Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film

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Princeton University Press, 1993 - Performing Arts - 260 pages
6 Reviews
Do the pleasures of horror movies really begin and end in sadism? So the public discussion of film assumes, and so film theory claims. According to that view, the power of films like Halloween and Texas Chain Saw Massacre lies in their ability to yoke us in the killer's perspective and to make us party to his atrocities. In this book Carol Clover argues that sadism is actually the lesser part of the horror experience and that the movies work mainly to engage the viewer in the plight of the victim-hero - the figure who suffers pain and fright but eventually rises to vanquish the forces of oppression. A paradox is that, since the late 1970s, the victim-hero is usually female and the audience predominantly male.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - titania86 - LibraryThing

Men, Women, and Chainsaws is a film theory book that I've heard referenced since I've been getting more interested in gender and horror. I couldn't get it for years because it was out of print and/or ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jen.e.moore - LibraryThing

Clover's thesis is that, contrary to the dominant narrative about horror, the primary appeal is masochism: the viewer identifies with the victim far more often and more completely than with the ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments ix
3
Her Body Himself
21
Opening Up
65
Getting Even
114
The Eye of Horror
166
AFTERWORD
231
Works Cited
244
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About the author (1993)

Carol J. Clover is Professor of Scandinavian and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley.

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