From One Extreme to Another: Horror Cinema and Censorship in the Twenty First Century

Jackson, Neil (2023) From One Extreme to Another: Horror Cinema and Censorship in the Twenty First Century. In: The Evolution of Horror in the Twenty First Century. Lexington Books Horror Studies . Lexington Books, New York/London, pp. 43-55. ISBN 9781793643391, 9781793643407

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No history of cinematic censorship has ever been a mere matter of disapproving that cultural phenomenon commonly referred to as ‘the horror film’. However, this critically maligned, but most durably popular of generic forms has always had to account for censorship, and while the ensuing account is unavoidably narrow in its global scope, a comparative overview of some recent trans-Atlantic priorities can be instructive and illuminating all the same. Whether it has been through the often maddeningly contradictory decision making of the British Board of Film Censors/Classification (BBFC), the puritanical strictures of the early sound-era Hollywood Production Code, or the subsequent manoeuvres of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), numerous titles now enshrined in the horror canon have achieved their status via a damaging process determined to restrict or dilute their affective charge. While Frankenstein (1931), Freaks (1932), The Island of Lost Souls (1932), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), and Dracula (1958) may now be the stuff of loving curatorial care and preservation, they have not always survived the journey unscathed. In many other cases, indifference to or neglect for the shavings of the cutting room floor has meant that the original and integral visions of many key titles have probably been lost forever.

Keywords:Film, Cinema, horror film, Censorship, Film Studies
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film, Media & Journalism > Lincoln School of Film, Media & Journalism (Film)
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ID Code:53698
Deposited On:01 Jun 2023 13:06

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