By Steve Chibnall, Julian Petley
From no-budget to the Hammer studio, British Horror Cinema investigates a wealth of horror motion pictures together with classics reminiscent of Peeping Tom and The Wicker guy. members contemplate the Britishness of British horror and handle problems with censorship, the illustration of kin and of ladies. in addition they learn sub-genres reminiscent of the portmanteau horror movie, and the paintings of key filmmakers together with John Gilling and Peter Walker.
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Extra resources for British Horror Cinema (British Popular Cinema)
More specifically, though, it also reveals a great deal about attitudes on the Left towards popular culture in the postwar period, in which a visceral anti-Americanism and a deep-seated hostility to what was perceived as the commercialization of culture was combined with a bitter disappointment that working class people were ﬁlling their heads with what Richard Hoggart memorably called a ‘phantasmagoria of passing shows and vicarious stimulations’ (1990: 246). As Martin Barker (1984) has pointed out in his detailed study of the campaign in 1950s Britain against American horror comics, such attitudes led many on the Left to adopt attitudes to popular culture which were not only highly nationalistic and woefully ill-informed but which also betrayed a remarkable lack of faith in the intelligence of ordinary people – in other words, attitudes which were the mirror image of many of those to be found on the Right.
It is the most persistently sadistic and morally rotten ﬁlm I have seen. It was a degrading experience, by which I mean it made me feel dirty. As Charles Barr demonstrates in his seminal analysis of the critical savaging of Straw Dogs (which, signiﬁcantly, remains banned on video in Britain), many British critics have severe problems in dealing with films in which the violence is not kept The British critics and horror cinema 37 Figure 7 ‘There are no laughs in Witchﬁnder General’: Vincent Price fails to raise a smile from Alan Bennett in Michael Reeves’s ‘sadistic and morally rotten ﬁlm’.
To give the power of counteracting fraud, without the temptation to practise it; to initiate youth by mock encounters in the art of necessary defence, and to increase prudence without impairing virtue. (reproduced in Greene, 1984: 175–9) Great care must be taken in ‘presenting life, which is so often discoloured by passion, or deformed by wickedness’. This does not mean that unpleasant things should not be represented at all, but that ‘vice, for vice is necessary to be shewn, should always disgust; nor should the graces of gaiety, or the dignity of courage, be so united with it as to reconcile it to the mind’.
British Horror Cinema (British Popular Cinema) by Steve Chibnall, Julian Petley