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Samm Deighan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325772

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325772.001.0001

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The Vampire of Düsseldorf and the Butcher of Hanover

The Vampire of Düsseldorf and the Butcher of Hanover

(p.51) Chapter Three: The Vampire of Düsseldorf and the Butcher of Hanover

Samm Deighan

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the numerous ways in which Fritz Lang's M prefigured and captured the growing understanding of serial murder in cinema. It recounts how Lang used a number of true crime sources and spent several days in a mental asylum to conduct his intensive research. It also mentions how Lang was inspired by several real-life German child killers like Fritz Haarmann, Peter Kürten, and Carl Großmann, whom he also allegedly interviewed. The chapter contrasts M and Lang's other work during the period with other German films that portray violent killers as their protagonists, such as those made by F.W. Murnau and G.W. Pabst. It looks at how directors of horror-themed movies deal with the intersection of violence, death, and sexuality.

Keywords:   Fritz Lang, M, serial murder, mental asylum, child killer, violence, death, sexuality

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