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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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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 Slasher Film

The Slasher Film

(p.181) Chapter 9 The Slasher Film
Studying Horror Cinema

Bryan Turnock

Liverpool University Press

This chapter argues that of all the horror genre's many strands and variations, the original 'slasher' cycle of the 1970s and early 1980s remains the most disreputable and critically vilified, yet its commercial popularity and lasting influence are unquestionable. Whilst rarely making out-and-out slashers themselves, major Hollywood studios cashed in by buying finished films from their independent producers, giving the makers an instant profit and the studios a cheap marketable film virtually guaranteed an audience of teenagers. The chapter examines a film frequently cited as a forerunner of the slasher, one heavily influenced by the Italian giallo genre of crime fiction. In diverging from the established conventions of the giallo, Mario Bava's Bay of Blood (1971) introduced a number of narrative and aesthetic features found in many of the slasher films that followed. The chapter then considers the influence of the video industry on the evolution of the horror genre (and vice versa), and looks at the issue of censorship as it assesses the British 'video nasties' scare of the early 1980s.

Keywords:   horror genre, slasher films, Hollywood, Italian giallo, crime fiction, Mario Bava, Bay of Blood, video industry, film censorship, British video nasties

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