchings (1993 and 2001) and Wheeler Winston Dixon (1991), have cleared a space for this book to explore more neglected areas of Britain's horror film heritage. In doing so, we hope to embed the fanzines' empirical findings on production histories more securely in the generic and reception contexts of the films.

In bringing together the various contributors to this book we were certainly motivated by the desire to draw attention to films and figures outside the canon,

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