Planks of Reason: Essays on the Horror Film

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Barry Keith Grant, Christopher Sharrett
Scarecrow Press, 2004 - Performing Arts - 416 pages
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The original edition of Planks of Reason was the first academic critical anthology on horror. In retrospect, it appeared as a kind of homage to the "golden age" of the American horror film, as this genre played an increasing role in film culture and American life. The original material represented the history of the genre through the early 1980s and is a crucial part of the book's value, then and now. The first edition helped legitimize academic writing on the horror genre by addressing breakthrough works of such directors as John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, George Romero, David Cronenberg, and Wes Craven. This revised edition retains the spirit of the original, but also offers new takes on rediscovered classics and recent developments in the genre. In addition to reprinting 17 essays, including Robin Wood's "An Introduction to the American Horror Film," this revised edition features a new essay on the yuppie horror film by editor Barry Keith Grant, as well as an updated analysis of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre by co-editor Christopher Sharrett. Other new essays focus on William Castle's The Tingler and Roger Corman's Pit and the Pendulum, and the recent wave of Japanese horror films. Contains more than 60 photos.

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List of essays: The Mummy's Pool. Bruce Kawin Horror films, nightmares and prophetic dreams. The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Thing from Another World, The Wolf Man, Vampyr, The Mummy, The Mummy's ... Read full review


The Mummys Pool
Faith and Idolatry in the Horror Film
Conditions of Pleasure in Horror Cinema
The Aesthetics of Fright
The Witch in Film Myth and Reality
Daughters of Darkness The Lesbian Vampire on Film
Canyons of Nightmare The Jewish Horror Film
An Introduction to the American Horror Film
Film Society and Ideas Nosferatu and Horror of Dracula
Ritual Tension and Relief The Terror of The Tingler
AIPs Pit and the Pendulum Poe as Drivein Gothic
The Idea of Apocalypse in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Archetypal Landscapes and Jaws
Biological Alchemy and the Films of David Cronenberg
The Enemy Within The Economy of Violence in The Hills Have Eyes
Halloween Suspense Aggression and the Look

Eros and Syphilization The Contemporary Horror Film
Rich and Strange The Yuppie Horror Film
Films and Filmmakers
Enunciation and the Production of Horror in White Zombie
King Kong Ape and Essence
The Comic and the Grotesque in James Whales Frankenstein Films
Demons in the Family Tracking the Japanese Uncanny Mother Film from A Page of Madness to Ringu
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Page 10 - the strength of the vampire is that people will not believe in him...
Page 20 - It is at the same time true that the world is what we see and that, nonetheless, we must learn to see it — first in the sense that we must match this vision with knowledge, take possession of it, say what we and what seeing are, act therefore as if we knew nothing about it, as if here we still had everything to learn.

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About the author (2004)

Barry Keith Grant is professor of film studies and popular culture at Brock University in Ontario, Canada. He is the author of Voyages of Discovery: The Cinema of Frederick Wiseman, and editor of several books on film.

Christopher Sharrett is Professor of Communication at Seton Hall University. His work has appeared in Cineaste, Kino Eye, Journal of Popular Film and Television, Film Quarterly, Persistence of Vision, and numerous anthologies.

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