This re-assessment of 1950s American horror films relates them to the cultural debates of the period and to other examples of the horror genre: novels and comics. Through close analysis of a wide range of films such as "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" and "Creature of the Black Lagoon" Mark Jancovich argues that horror films of the 1950s developed a critique of conservatism, conformity, mass society and masculinity. In addition, he claims that while many critics have seen contemporary horror as the product of a "break" with that of the 1950s, most of the key elements within recent horror films and novels were actually established during this time.
Horror film is an increasingly visible topic of research, as demonstrated by these two books, which attempt to balance textual analysis and historical inquiry with different degrees of success. Jancovich (Horror, Trafalgar Square, 1994) targets the 1950s in his scholarly treatment of titles like The Thing from Another World, The Day the Earth Stood Still, It Came from Outer Space, and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Refuting the usual interpretation that such films display Cold War paranoia, he shows how American 1950s horror cinema offered a critique of consumer culture, masculinity, and scientific rationality. His insightful reassessment links 1950s horror cinema to novels and comics and concludes with a section on how films of the period established conventions and themes that would be revisited by Hollywood during the Reagan years. A good addition for most film collections. Senn's filmography of 1930s horror cinema is simultaneously less scholarly than Jancovich and more dubious in its final effect. Golden Horrors contains entries for 46 films, with each entry divided into sections on memorable moments, assets, liabilities, reviews, and production notes. Synopses occupy too much space, and Senn's evaluations comprise a bland mix of fannish enthusiasm and low-level film analysis. His samples from contemporary reviews are illuminating but too often limited to Variety and the New York Times. His production notes are always informative, however. Additional depth would be welcome, especially in one of the appendixes, which supplies more than 50 pages in minuscule type of borderline horrors, rare films, and foreign titles. While Senn (Fantastic Cinema, McFarland, 1992) undoubtedly knows his topic, it is doubtful that the publisher packaged his knowledge in a manner that will benefit any library.?Neal Baker, Dickinson Coll. Lib., Carlisle, Pa.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Descrizione libro Manchester Univ Pr, 1996. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110719036240
Descrizione libro Manchester Univ Pr, 1996. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0719036240
Descrizione libro Manchester Univ Pr, 1996. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0719036240