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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Politics and the Horror Film

Politics and the Horror Film

An Industry Studies Intervention

(p.27) 2. Politics and the Horror Film
Selling the Splat Pack

Mark Bernard

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the political economy that underlies the often celebrated horror films of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Films by directors from the horror film's ‘Golden Age’ in the late 1960s and early 1970s set the standard for Splat Pack directors such as Eli Roth, Neil Marshall, and Alexandre Aja. The success of ‘politically progressive’ fare such as Night of the Living Dead and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre reflected Hollywood's willingness to rely on independent productions during a time of transition for the film industry. While the studios were rebounding from a crippling recession, Hollywood was also making the transition from a film industry to a horizontal media industry. This chapter begins with an overview of the economic situation that gave rise to the ‘Golden Age’ of horror films before discussing the evolution of the American horror film. It suggests that horror films did not organically emerge from the progressive ethos of the counter-culture movement; rather, they were commodities well suited to the changes and realignments taking place in the industry at the time.

Keywords:   political economy, horror films, SPlat Pack directors, Golden Age, Eli Roth, Neil Marshall, Alexandre Aja, independent productions, film industry

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