By Steve Chibnall, Julian Petley
British Horror Cinema investigates a wealth of horror filmmaking in Britain, from early chillers like The Ghoul and Dark Eyes of London to stated classics comparable to Peeping Tom and The Wicker Man.
Contributors discover the contexts within which British horror motion pictures were censored and labeled, judged via their critics and fed on by means of their enthusiasts. Uncovering overlooked smooth classics like Deathline, and addressing matters corresponding to the illustration of kinfolk and ladies, they give thought to the Britishness of British horror and view sub-genres equivalent to the psycho-thriller and witchcraftmovies, the paintings of the Amicus studio, and key filmmakers together with Peter Walker.
- the 'Psycho Thriller'
- the British censors and horror cinema
- femininity and horror movie fandom
- witchcraft and the occult in British horror
- Horrific motion pictures and Thirties British Cinema
- Peter Walker and Gothic revisionism.
Also featuring a finished filmography and interviews with key administrators Clive Barker and Doug Bradley, this can be one source movie reviews scholars may still not be without.
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Lejeune put it in the Observer. A ﬁlm’s visual qualities are, of course, important, but Roger Manvell warns against the danger that ‘visual eloquence becomes visual rhetoric, mere ﬂowers of effect rather than active participation in the atmosphere and action of a story’ (Penguin Film Review); worse still, images used wrongly may mean that audiences fall prey to ‘symptoms of a perverse and decadent imagination’ (Sight and Sound). Films whose style departs from the ‘unobtrusive’ rubric are apt to be met with incomprehension.
Two years after having been first snubbed by the Board (but accepted by the Greater London Council and a number of other local authorities), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre found its way back to the BBFC, where Ferman spent some time attempting to dissect the movie’s magical spell before concluding that extensive cuts made no difference at all to the ‘awful’ tone of the film. : 253), it must instead be rendered unwatchable. The British censors and horror cinema 17 While Ferman’s savage treatment of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre in the 1970s was clearly indicative of the same general contempt for horror cinema which had underwritten British ﬁlm censorship since its inception, the most sustained campaign against the genre was to be waged in the 1980s and 1990s.
But what of horror? At the time of writing it remains to be seen whether or not the BBFC intends to take a less censorious approach to the genre. The signs are somewhat mixed with, on the one hand, a number of gore classics finally being released uncut and, on the other, old attitudes prevailing. Thus Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond is ﬁnally available in all its gory glory, but the same director’s self-reﬂexive splatter extravaganza A Cat in the Brain/Nightmare Concert (1990) is banned outright on video, with the Board taking a by now wearyingly familiar line, and also, incidentally, underlining how damaging to horror movies is the now-statutory ‘harm’ test outlined above.