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Selling the Splat PackThe DVD Revolution and the American Horror Film$
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Mark Bernard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748685493

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748685493.001.0001

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The DVD Revolution and the Horror Film, Take One

The DVD Revolution and the Horror Film, Take One

From Trash to Art to Collectable

Chapter:
(p.48) 3. The DVD Revolution and the Horror Film, Take One
Source:
Selling the Splat Pack
Author(s):

Mark Bernard

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748685493.003.0004

This chapter examines how DVD has changed attitudes towards horror films and the types of horror films that can be widely distributed. More specifically, it considers how DVDs — with their ‘Special editions’ and ‘Director's cuts’ versions of films, illusions of permanence, and provocatively designed sleeves — have transformed once marginal horror movies into mainstream ‘art’ for collectors. It charts horror's journey from ‘trash’ to ‘art’ in the context of the various ways in which the film industry has adapted its marketing strategies to the changes in the home video market, from the rental outlets of the VCR era to the ‘sell through’ pricing mandates of the DVD era. It also explores how Lionsgate positioned the films of the Splat Pack as works of art produced by cutting-edge auteurs to sell the films better on DVD. By tracing the Splat Pack's emergence through the DVD market, the chapter shows how mainstream and independent distributors were able to appropriate speciality dealers' methods of selling paracinema.

Keywords:   horror films, DVDs, film art, film industry, film marketing, VCR, Lionsgate, Splat Pack films, home video market

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