Terence Fisher

Horror, Myth and Religion


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About the Book

Some critics in England and France have long maintained that British director Terence Fisher, whose films dominated world markets in the 1950s and 60s, was one of the greatest directors of fantasy films in history. Since his death in 1980, Fisher’s reputation has grown from relative obscurity and his influence on the development of the modern horror film has been widely recognized. However, Fisher’s importance should not be limited to the context of the fantasy and horror film genres. His films should also be recognized as expressions of his generalizations about human spirituality.
This critical study of Fisher’s films begins with an introduction that provides biographical information on his film career, summaries of all of the films he directed and examples of his impact on contemporary cinema. All of Fisher’s films are analyzed in terms of their Christian and religious themes as well as their mythical sources. Chapters are devoted to Fisher’s work on the subjects of Frankenstein, Dracula, curses (The Devil Rides Out), the ancient goddess (The Gorgon), the divided self (The Man Who Could Cheat Death) and the redeemer hero (The Stranglers of Bombay). The concluding chapter analyzes the role and influence of Biblical narratives in Fisher’s films. Also included is a filmography; the work is fully indexed.

About the Author(s)

Paul Leggett is pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Montclair, New Jersey. The author saw his first Terence Fisher film (The Hound of Baskervilles) when he was 13, the genesis of a lifelong fascination.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Leggett
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2002
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1167-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8111-8
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“a penetrating study…an excellent job…plot recaps are especially well done…reflective and entertaining…overall observations are smart and well though out”—Classic Images; “very good book and highly recommended”—Little Shoppe of Horrors; “thorough”—Reference & Research Book News; “long overdue…has unearthed more than any other”—Van Helsing’s Journal; “impressive. Leggett’s commentaries are detailed but accessible, and his observations should deepen your appreciation of the films”—Critical Mass.