Monsters In The Closet: Homosexuality And The Horror Film
by Harry M. Benshoff /
1997 / English / PDF
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Monster in the Closet is a history of the horrors film that explores the genre's relationship to the social and cultural history of homosexuality in America. Drawing on a wide variety of films and primary source materials including censorship files, critical reviews, promotional materials, fanzines, men's magazines, and popular news weeklies, the book examines the historical figure of the movie monster in relation to various medical, psychological, religious and social models of homosexuality. While recent work within gay and lesbian studies has explored how the genetic tropes of the horror film intersect with popular culture's understanding of queerness, this is the first book to examine how the concept of the monster queer has evolved from era to era. From the gay and lesbian sensibilities encoded into the form and content of the classical Hollywood horror film, to recent films which play upon AIDS-related fears. Monster in the Closet examines how the horror film started and continues, to demonize (or quite literally "monsterize") queer sexuality, and what the pleasures and "costs" of such representations might be both for individual spectators and culture at large.