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Body Horror in 1980s American Cinema

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Eliza Janssen

on 15 March 2017

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Transcript of Body Horror in 1980s American Cinema

Body Horror in 1980s American Cinema
Body Horror Films
The Thing (1982)
The Fly (1986)
Videodrome (1983)
Aliens (1986)
Robocop (1987)
*The Terminator (1984)
Society (1989)
Hellraiser (1987)
Re-Animator (1985)
*Teen Wolf (1985)
*An American Werewolf in London (1981)
*'Thriller' music video (1983)
The Thing
Cold War tensions
All-male, 'worker drone' cast
Trust of our own bodies
The Terminator + Robocop
The 'hard body' as a villain
Machine mind and human body
Technophobia and automisation of jobs
What was the catalyst for body horror films of the 1980s?
Class tensions
End of the 1980s - fall of materialism
'The New Flesh'
Body horror is a generic reaction to a new emphasis on the physical form at the start of the '80's
Challenges who controls our bodies - the physical standard by which we consider ourselves human
+ 'An American Werewolf in London'
subversion of star image
re-casting classic Hollywood horror with new special effects
intersection of MTV and cinema
The Fly
AIDS - newly vulnerable bodies
Tragic hero + position of audience
What is body horror?
A genre which prioritizes stories about grotesque transformations + corruptions of the human form
Questions identity, physicality, sexuality, decay, health
Makes psychological issues literal through the body
Emphasis upon special effects
Eliza Janssen
Rise of the 'supermodel'
Celebrity 'hard bodies' - fetishizing and exaggerating the masculine form
Increase in awareness of cosmetic surgery
AIDS and HIV crisis
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