Terrors of the Flesh

The Philosophy of Body Horror in Film


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About the Book

The horror and psychological denial of our mortality, along with the corruptibility of our flesh, are persistent themes in drama. Body horror films have intensified these themes in increasingly graphic terms. The aesthetic of body horror has its origins in the ideas of the Marquis de Sade and the existential philosophies of Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche, all of whom demonstrated that we have just cause to be anxious about our physical reality and its existence in the world.

This book examines the relationship between these writers and the various manifestations of body horror in film. The most characteristic examples of this genre are those directed by David Cronenberg, but body horror as a whole includes many variations on the theme by other figures, whose work is charted here through eight categories: copulation, generation, digestion, mutilation, infection, mutation, disintegration and extinction.

About the Author(s)

David Huckvale has worked as a researcher, writer and presenter for BBC Radio and as a lecturer for various universities in England. He lives in rural Bedfordshire.

Bibliographic Details

David Huckvale
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 196
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8218-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4078-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
One. Copulation 15
Two. Generation 26
Three. Digestion 52
Four. Mutilation 78
Five. Infection 102
Six. Mutation 111
Seven. Disintegration 127
Eight. Extinction 140
Epilogue: Consolation 162
Chapter Notes 171
Bibliography 177
Index 181