Archetypal Interpretations of Fifties Alien Invasion Films


Patrick Lucanio, University of Illinois Press, Bloomington, Indianapolis, 1987, Softcover, 194 pages.


Back cover:


Can films with such titles as The Crawling Eye, Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman, Gog and The Blob transcend their presumed exploitative absurdity to genuinely express true meaning and value to their audiences? Them or Us answers this question by investigating the film genre that has been both ignored and despised - "the monster movie," or what the book calls the alien invasion film. Using C. G. Jung's analytical psychology and myth criticism, the book deals with the "risiculousness" of many of the films and concludes that this absurdity is part of the value of the films. By re-examining the tradition of genre criticism as it relates to the horror film and the science fiction film, the study shows that the alien invasion film is a distinct subgenre of the science fiction genre, and hence functions like the science fiction film and not like the horror film. Them or Us emphasizes the components that make up the alien invasion genre itself, examining in detail the particular myths, motifs, iconography and conventions that coalesce to shape and define the alien invasion film. By analyzing two representative films, William Cameron Menzie's Invaders from Mars and Arthur Crabtree's Fiend Without a Face, the meaningful aspects of the genre are clearly elicited.




Condition: New, books cover has a minor mark fron shelf wear.

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