Alison Peirse‘s new book from I.B. Taurus, After Dracula: The 1930s Horror Film, certainly does what it sets out to. The author begins with “the idea that Dracula has been canonised to the detriment of other innovative and original 1930s films produced across Europe and America.”
It’s a logical approach: given that Dracula is, in essence, a stage play brought to the screen, it wins primarily due to financial success and — one could argue just as importantly — the fact that it was first. Followed closely by Frankenstein, one could even further and make the point that Universal Pictures’ role in defining the canon is primarily by virtue of getting out of the gate before anyone else. Continue reading →
Lorna Jowett and Stacey Abbott‘s new book from I.B. Tauris, TV Horror: Investigating the Darker Side of the Small Screen, is an excellent, scholarly look at how the horror genre is portrayed on television. The authors look both to Stephen King’s oft-quoted opinion that television limits the terror that can be portrayed, as well as examining the possibilities offered by the small screen.
It’s strange, though — the book mentions the likes of the X-Files, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the Twilight Zone, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and even the likes of Twin Peaks. However, the greatest number of pages are devoted not to those particular shows, but to Doctor Who. Continue reading →