Rape-Revenge Films

A Critical Study

First Edition


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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 award-winning Australian film critic, author and academic who has written eight books on cult, horror and exploitation cinema with an emphasis on gender politics. She is a research fellow at RMIT University and an adjunct professor at Deakin University, both in Melbourne, Australia.

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.

Additional information

Additional information


First Edition