© 2015

The Fascination of Film Violence


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Henry Bacon
    Pages 1-10
  3. Henry Bacon
    Pages 52-85
  4. Henry Bacon
    Pages 86-121
  5. Henry Bacon
    Pages 122-150
  6. Henry Bacon
    Pages 151-187
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 188-220

About this book


The Fascination of Film Violence is a study of why fictional violence is such an integral part of fiction film. How can something dreadful be a source of art and entertainment? Explanations are sought from the way social and cultural norms and practices have shaped biologically conditioned violence related traits in human behavior.


Altruistic punishment Biolculturalism Cognitive science Comic violence Counterviolence (symbolism of) Evil Fictional violence Film violence Law and order Metaemotions Rape and revenge Relational violence Sadism Structural violence Vigilante Violence film violence

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of HelsinkiFinland

About the authors

Henry Bacon is Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Previously he worked as a research fellow at the Finnish Film Archive, where he also acted as project manager in charge of designing a national radio and television archive.

Bibliographic information


'Screen violence has been a core feature of cinema throughout its history. Henry Bacon gives us a wise and perceptive exploration of the uncanny appeals of movie violence and the numerous ways that it engages and affects audiences. This is an elegant and persuasive treatment of a complex and paradoxical subject.' - Stephen Prince, author of Savage Cinema: Sam Peckinpah and the Rise of Ultraviolent Movies