Monsters In The Closet / Edition 1

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One of the few books to address the horror film from any kind of critical position. Unique - The first history of the horror film to approach it from a queer perspective. Written with detail and thoroughness - covers all eras of the horror film and correlates specific types of movie monsters to the historical social conditions which produced them. Explores how popular culture encodes and demonizes queerness within the generic format of the horror film.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Arguing from a postmodern perspective, Benshoff, who teaches film and TV in the Los Angeles area, examines how Hollywood has historically "monsterized" homosexuality even as gay and lesbian viewers were learning to read queer elements into classic horror films. The author traces the concept of monster queer as it evolved from one era to the next. Although Benshoff's erudition creates some weighty prose, his refreshing readings of works by gay and gay-associated directors (e.g., James Whale, Clive Barker) and performers (e.g., Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi) is worth the trouble. An interesting theoretical companion to earlier monographs that touch on gays and horror films, including Vito Russo's seminal Celluloid Closet (1987. rev. ed.), Andrea Weiss's Vampires and Violets (Penguin, 1993), and Rhona Berenstein's Attack of the Leading Ladies (Columbia Univ., 1996); recommended for both queer and film studies collections.Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., Houston
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719044731
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2004
  • Series: Inside Popular Film Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Harry M. Benshoff recently received his doctorate from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. He teaches film and television classes in and around Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

1. Defining the Monster Queer in the Classical Hollywod Horror Film, 2. Shock Treatment: Curing the Monster Queer during World War II, 3. Pods, Pederasts, and Perverts: (Re)Criminalizing the Monster Queer in Cold War Culture, 4. Exposing the Monster Queer to the Sunlight, Circa the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, 5. Satan Spawn and Out and Proud: Monster Queers in the Postmodern Era

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    Posted July 24, 2009

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