Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film / Edition 1

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What's weighing on Americans? Look to horror movies for your answer-they're one of the best measures of the American consciousness. From an early fascination with the Gothic, to the mutant horrors of the Atomic Age and alien enemies of the Cold War, to the inner demons of the psyche and the American Dream turned nightmare, the history of American horror films is a reflection of changing American cultural attitudes and values-and the fears that accompany them.

This survey of the pivotal horror films produced in America examines the history of the genre as a reflection of cultural changes in the United States. It begins with an exploration of the origins of the genre, and follows its development until the present, using various films to document the evolution of Hollywood horror flicks and illustrate their cultural significance. The second part focuses on eight pivotal directors whose personal visions helped shape the genre-from early pioneers like Tod Browning and Alfred Hitchcock, to modern masters like John Carpenter and Wes Craven.

Joseph Maddrey lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is an associate producer for BellaSwartz Productions in Norfolk, Virginia.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786418602
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/19/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 207
  • Sales rank: 1,470,793
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Maddrey is a television producer and freelance writer. He lives in Studio City, California.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1
Pt. I American gothic in film 3
1 You must become Caligari : German expressionism and the origins of film gothic 7
2 A new world of gods and monsters : Hollywood studio horrors of the 1930s 11
3 Shadow play : Hitchcock, film noir and the Val Lewton cycle 21
4 Bad kids, big bugs, body snatchers and the bomb 30
5 The monster is madness : Castle, Corman and California gothic 39
6 Apocalypse America : the modern horror film 48
7 What the fifty foot woman did to the incredible shrinking man 57
8 Selling the American dream : the postmodern horror film (part I) 68
9 Old monsters, new flesh : the postmodern horror film (part II) 78
10 Reality bites : the new American film gothic 87
Pt. II Auteurs 95
11 Tod Browning : sideshows 97
12 Alfred Hitchcock : noir town 104
13 Roger Corman : counterculture and creature features 112
14 George A. Romero : the fall of Camelot 122
15 John Carpenter : space-age cowboys 131
16 Larry Cohen : outside in America 141
17 David Lynch : American beauty? 151
18 Wes Craven : the new myths 162
Filmography 173
Notes 183
Bibliography 187
Index 193
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