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Studying Horror Cinema$
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Bryan Turnock

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325895

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325895.001.0001

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English Gothic

English Gothic

Chapter:
(p.79) Chapter 4 English Gothic
Source:
Studying Horror Cinema
Author(s):

Bryan Turnock

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781911325895.003.0005

This chapter evaluates the British horror film industry. Given the country's input in the success of the Hollywood horror films of the 1930s, in terms of source material as well as technicians and actors, horror film production in Britain was remarkably slow to emerge. This was due in no small part to the stringent censorship rules of the British Board of Film Censorship/Classification (BBFC), who did their best to dissuade British studios from making such films. The chapter investigates how one studio took up the reins of the genre and went on to dominate it for almost two decades. Matched only by the golden age of Universal in the 1930s and 1940s, Hammer Films produced some of the genre's most iconic images and characters through dozens of productions, while breaking box-office records around the world. The chapter looks at Terence Fisher's The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), the company's first foray into the genre, one which would lay the foundations for their success and set the template for the English Gothic horror film as it flourished into the 1960s and 1970s.

Keywords:   British horror film industry, BBFC, British film studios, horror film production, horror genre, Hammer Films, Terence Fisher, English Gothic horror film

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