Illuminating the dark side of the American century, "The Monster Show" uncovers the surprising links between horror entertainment and the great social crises of our time, as well as horror's function as a pop analogue to surrealism and other artistic movements.
With penetrating analyses and revealing anecdotes, David J. Skal chronicles one of our most popular and pervasive modes of cultural expression. He explores the disguised form in which Hollywood's classic horror movies played out the traumas of two world wars and the Depression; the nightmare visions of invasion and mind control catalyzed by the Cold War; the preoccupation with demon children that took hold as thalidomide, birth control, and abortion changed the reproductive landscape; the vogue in visceral, transformative special effects that paralleled the development of the plastic surgery industry; the link between the AIDS epidemic and the current fascination with vampires; and much more. Now with a new Afterword by the author that looks at horror's popular renaissance in the last decade, "The Monster Show" is a compulsively readable, thought-provoking inquiry into America's obsession with the macabre.
With an Introduction by M.J. Elliott.'My eyes, perversely shaken open, gazed for an instant upon a sight which no human creature could even imagine without panic, fear and physical exhaustion...'
A wax museum in London boasts a new exhibit, which no man has seen and remained sane... A businessman is trapped in a train carriage with a madman who claims to have created a new and efficient method of capital punishment... A doctor plans a horrible revenge, using as his murder weapon an insect believed capable of consuming the human soul... Within these pages, some of H P Lovecraft's more obscure works of horror and science fiction can be found, including several fantastic tales from his celebrated Cthulhu Mythos. No true Lovecraft aficionado dare be without this volume.