Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film (Inside Popular Film)

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9780719044724: Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film (Inside Popular Film)

"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. Monsters in the closet examines how the horror film started and continues, to demonise (or quite literally 'monsterise') 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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Review:

They are half-human horrors, strange and scary aliens, the seemingly-normal-but-deadly danger that lurks around the corner: Hollywood monsters, or homosexuals? Horror fiction has always portrayed society's greatest fears as monstrous incarnations of "the other," so it should be no surprise that there has always been a clear homoerotic subtext in horror films--from Frankenstein to Interview with the Vampire. Harry M. Benshoff's Monsters in the Closet details how Hollywood monsters have not only been a reflection of homosexuals, but that changes in the horror film have actually mirrored changes in attitudes toward homosexuality in our society. Discussing hundreds of classic (and not so classic) movies, Benshoff provides new insight into horror and science fiction films and into how popular culture presents ideas about homosexuality to a broad audience.

About the Author:


Harry M. Benshoff recently received his doctorate from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. He teaches film and television classes in and around Los Angeles.

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Harry M. Benshoff
Published by Manchester Univ Pr (1997)
ISBN 10: 0719044723 ISBN 13: 9780719044724
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Book Description Manchester Univ Pr, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0719044723

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