Euro Horror: Classic European Horror Cinema in Contemporary American Culture

Euro Horror: Classic European Horror Cinema in Contemporary American Culture

Euro Horror: Classic European Horror Cinema in Contemporary American Culture

Euro Horror: Classic European Horror Cinema in Contemporary American Culture

Synopsis

Beginning in the 1950s, "Euro Horror" movies materialized in astonishing numbers from Italy, Spain, and France and popped up in the US at rural drive-ins and urban grindhouse theaters such as those that once dotted New York's Times Square. Gorier, sexier, and stranger than most American horror films of the time, they were embraced by hardcore fans and denounced by critics as the worst kind of cinematic trash. In this volume, Olney explores some of the most popular genres of Euro Horror cinema--including giallo films, named for the yellow covers of Italian pulp fiction, the S&M horror film, and cannibal and zombie films--and develops a theory that explains their renewed appeal to audiences today.

Excerpt

Euro Horror explores a surprising development in American popular culture: the substantial cult following garnered since the late 1990s by films from the golden age of twentieth-century Continental European horror cinema. Between the mid-1950s and the mid-1980s, these Euro horror movies emerged from countries like Italy, Spain, and France in astonishing numbers and were shown in the United States at rural drive-ins and at urban grindhouse theaters of the sort that once filled Times Square in New York City. Gorier, sexier, and just plain stranger than most British and American horror films of the time, they were embraced by hardcore genre fans and denounced by critics as the worst kind of cinematic trash. Eventually, the changing tastes of movie audiences, reflected in the Reagan era resurgence of Hollywood and the contemporaneous decline of film industries in Europe, led to the end of Euro horror’s golden age and the disappearance of these movies from circulation. Today, however, they have reappeared on DVD and Blu-ray, on cable and satellite television, at film festivals and retrospectives, and in midnight movie programming and theatrical re-releases. Their reemergence has inspired cinematic homages from directors like Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Eli Roth, who have claimed artistic kinship with Euro horror auteurs like Dario Argento, Jess Franco, and Jean Rollin; more significantly, it has inspired the devotion of a whole new generation of American fans, who have built home video collections, joined online communities, and created fan art to celebrate their favorite Euro horror movies, directors, genres, and stars. Unfortunately, despite the crucial place of Euro horror in the history of horror cinema and the . . .

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