Eros in the Mind's Eye: Sexuality and the Fantastic in Art and Film

By Donald Palumbo | Go to book overview

8
And Now, This Brief Commercial Message: Sex Sells Fantasy!

SARAH CLEMENS

The August 1984 cover of Twilight Zone Magazine features a voluptuous female extraterrestrial and the banner slogan, "Star Trek III: More Aliens, More Action, More Sex!" Within, the logic behind this cover is explained:

Why, you ask, has a tradition-minded, somewhat prim magazine like Twilight Zone devoted its cover to a busty Klingon spy from the latest Star Trek movie?

Well, kids it is time you learned the truth: it has not exactly been lost upon our publisher that the bestselling issue of Sports Illustrated is traditionally its annual bathing suit issue. . . . We at Twilight Zone decided, therefore, that it was high time we tested the old adage, Sex Sells.

No doubt about it: "Sex Sells." By necessity, fantastic art and film are commercial enterprises governed by the supreme law of economic survival: The product must make money. It is crass to speak of such a thing, but this is the only essay in this book to dwell on profit as a motive behind the overt sexuality of fantastic art and film. Classic paintings and movies, science fiction cover art and the most recent celluloid remakes, and a lot that falls in between, are discussed in these pages. Any film or artwork with sexual content evokes response, and both the con-

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