Immoral Tales: European Sex and Horror Movies 1956-1984

Overview

European cinema has always excelled when it comes to "bad" movies. When continental moviemakers combined horror with sex, they unleashed a tidal wave of celluloid strangeness that lasted nearly thirty years. From sexy thrillers to pulp surrealism, from decadent erotica to blood-soaked vampire epics, nothing could go too far. Immoral Tales tells the fascinating story of this unique period, peeking into the kaleidoscope of visceral horror, maverick directors, and erotic invention....

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Overview

European cinema has always excelled when it comes to "bad" movies. When continental moviemakers combined horror with sex, they unleashed a tidal wave of celluloid strangeness that lasted nearly thirty years. From sexy thrillers to pulp surrealism, from decadent erotica to blood-soaked vampire epics, nothing could go too far. Immoral Tales tells the fascinating story of this unique period, peeking into the kaleidoscope of visceral horror, maverick directors, and erotic invention.

During the 1960s abd '70s, the European horror film went totally crazy. It began to go kinky--creating a new type of cinema that blended eroticism and terror. Immoral Tales illuminates an entire world of sexy, gory, arty and sleazy films that are only now gaining recognition in the U.S. Photos, many in color.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Sex and violence have been staples of the film industry since the beginning. Invoking this tradition, Tohill and Tombs do an admirable job of defining that particular genre of film that occupies a realm somewhere between pornography and horror and is inhabited by European independent filmmakers and mavericks. The usual topics are broached: economics, censorship, and the validity of artistic expression. Throughout, the authors employ a jaunty, informal tone, and their enthusiasm for the subject is apparent. That these films have literary antecedents ranging from Romanticism to comic strips justifies them as valuable pop culture products. Whether or not you buy into the authors' premise that, because these films eschew realism for the fantastic, they are somehow less exploitative or misogynistic than the hardcore stuff is another issue. Well researched and replete with interviews, critiques, and illustrations, this book is recommended for strong film collections.-Jayne Plymale-Jackson, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Athens
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312135195
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/1995
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.48 (w) x 10.86 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 5
Dreamers & Decadents 9
Sex, Cinema and Surgery 17
The European Experience 25
The Labyrinth of Sex: the films of Jesus Franco 77
Back to the Beach: the films of Jean Rollin 135
Symptoms: the films of Jose Larraz 193
The Cry of the Flesh: the films of Jose Benazeraf 209
A Private Collection: the films of Walerian Borowczyk 221
Playing with Fire: the films of Alain Robbe-Grillet 231
Appendix 247
Comic Book Heroes 265
Bibliography 269
Index 270
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2001

    A Titan of a book

    The finest books ever on the seedier side of european cinema. Insightful and gloriously illustrated. A must for any lover of the cinema of transgression.

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