The poster of the film NESSIE, with the title coming out of a large body of water

HAMMER GOES TO HELL: THE HOUSE OF HORROR’S UNMADE FILMS (London Online)

Tue. Mar. 9, 2021

This talk will utilise never seen before archival materials held in the Hammer Script Archive to present a new perspective on Hammer Films, arguing that whilst many studies of Hammer Films have been undertaken, none have accounted for the significant amount of creative and economic labour that went into over 100 unmade projects at the company. Hammer’s unmade projects demonstrate exceptional creative innovation, even in the final years before their closure in 1979, pointing to key tensions within Hammer, as well as larger industrial changes to the British film industry, which ultimately sealed the company’s fate.

A ghost with a black body and white eyes, surrounded by images of monsters such as skeletons and Frankenstein's monster

THE MONSTER MASH: REMIX HORROR FROM THE MAGIC LANTERN TO THE SMALL SCREEN (London Online)

Tue. Apr. 13, 2021

This talk will focus on key moments in the history of the monster mash, from Gothic traditions of mashup and intertextuality in 18th-century novels, to Universal Studios, who industrialized and commercialised the concept in films and paved the way for later film franchises, to recent literary mashups and ‘Frankenfictions.’ Along the way we’ll explore how this genre moved from the margins to the mainstream and what this reflects about the mutability (or lack thereof) of the status quo.

The poster image from the film [REC]3, a woman in a wedding dress holding a chainsaw

SPANISH HORROR TOWARDS THE 21ST CENTURY: FROM THE DIGITAL TO THE FRANCHISE (NYC Online)

Thu. Feb. 18, 2021

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, new directors such as Jaume Balagueró, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Paco Plaza, J.A. Bayona and Alejandro Amenábar radically changed the contours of Spanish horror through a fundamental strategy: the internationalization of the national film output from an aesthetic and industrial viewpoint to appeal to both the domestic and foreign markets. This class, led by instructor Vicente Rodríguez Ortega, will examine this period through a detailed analysis of the four installments of the [Rec] franchise (Jaume Balagueró & Paco Plaza), films that use the imperfect aesthetics of video, and simultaneously epitomizes the configuration of Horror as the main exportable asset for the national film industry. It will also connect Spanish horror with other international films that deploy the imperfect aesthetic of video as a key stylistic feature, such as The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield.

Image from the film "Shivers": A man and a girl are in the an elevator. The man is smelling the girl's hair. There is a body half-seen on the floor.

CONCRETE MATERNALITY: ON LATE CAPITALISM AND HIGH RISE HORROR (NYC Online)

Thu. Mar. 18, 2021

In her book on the role of gender in the modern horror film, Carol Clover discusses how the female body often translates as a metaphoric architecture for cinema, arguing that its penetrable yet opaque interiority becomes a perfect site for housing anxieties, fears, or what one would deem, following Freudian theory, the uncanny. This potentially disturbing correspondence between the uncanny feminine and architectural interiority finds its most overt articulation in horror films that take residential towers as their setting, with the precarity of female bodies highlighting the terrors that they give rise to. This lecture, led by instructor Émilie von Garan, focuses on the coupling between residential towers and threatening and/or threatened female bodies in two films—David Cronenberg’s Shivers (1975), and Bernard Rose’s Candyman (1992)—locating in each productive engagements with different stages of neoliberalism and urban development.

Class Citations: Monster, Vampire, Cannibal: Queer Horror and the Gothic

Thu. Mar. 18, 2021

Dr. Laura Westengard was kind enough to share a list of all the sources she referenced in her Miskatonic NYC class Oct 15, 2020. Photo: Ron Athey, Self Obliteration I & II in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2011. Photo by Miha Fras Books/Articles Caruth, Cathy, ed. Trauma: Explorations in Memory. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1995. Caruth, Cathy. Introduction to […]