AMERICA’S MOST COLD-BLOODED! In the horrifying annals of American crime, the infamous names of brutal killers such as Bundy, Dahmer, Gacy, and Berkowitz are writ large in the imaginations of a public both horrified and hypnotized by their monstrous, murderous acts. But for every celebrity psychopath who’s gotten ink for spilling blood, there’s a bevy of all-but-forgotten homicidal fiends studding the bloody margins of U.S. history. The law gave them their just desserts, but now the hugely acclaimed author of The Serial Killer Files and The Whole Death Catalog gives them their dark due in this absolutely riveting true-crime treasury. Among America’s most cold-blooded you’ll meet • Robert Irwin, “The Mad Sculptor”: He longed to use his carving skills on the woman he loved—but had to settle for making short work of her mother and sister instead. • Peter Robinson, “The Tell-Tale Heart Killer”: It took two days and four tries for him to finish off his victim, but no time at all for keen-eyed cops to spot the fatal flaw in his floor plan. • Anton Probst, “The Monster in the Shape of a Man”: The ax-murdering immigrant’s systematic slaughter of all eight members of a Pennsylvania farm family matched the savagery of the Manson murders a century later. • Edward H. Ruloff, “The Man of Two Lives”: A genuine Jekyll and Hyde, his brilliant scholarship disguised his bloodthirsty brutality, and his oversized brain gave new meaning to “mastermind.” Spurred by profit, passion, paranoia, or perverse pleasure, these killers—the Witch of Staten Island, the Smutty Nose Butcher, the Bluebeard of Quiet Dell, and many others—span three centuries and a host of harrowing murder methods. Dramatized in the pages of penny dreadfuls, sensationalized in tabloid headlines, and immortalized in “murder ballads” and classic fiction by Edgar Allan Poe and Theodore Dreiser, the demonic denizens of Psycho USA may be long gone to the gallows—but this insidiously irresistible slice of gothic Americana will ensure that they’ll no longer be forgotten.
(Dis)Orientation appears to be a phenomenon that is connected to media in numerous respects: today, finding your way in the world often means finding your way with the help of as well as within media, which in turn creates new virtual realms of (dis)orientation. This book deals with recent media technologies and structures (navigation devices, databases, transmediality) and unconventional narrative patterns (narrative complexity, plot twists, non-linearity), using the ambivalent concept of (dis)orientation as a shared focus to analyse various phenomena of contemporary media, thereby raising overarching questions about current mediascapes.
As in so many other areas of American society, the political legacy of Ronald Reagan had an imposing presence in many contemporary American films, particularly between 1980 and 2000. Six films, which collectively represent the spectrum of Reaganism’s most popular tropes, demonstrate quite compellingly that in celebrating nostalgically the blissful pleasantries of family stability and social order so essential to Reagan’s political philosophy, an unsettling and unsatisfying mythology has been created about a period in which many Americans were acutely aware that something was missing, even if they could not pinpoint it at the time. This leads the critical viewer to largely unacknowledged subtexts in all six films that begin to reveal the contradictions, incoherencies, and paradoxes rooted in popular Reaganesque portrayals. Utilising a detailed qualitative case study methodology, this book incorporates theoretical foundations that expand upon Fairclough’s path-breaking research on media discourse and Todorov’s broadly articulated framework of fantasy in order to explore: 1) Which elements of Fairclough’s framework for critical discourse analysis can be applied to explore the discursive structures within these American fantasy films? 2) How far do the films follow Reaganist concepts of a “new” American society? 3) How far do notions of the “fantastic” and postmodern concepts break with common patterns of Reaganism reflected in these films? While many critics rightly cite the numerous elements in these films that appear to reinforce fundamental message points underlying Reaganism, this study demonstrates how the films’ characters and plot lines also serve to reveal the inherent and irreconcilable incoherence of the sociopolitical and sociocultural tenets of Reaganism.
This book focuses upon the breaking of rules and taboos involved in 'doing crime', including violent crime as represented in fictive texts and ethnographic research. It includes chapters on topics of urgent contemporary interest such as asylum seekers, sex work, serial killers, school shooters, crimes of poverty and understandings of 'madness'.
The first extensive survey of individual film genres, this one-of-a-kind reference spans the entire motion picture era and presents detailed information on directors and the films they have produced.The first volume is dedicated to one of the richest and most popular of all genres -- comedy -- and encompasses some 19,000 films and 3,300 directors. Volume 2 examines 3,700 directors of 18,000 crime films.Listed alphabetically, main entries offer a sketch of the individual's family background and education, a description of technique and/or performance characteristics, a summary of achievements, and a chronological filmography that includes year and country of production. All biographies have been subject to years of intensive research and provide important personal and professional dates.Multiple indexes yield a variety of access points to the director profiles, making each handbook an indispensable and convenient research tool for film critics, historians, and enthusiasts.
In Search of Cinema chronicles the vitality of international film art in the last two decades. At a time when the movie review has degenerated into mere publicity for Hollywood pictures and film scholarship has become entangled in its own pseudo-scientific discourse, Bert Cardullo reclaims the territory of a certain type of film critic, somewhere between a reviewer-journalist and a scholar-theorist. With elegance, clarity, and rigour, he offers close readings of individual films to show how moviemakers use the resources of the medium to pursue complex, significant human goals. The essays collected here reflect the spectacular rise of Iranian cinema in recent years as well as the strong contributions of contemporary filmmakers from countries such as Belgium, Canada, China, Israel, Lebanon, Scotland, and Spain. But In Search of Cinema does not neglect the best recent films from major film-producing nations like the United States, France, and Italy and includes retrospective pieces on the careers of Ingmar Bergman and Woody Allen as well as several essays on the interrelationship between film form, or film genres, and drama and the novel, the two forms from which the cinema continues to draw a wealth of its material.
This volume is the first edited collection of essays focusing on European horror cinema from 1945 to the present. It features new contributions by distinguished international scholars exploring British, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Northern European and Eastern European horror cinema. The essays employ a variety of current critical methods of analysis, ranging from psychoanalysis and Deleuzean film theory to reception theory and historical analysis. The complete volume offers a major resource on post-war European horror cinema, with in-depth studies of such classic films as Seytan (Turkey, 1974), Suspiria (Italy, 1977), Switchblade Romance (France, 2003), and Taxidermia (Hungary, 2006).