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Explores how filmmakers and screenwriters have used comedy and science fiction to extend the boundaries of the Frankenstein narrative.
Focusing on films outside the horror genre, this book offers a unique account of the Frankenstein myth's popularity and endurance. Although the Frankenstein narrative has been a staple in horror films, it has also crossed over into other genres, particularly comedy and science fiction, resulting in such films as Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Bladerunner, and the Alien and Terminator film series. In addition to addressing horror's relationship to comedy and science fiction, the book also explores the versatility and power of the Frankenstein narrative as a contemporary myth through which our deepest attitudes concerning gender (masculine versus feminine), race (Same versus Other), and technology (natural versus artificial) are both revealed and concealed. The book not only examines the films themselves, but also explores early drafts of film scripts, scenes that were cut from the final releases, publicity materials, and reviews, in order to consider more fully how and why the Frankenstein myth continues to resonate in the popular imagination.
“…invites readers to explore an innovative take on horror film genres and gender. Picart’s exploration of the three shadows as well as her claim that hybrid forms of horror create opportunities for empowerment pose for the interested reader a challenge: to expand and adapt her insights in our own hybrid explorations of gender and film.” — Women and Language
"Picart tells a story of the story of every film in a gifted way; this takes talent, as well as a thorough familiarity with the films and a genuine enthusiasm for them." Joseph Natoli, author of Memory's Orbit: Film and Culture 19992000
"Picart displays an assurance and command of a complex historical and critical field, which she handles with considerable focus and lucidity. She argues that the fairly rigid sexual politics of the earlier, classic Frankenstein films give way to a more complex set of visions when taken up in various comic and science fiction treatments. Her work is more than a mere commentary on earlier scholarshipit is a real advance and stands on its own as the book to read." Thomas W. Benson, coauthor of Reality Fictions: The Films of Frederick Wiseman
Caroline Joan S. Picart is Assistant Professor of English and Humanities and Courtesy Assistant Professor of Law at Florida State University. She is the author of The Cinematic Rebirths of Frankenstein: Universal, Hammer, and Beyond and the coauthor (with Frank Smoot and Jayne Blodgett) of The Frankenstein Film Sourcebook.
Table of Contents
1. Frankenstein as Enduring Cinemyth
2. (Un)Leashing Laughter: Gender, Power, and Humor