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Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in Modern Horror Film Paperback – 11 Apr 1993


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (11 April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691006202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691006208
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 796,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"[A] brilliant analysis of gender and its disturbances in modern horror films. . . . Bubbling away beneath Clover's multi-faceted readings of slasher, occult, and rape-revenge films is the question of what the viewer gets out of them. . . . [She] argues that most horror films are obsessed with feminism, playing out plots which climax with an image of (masculinized) female power and offering visual pleasures which are organized not around a mastering gaze, but around a more radical "victim-identified' look."--Linda Ruth Williams, Sight and Sound



"Carol Clover's compelling [book] challenges simplistic assumptions about the relationship between gender and culture. . . . She suggests that the "low tradition' in horror movies possesses positive subversive potential, a space to explore gender ambiguity and transgress traditional boundaries of masculinity and femininity."--Andrea Walsh, The Boston Globe



"Fascinating, Clover has shown how the allegedly naïve makers of crude films have done something more schooled directors have difficulty doing - creating females with whom male veiwers are quite prepared to identify with on the most profound levels"--The Modern Review

Synopsis

Do the pleasures of horror movies really begin and end in sadism? So the public discussion of film assumes, and so film theory claims. Carol Clover argues, however, that these films work mainly to engage the viewer in the plight of the victim-hero, who suffers fright but rises to vanquish the forces of oppression. Clover, a medievalist, had written extensively on the literature and culture of early northern Europe, especially the Old Norse sagas. From her expertise in formulaic narrative grew her interest in contemporary cinema, which is, after all, yet another form of oral storytelling. "Men, Women, and Chain Saws" investigated the appeal of horror cinema, in particular the phenomenal popularity of those "low" genres that feature female heroes and play to male audiences: slasher, occult, and rape-revenge films. Such genres seem to offer sadistic pleasure to their viewers, and not much else.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews
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5.0 out of 5 starsAn Interesting, Influential Book
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4.0 out of 5 starsThe first section about gender was the best, in my opinion
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