Monsters In The Closet / Edition 1

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Overview

Monster in the Closet is a history of the horrors film that explores the genre's relationship to the social and cultural history of homosexuality in America. Drawing on a wide variety of films and primary source materials including censorship files, critical reviews, promotional materials, fanzines, men's magazines, and popular news weeklies, the book examines the historical figure of the movie monster in relation to various medical, psychological, religious and social models of homosexuality. While recent work within gay and lesbian studies has explored how the genetic tropes of the horror film intersect with popular culture's understanding of queerness, this is the first book to examine how the concept of the monster queer has evolved from era to era. From the gay and lesbian sensibilities encoded into the form and content of the classical Hollywood horror film, to recent films which play upon AIDS-related fears. Monster in the Closet examines how the horror film started and continues, to demonize (or quite literally "monsterize") queer sexuality, and what the pleasures and "costs" of such representations might be both for individual spectators and culture at large.

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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: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.97 (d)

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