Shock Value Summary ✓ 102

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A brand of nihilistic violence that had never been seen before Shock Value tells the improbable stories behind the making of these movies which were often directed by obsessive and insecure young men working on shoestring budgets were funded by sketchy investors and starred porn stars But once The Exorcist became the highest grossing film in America Hollywood took notice The classic horror films of the s have now spawned a billion dollar industry but they have also penetrated deep into the American consciousness uite literally Zinoman reveals these movies have taught us what to be afraid of Drawing on interviews with hundreds of the most important artists in horror Shock Value is an enthralling and personality driven account of an overlooked but hugely influential golden age in American fil. While only slightly elucidating than perusing IMDb's trivia section I did enjoy certain parts of Shock Value The author clearly loves horror and his detailed accounts of behind the scenes negotiations and creative spats are entertaining However Zinoman is wildly irregular in his approach He melds history with theory but gravely does a disservice to the latter For instance he dismisses gendered readings of slasher films as sex obsessed but occasionally points to Freud as an explanation for why certain things make us spook Okay dude If you want to read a truly great book on horror check out Carol J Clover's excellent Men Women and Chainsaws The nicest thing I can say about Shock Value is that it made me want to reread Clover

Summary Shock Value

Shock ValueAn enormously entertaining account of the gifted and eccentric directors who gave us the golden age of modern horror in the s bringing a new brand of politics and gritty realism to the genre Much has been written about the storied New Hollywood of the s but at the same time as Martin Scorsese Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola were making their first classic movies a parallel universe of directors gave birth to the modern horror film aggressive raw and utterly original Based on unprecedented access to the genre's major players The New York Times's critic Jason Zinoman's Shock Value delivers the first definitive account of horror's golden age By the late s horror was stuck in the past confined mostly to drive in theaters and exploitation houses and shunned by critics Shock Value tells. John Carpenter's Halloween has without uestion been one of the most influential films of my life In particular I think a great deal of my neurotic development over the past twenty five years has been aptly summarized by the scene wherein Laurie Strode Jamie Lee Curtis breathes an ill advised sigh of relief against a bedroom door jamb after she has finally 'defeated' her tormentor Michael Myers Despite being chased relentlessly by this knife wielding psychopath in a modified William Shatner mask and navy blue coveralls Laurie turns her back to his motionless body and attempts to recuperate in whatever provisional way Her carelessness is of course shockingly idiotic and we all know that lapses in vigilance rarely go unpunished in horror films Michael Myers the embodiment of an evil both indefatigable and indefinable seizes the opportunity He sits up—abruptly rigidly but with no real urgency It's his doddering pace and listless sadism that makes him all the terrifying If we can in fact even call it 'sadism' Does he enjoy his murders—or is he merely instinctual programmatic Do his acts correspond to any scale of morality whatsoever If not then why murder as opposed to any other 'hobby' This limitless uncertainty underscores the terror When we begin to understand the mechanisms of terror its effect is proportionally diminishedThis scene is essentially a crib sheet for my paranoia and pervasive dread We face ambiguous antagonism throughout all our lives Whether we interpret it as the function of nature and chance or the active malevolence of other humans or even devils and evil spirits is of less relevance than finding a way to manage it At any moment we might conceivably slump into a complacent sigh of relief unaware that agents of misfortune or cruelty are awakening just over our shoulders Disease loss war injury loneliness death et al Michael Myers comprises them all as a skulking assailant He is an interpretation or a metaphor Suffering as active agencyWelcome to New Horror Paralleling New Hollywood which enjoyed its apotheosis in the 1970s New Horror was a reaction to the dusty disreputable conventions of the monster movies of the 1950s and 1960s In Shock Value Jason Zinoman does an admirable job in putting together a well researched entertaining and informative survey of the motivations and modus operandi of New Horror The films he addresses to varying degrees are George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left William Friedkin’s The Exorcist Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets John Carpenter’s Dark Star and Halloween Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre Brian De Palma’s Carrie and Ridley Scott’s Alien He also touches briefly on Black Christmas Jaws The Shining and others Almost all of these films are near and dear to my heart except for Last House on the Left for reasons discussed here and Dark Star which I haven’t seenZinoman takes horror seriously but he isn’t stuffy humorless or boring to be sure His is a film criticism that’s approachable makes sense and also considers horror as a function of the society we live in He analyzes the remarkable shift from the assembly line schlock of the Eisenhower era to a confrontational visceral and auteur driven horror of the late 1960s and 1970s by addressing each film in its own right but also the films as they influence each other in the community of horror directors writers and fans It’s also fascinating to track a disreputable genre as it graduates from B status and worse to Oscar nominated prestige with actors and directors who aren’t just ‘slumming it’ any and approach horror as a real artistic choice Stanley Kubrick William Friedkin Jack Nicholson Ellen Burstyn Max Von Sydow and Roman Polanski are just a few participants who signal horror’s rising status

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Shock Value Summary ✓ 102 Ý [EPUB] ✰ Shock Value Author Jason Zinoman – An enormously entertaining account of the gifted and eccentric directors who gave us the golden age of modern horror in the 1970s bringing a new brand of politics and gritty realism to the genre Much An enormously entertaining account of the gifThe unlikely story of how the much disparaged horror film became an ambitious art form while also conuering the multiplex Directors such as Wes Craven Roman Polanski John Carpenter and Brian De Palma counterculture types operating largely outside the confines of Hollywood revolutionized the genre exploding taboos and bringing a gritty aesthetic confrontational style and political edge to horror Zinoman recounts how these directors produced such classics as Rosemary's Baby Carrie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween creating a template for horror that has been imitated relentlessly but whose originality has rarely been matched This new kind of film dispensed with the old vampires and werewolves and instead assaulted audiences with portraits of serial killers the dark side of suburbia and. SHOCK VALUE is one of my favorite books published this yearZinoman details the move away from the goofy safe horror films of the 50s and 60s to the mix of exploitation confrontation and art of the late 60s and 70s Horror movies where the source of the horror is murky or cannot be easily explained or rationalized away Exhaustively researched the main arc of the book’s argumentdefinition of the modern horror film are Rosemary’s Baby The Exorcist The Last House on the Left The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Halloween and Alien Each film and their filmmakers are dissected and discussed within the framework of what was happening in horror and Hollywood at the time While I sometimes disagreed with the artistic merit of some of these films Zinoman does the reader the tremendous service of patiently outlining his hypothesis his case as it were then meticulously offering his reasons evidence etc for the argumentHe also wisely leaves room for the reader to disagree He never speaks down at the reader or authoritatively; he never pulls the don’t look behind the curtain Oz thing that too many non fiction writers fall prey to And the result is an extremely well written wildly informative entertaining book; one that for me has put the origins of some of the movies and directors I don’t like Wes Craven for one in a new light