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Synthetic Flesh/Rotten Blood: The Turn to Gruesomeness in American Horror Films, 1931-1936

Thu. Mar. 16, 2017

Taking a fresh look at the genre from 1931 through 1936, this class examines ‘happy ending’ horror in relation to industry practices and censorship. Early works like Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) and The Raven (1935) may be more akin to the modern Grand Guignol of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and Hostel (2005) than many critics believe. Tracing the development of classic horror to the deployment — and subsequent censorship — of on-screen ‘gruesomeness’, Jon Towlson will illustrate the discussion with memos, letters and censorship reports from the studio archives and other research conducted for his new book, The Turn to Gruesomeness in American Horror Films, 1931-1936.

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Tele-terrors: The Real and Imagined Horrors Inside the Made for Television Movie

Thu. Apr. 20, 2017

Often considered the bastard step-child of the theatrical motion picture, TV movies have long been relegated to the dusty corners of our childhood memories. However, despite its scorned status, telefilms could be thoughtful and, at times, subversive. This lecture offers an exploration into several facets of the made for television movie, surveying its cultural touchstones and analyzing the influence the telefilm had on Americans during the run of the network made for television movie produced between 1964 – 1999.

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Chimerical Optics: Haiti, Colonialism and Voodoo Terror

Thu. May. 18, 2017

Haiti has held a special place in colonial imaginings of all that is macabre, sinister and maniacally savage, a land of irredeemable barbarism and “Voodoo Terror”. This class will trace a history of such representations, discussing how they continue to shape xenophobic and neo-colonial imaginings of Haiti as a country mired in superstition and incapable of enlightened self-governance, and the importance of the zombie figure for these “chimerical optics”.

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THE MISKATONIC INSTITUTE OF HORROR STUDIES – LONDON UNVEILS FALL 2016 LINEUP

Thu. May. 18, 2017

The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London returns to the Horse Hospital for another semester of film and pop culture classes, with a 2016 fall semester lineup led by some of the genre world’s most renowned critical luminaries. Mark Pilkington (Owner of Strange Attractor Press, writer/director of MIRAGE MEN) launches the season in September […]

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Rituals in the Dark: Evoking Magic on Film

Thu. Sep. 22, 2016

Step into the safety of the magic circle as Mark Pilkington explores how the myriad Western esoteric magical practices and traditions have been represented, enacted and portrayed on film.