Immoral Tales: Sex and Horror Cinema in Europe, 1956-84

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9780952414100: Immoral Tales: Sex and Horror Cinema in Europe, 1956-84
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When Continental movie-makers combined horror with sex, they unleashed a tidal wave of celluloid strangeness that lasted nearly 30 years. From sexy thrillers to pulp surrealism, from decadent erotica to blood-soaked vampire epics, this work tells the story of the cinema in Europe from 1956 to 1984. It covers the maverick directors and outrageous films and includes rare stills, interviews, features on directors, the starlets and other key personalities.

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Review:

"I urge you: learn how to look at 'bad' films, they are so often sublime." This remark by Ado Kyrou heads up the introduction to Immoral Tales, from which horror and exploitation film fans, especially Americans, can learn much indeed. Not so much a movie guide as an insightful critical overview of European sex/horror films (there is much overlap between the two genres), this book is elegantly organized into a sequence of essays proceeding from general themes (the history of horrific art, the surgical metaphor), to regional styles (Italian, German, French, Spanish), to individual directors (Jesus Franco, Jean Rollin, José Larraz, José Bénazéraf, Walerian Borowczyk, Alain Robbe-Grillet). The writing is intelligent, engaging, and packed with fascinating historical and technical details. The book includes plenty of photos and poster art (including many in color), a useful appendix covering miscellaneous actors and directors, an index, and a bibliography. Immoral Tales was a finalist for the 1995 Bram Stoker Award in Nonfiction.

From Library Journal:

Sex and violence have been staples of the film industry since the beginning. Invoking this tradition, Tohill and Tombs do an admirable job of defining that particular genre of film that occupies a realm somewhere between pornography and horror and is inhabited by European independent filmmakers and mavericks. The usual topics are broached: economics, censorship, and the validity of artistic expression. Throughout, the authors employ a jaunty, informal tone, and their enthusiasm for the subject is apparent. That these films have literary antecedents ranging from Romanticism to comic strips justifies them as valuable pop culture products. Whether or not you buy into the authors' premise that, because these films eschew realism for the fantastic, they are somehow less exploitative or misogynistic than the hardcore stuff is another issue. Well researched and replete with interviews, critiques, and illustrations, this book is recommended for strong film collections.?Jayne Plymale-Jackson, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Athens
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312135195: Immoral Tales: European Sex & Horror Movies, 1956-1984

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  031213519X ISBN 13:  9780312135195
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin, 1995
Softcover

9781852866617: Immoral Tales: Sex and Horror Cinema in Europe 1956-1984

Titan ..., 1995
Softcover

9781417706716: Immoral Tales: European Sex & Horror Movies, 1956-1984

Topeka..., 1995
Softcover

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Tombs, Pete, Tohill, Cathal
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