Monstrous adaptations

Generic and thematic mutations in horror film

Edited by Richard Hand and Jay McRoy

Monstrous adaptations


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-7849-9248-4
  • Pages: 260
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: January 2016
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, Film history, theory & criticism, The Arts, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, The arts / General, The arts / Film: styles & genres


The fifteen groundbreaking essays contained in this book address the concept of adaptation in relation to horror cinema. Adaptation is not only a key cultural practice and strategy for filmmakers, but it is also a theme of major importance within horror cinema as a hole. The history of the genre is full of adaptations that have drawn from fiction or folklore, or that have assumed the shape of remakes of pre-existing films. The horror genre itself also abounds with its own myriad transformations and transmutations.

The essays within this volume engage with an impressive range of horror texts, from the earliest silent horror films by Thomas Edison and Jean Epstein through to important contemporary phenomena, such as the western appropriation of Japanese horror motifs. Classic works by Alfred Hitchcock, David Cronenberg and Abel Ferrara receive cutting-edge re-examination, as do unjustly neglected works by Mario Bava, Guillermo del Toro and Stan Brakhage.


1. Monstrous adaptations: an introduction - Richard J. Hand and Jay McRoy
Part I: From page to scream: literary adaptation and horror cinema
2. Paradigms of metamorphosis and transmutation: Thomas Edison's Frankenstein and John Barrymore's Jekyll and Hyde - Richard J. Hand
3. Painting the life out of her: aesthetic integration and disintegration in Jean Epstein's La Chute de la maison Usher - Guy Crucianelli
4. The unfilmable? H. P. Lovecraft and the cinema - Julian Petley
5. Imperfect geometry: identity and culture in Clive Barker's 'The Forbidden' and Bernard Rose's Candyman - Brigid Cherry
Part II: Re-imaginings and re-articulations: thematic adaptation in contemporary horror cinema
6. Out from the realist underground; or, the Baron of Blood visits Cannes: recursive and self-reflexive patterns in David Cronenberg's Videodrome and eXistenZ - Steffen Hantke
7. 'These Children That You Spit On': horror and generic hybridity - Andy W. Smith
8. 'Our Reaction Was Only Human': monstrous becomings in Abel Ferrara's Body Snatchers - Jay McRoy
Part III: From avant garde to exploitation: cinematic experiments as monstrous adaptation
9. Adapting the occult: horror and the avant garde in the cinema of Stan Brakhage and Ken Jacob - Marianne Shaneen
10. The Gorgon: adapting classical myth as gothic romance - I. Q. Hunter
11. Marion Crane dies twice - Murray Pomerance
Part IV: Displacements and border crossings: horror cinema and transcultural adaptation
12. Adapting legends: urban legends and their adaptation in horror cinema - Mikel J. Koven
13. Fulcanelli as a vampiric Frankenstein and Jesus as his vampiric Monster: the Frankenstein and Dracula myths in Guillermo del Toro's Cronos - Brad O'Brien
14. Gothic horrors, family secrets, and the patriarchal imperative: the early horror films of Mario Bava - Reynold Humphries
15. 'In the Church of the Poison Mind': adapting the metaphor of psychopathology to look back at the mad, monstrous 80s - Ruth Goldberg
16. 'Everyone Will Suffer' - national identity and the spirit of subaltern vengeance in Nakata Hideo's Ringu and Gore Verbinski's The Ring - Linnie Blake


Richard J. Hand is Professor of Theatre and Media Drama at the University of South Wales

Jay McRoy is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside

Monstrous adaptations

Edited by Richard Hand, Jay McRoy

Paperback £16.99 / $24.95

Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

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