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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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Body Horror

Body Horror

Chapter:
(p.203) Chapter 10 Body Horror
Source:
Studying Horror Cinema
Author(s):

Bryan Turnock

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781911325895.003.0011

This chapter describes Canadian film-maker David Cronenberg as one of the most highly regarded auteurs within the horror genre. During the 1970s and 1980s, from low-budget independents to high-profile studio productions, the viewing of a 'David Cronenberg film' usually promised horror audiences a unique and disturbing experience. Coinciding with advances in make up and special effects, and the rise in popularity of the artists who created them, Cronenberg's films spearheaded one of the most popular sub-genres of the 1980s in the form of 'body horror'. The chapter looks at how and why this sub-genre emerged, a product of technological, commercial, and cultural changes in the industry, and how it relates to the 'transformation' films that had gone previously. It also discusses how such a distinctive director as Cronenberg was able to produce a successful mainstream horror film (The Fly, 1986) while remaining true to his own world view, and the lasting influence of his work on the genre as a whole.

Keywords:   David Cronenberg, auteur, horror genre, make-up effects, special effects, body horror, transformation films, mainstream horror film, The Fly

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