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Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle [Paperback]

Richard Nowell


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Book Description

Dec 23 2010 1441124969 978-1441124968
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Review

"Richard Nowell's meticulously researched, engagingly presented and forcefully argued study offers new insights into how films, filmmaking and film marketing operated in the North American film industry of the 1970s and early 1980s. It is an exemplary piece of work, which will hopefully inspire other scholars to work along similar lines." - Peter Krämer, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, University of East Anglia, UK; author of The New Hollywood: From Bonnie and Clyde to Star Wars (2005).



"Challenging numerous myths along the way, this impeccably researched study sheds new light not only on slasher films and cycles, but on the nature, structure and practices of independent production in North America in the 1970s and 1980s. Highly recommended." - Professor Steve Neale, University of Exeter


"This is a bold and innovative piece of original scholarship which recontextualizes not only a misunderstood and dismissed group of films, but also provides a new understanding of an entire period in post-studio Hollywood. Richard Nowell does nothing short of shattering a generation of reductive, speculative, and ill-informed writing on the early cycle of teen slasher films through a fine-grained, detailed historical account of their place in North American film production and distribution and their often audacious and original deployment of commercial elements from a range of Hollywood genres and box office hits. Blood Money moves with seeming effortlessness from proposing a completely new account of the arc of production cycles through the movie marketplace to proposing an original model of spectator engagement to dealing a rigorously-researched death blow to the demonstrably false assertion that these films foreground protracted scenes of male violence against women cynically calculated to appeal to a predominantly male audience. Future historians of the horror genre who ignore Blood Money's insights into a major transitional period in the relationship between independent producers and the major studios will do so at their own peril." - Kevin Heffernan, author of Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold: Horror Films and the American Movie Business, 1953-1968.



“Richard Nowell’s meticulously researched, engagingly presented and forcefully argued study offers new insights into how films, filmmaking and film marketing operated in the North American film industry of the 1970s and early 1980s. It is an exemplary piece of work, which will hopefully inspire other scholars to work along similar lines." - Peter Krämer, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, University of East Anglia, UK; author of The New Hollywood: From Bonnie and Clyde to Star Wars (2005).



"This is a bold and innovative piece of original scholarship which recontextualizes not only a misunderstood and dismissed group of films, but also provides a new understanding of an entire period in post-studio Hollywood. Richard Nowell does nothing short of shattering a generation of reductive, speculative, and ill-informed writing on the early cycle of teen slasher films through a fine-grained, detailed historical account of their place in North American film production and distribution and their often audacious and original deployment of commercial elements from a range of Hollywood genres and box office hits. Blood Money moves with seeming effortlessness from proposing a completely new account of the arc of production cycles through the movie marketplace to proposing an original model of spectator engagement to dealing a rigorously-researched death blow to the demonstrably false assertion that these films foreground protracted scenes of male violence against women cynically calculated to appeal to a predominantly male audience. Future historians of the horror genre who ignore Blood Money’s insights into a major transitional period in the relationship between independent producers and the major studios will do so at their own peril." - Kevin Heffernan, author of Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold: Horror Films and the American Movie Business, 1953-1968.

About the Author

Richard Nowell teaches American Cinema at the American Studies Department of Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. He has served as a guest editor of the journal Iluminace, and he has published articles in several journals including the New Review of Film & Television Studies, Post Script, the Journal of Film and Video, InMedia, and Cinema Journal.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are a fan of '80's slashers it is a must. Sept. 12 2011
By Beanis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is more academic analysis than fanboy fawning. If you can overlook some of the dry critique, it is well worth the read.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, convincing, corrective Sept. 13 2011
By Hans Kellner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Blood Money is one of the best books I have ever read about the social, economic and political contexts in which films are produced (another is Hitchcock: The Making of a Reputation). It is clearly argued, scrupulously documented, and serves as a necessary corrective to the prevailing scholarship about horror films of the late 70s and early 80s. Author Richard Nowell methodically debunks the reputation of these films as undifferentiated products of a misogynistic assembly line. Critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, who took a very public stand against these films in the early '80s and created a template for their criticism ever since, are rightly singled out for their simplistic and reactionary analysis of the film cycle. Horror films deserve the kind of serious attention provided by Nowell's book. You will never think about "slasher films," or indeed the forces that drive film production in general, after reading Blood Money. Very highly recommended.

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