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Erotic horror

Related: Japanese horror - Japanese erotica - lesbian vampires - snuff films legend

Cinematic bibliography: Immoral Tales: Sex And Horror Cinema In Europe 1956-1984 (1994) - Eros in Hell (1998) - Jack Hunter - Necronomicon series (1996 - )

Three Ages of the Woman and the Death (1510) Hans Baldung Grien (1484 - 1545)
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

Birth, sex (most importantly orgasm or petit mort) and death. Three phenomena that few would disagree are the three most extreme experiences known to humankind. They are interwoven. Three experiences so extreme we lose control of the ego [and our bodies], we touch archetypeal elements. --Adèle Olivia Gladwell in Circles of Sex and Death.

Peeping Tom (1960) - Michael Powell [Amazon.com]


Sex and death have gone hand in hand since the earliest times. The erotic horror genre can best be approached through the work of Alfred Hitchcock and Jess Franco.

The most relevant movie in the genre is Peeping Tom --[Jan 2006]

Sex and horror

Sex and horror have been intertwined since about the year dot, and will continue to be so for quite some time to come. But actual depictions of sexual activity is a different matter altogether. Perhaps it is only that any actual love expressed through intercourse is out of place amongst the gloom and doom. Perhaps it is just that nothing slows down the action more than ten minutes of wobbling appendages.

In many ways sex plays as an undercurrent in horror fiction. Certainly vampires are creatures defined by seduction and penetration, but on matters actually sexual they are aloof, above the concept and, more importantly, the need for the concept. It is not a weakness. Even without all the clues left on the cutting room floor, the Alien is a rape-monster. --Zex und Zex und Zex by David Carroll and Kyla Ward, first Appeared in Tabula Rasa#4, 1994, http://www.tabula-rasa.info/Horror/ZexZexZex.html, [Jun 2004]

Horror and sex

[...] sex has always been a constant in horror -- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was full of metaphor and innuendo; Sheridan LeFanu's "Carmilla" seethed with veiled vampiric lesbian sexuality; Bram Stoker wrote of gothic desire in a hot-blooded Dracula; H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu can be seen through Freudian eyes as a monstrous version of female genitalia; the pulp magazines' basic horrific cover motif for years was a fearful shapely female running or trembling out of what few clothes she had on to start with. And, of course, the movies recognized early on that flesh was as important, if not more so, than blood for cinematic horror. --Sex & Horror, the basics, 2000 Paula Guran http://www.darkecho.com/darkecho/web/sex.html [Jun 2004]

Grindhouse cinema [...]

Grindhouses were movie theatres where erotic and horror movies were played.

Alfred Hitchcock [...]

Erotic death has been an art theme long before movies were invented. An example of what we would call erotic death is the dramatic theme made popular by Alfred Hitchcock in Psycho. Millions of people paid to watch a naked woman being stabbed to death and her nude body handled and manipulated. That theme has been repeated thousands of times, before and since, in film, literature and art. Hitchcock went on to produce Frenzy, another movie featuring the nude bodies of strangled female victims. More modern movies showing nude female bodies would include Sudden Impact, Silence of the Lambs, and even a recent episode of NYPD Blue --Hank and JohnM

Eros and Thanatos

[There is an interesting difference between Freud and Nietzsche that can be seen clearly here. Nietzsche's sole metaphysical commitment is the singular will to power, out of which everything else is spun --- all the more horrifying, then, that the singular life force itself can become responsible for so great a psychic catastrophe. Freud eventually commits himself to a duality --- eros and thanatos --- a constructive force and a destructive force. For Freud, all organisms represent a balance of these two forces and the changing weight of one versus the other explains the birth-and-death cycle of all life. Because social life cannot afford the outward violent thrust of thanatos, much of its energy is turned inward and constructively used to adjust behavior through the developing mechanism of repression and sublimation. In the cultivated individual, neither eros nor thanatos emerges except in highly sublimated forms. But in Freud, this "cultivation" does not have to lead to disastrous consequences such as an excess of self-hatred. For Freud, the "discontent" attached to all civilization is the inwardly directed pain and frustration of natural instinctive energies that makes all the good works of civilized life possible. Nietzsche, I think, agrees that civilized life is good --- with all of its mysterious depth and complexity --- but sees the Christian era as far more disastrous to individuals by projecting self-inflicted pain into enormous proportions. Nietzsche and Freud, after all, were dealing with entirely different clienteles --- Nietzsche with German Lutherans in general and Freud with the more limited phenomenon of hysteria. Freud certainly saw religion as a neurosis but he never followed it out to the depth that Nietzsche did.] --http://www4.hmc.edu:8001/Humanities/Beckman/Nietzsche/reading/Genealogy.html

Botan Doro

Botan Doro is a Japanese ghost story that is both romantic and horrific; it involves sex with the dead and the consequences of loving a ghost.

It is sometimes known as Kaidan Botan Doro, based on the the kabuki version of the story. Most commonly translated as Tales of the Peony Lantern, it is one of the most famous kaidan in Japan. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botan_Doro [Aug 2006]

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