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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

The Pleasure to End All Pleasures

The Pleasure to End All Pleasures

(p.89) Chapter Five: The Pleasure to End All Pleasures

Samm Deighan

Liverpool University Press

This chapter looks into the legacy of Fritz Lang's M. It examines how Lang's portrayal of a serial killer as protagonist went on to influence subsequent horror films and serial killer thrillers. It also describes how Lang innovatively used abnormal psychology as a source of monstrosity in place of the supernatural or mad science, which was popular with horror cinema in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. The chapter outlines ways M influenced everything from the emerging serial killer thriller subgenre to film noir through titles like Stranger on the Third Floor (1940) and Hangover Square (1945). It discusses how Lang continued to explore M's themes in his own later films and how they influenced more contemporary depictions of serial killers in both art-house cinema and mainstream horror films.

Keywords:   Fritz Lang, M, serial killer, horror films, serial killer thrillers, supernatural, mad science, art-house cinema, mainstream

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