Thursday, October 21, 2004

Subcutaneous shockers

Always nice when someone stands up to defend the horror movie, and especially horror movies that haven’t somehow succeeded in growing a veneer of respectability over the years. From the Roger Ebert website, here’s a tribute by Jim Emerson to four cult films that get under your skin. These films are all victims of that unfortunate phenomenon whereby movie-goers emerge from the theatre and start ‘intellectualising’ -- which usually means dismissing a movie’s content as lowbrow or puerile -- when in fact they were genuinely scared during the actual viewing process and will in all probability continue to be haunted for days afterwards.

Horror movies are more vulnerable to this intellectualising than any other genre, and those who defend such films (and other cult cinema) tend to write with great passion -- it comes from protectiveness. Which is why you’ll find far intenser, far more compulsively readable writing in a biography/study of say John Waters or Russ Meyer than in a bio of a universally respected director like Kurosawa or Bergman.


  1. subcutaneous, gods, Jabberwock, this is galumphing unicameralism!!

  2. Tinto Brass' movies are awesome too.