Rape-Revenge Films

A Critical Study

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About the Book

Often considered the lowest depth to which the cinema can plummet, the rape-revenge film has been dismissed as exploitative and sensational, catering to a demented demographic. Only on such rare occasions as Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring, John Boorman’s Deliverance and Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof has the rape-revenge movie transcended what is commonly assumed to be its intrinsically exploitative nature and moved into the mainstream.
This critical overview reassesses that viewpoint by exploring a variety of themes, as well as the elements that this type of film has in common. The author discusses an array of films directed by noteworthy directors from several countries, demonstrating that diverse and often contradictory treatments of sexual violence can exist simultaneously.

About the Author(s)

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas is an adjunct research fellow at the Institute of Social Research at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. She publishes regularly in a number of international magazines, journals and books on horror film and related subjects.

Bibliographic Details

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 238
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4961-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8692-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 3

One: The Rape-Revenge Film Canon 21

Two: The Rape-Revenge Film Across Genres 60

Three: The Rape-Revenge Film Around the World 103

Four: The Contemporary Rape-Revenge Film 155

Afterword 188

Filmography 193

Notes 201

Bibliography 215

Index 223

Book Reviews & Awards

“fascinating”—Dread Central; “impressive…will stand the test of time as an integral reference for anyone interested in the genre”—Spectacular Optical.