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Fresh Blood or Exhaustion?: The 1970s to the Turn of the Century

  • Barry Forshaw
Chapter
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Part of the The Palgrave Gothic Series book series (PAGO)

Abstract

What is the political stance of the British horror film? Initially, despite the bourgeois-baiting shock tactics employed by filmmakers, the genre shares with a great deal of British crime fiction an impulse towards the restoration of the status quo — but only after the latter has been sorely (and excitingly) tested by the eruption of some attractively destructive primordial force. But when that primordial force has been something other than a mindlessly homicidal monster, the destruction of social equilibrium can usually be found within an establishment figure, most often a doctor or scientist, or a member of the aristocracy (routinely perceived as decadent and corrupt — this is virtually a shibboleth of the genre). Ironically, the political stance of many British Gothic films which so upset the more conservative-minded over the years might even be described (for all their iconoclastic feel) as conservative (with a capital ‘C’); an analogy might be found in the mixed signals issued by such right-wing British newspapers as the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. There is the divided attitude towards the establishment: a certain historical deference set against a nagging feeling that the establishment — though ineluctably and inarguably the natural leaders of society — are wrongheaded and morally bereft, and certainly in need of continual chiding and correction.

Keywords

Daily Mail Political Stance Daily Telegraph Horror Film Establishment Figure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Barry Forshaw 2013

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  • Barry Forshaw

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