The Eco Horror film with Scott Freer

The Eco Horror film with Scott Freer
  6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

Explore the world of the 1970s eco horror movie with Dr Scott Freer

In this online talk, Dr Scott Freer examines the distinctive film genre of ‘EcoHorror’ as emerging out the key decade of the 1970s in response to cultural anxieties about the rapidly deteriorating environmental conditions on the planet.

The talk initially sets out a series of attendant subgenres: ‘Darwinian Face Offs’, ‘Neo-Malthusian Catastrophes’, ‘Green Bible’ and ‘Eco-Alien’. The theme of when man’s assumed dominion over the planet is upstaged is discussed in relation to avenging insect movies, such as: Phase IV (1974), Empire of the Ants (1977), Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973) and Killer Bees (1974).

The 1970s witnessed also the proliferation of avenging animal films, but, despite the underlying ecological concerns, too often the male fantasy of ‘eco-sadism’ at the expense of the non-human frames the ‘revenge of nature’ narrative.

This is why Orca (1977) – a screen adaptation of the novel by the eco-fiction author, Arthur Herzog – is a standout film, premised on an ecofeminist essentialism that equates the control of female reproduction with man’s exploitation of nature.

Neo-Malthusian catastrophes, such as The Last Child (1971) and Zero Population Growth (1972), responded, through a horror spectacle of either cannibalism, euthanasia and tyrannical ‘population management’, to predictions of catastrophic population explosions in, for example: William and Paul Paddock’s Famine 1975! America’s Decision: Who Will Survive? (1967) and Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb (1968).

Whilst championing female reproductive rights, this subgenre, in particular, amplifies the misanthropic strain and the global geopolitics of American eco-thinking.

This paper discusses the early history of horror films on British television and examines some examples of scheduling choices made by broadcasters, focusing especially on the 1970s. It draws on extensive original research of primary documents held in broadcasting archives.

With this in mind, the talk addresses the general absence of indigenous or black EcoHorror films that, given environmental threats disproportionately affect marginalized communities in America, reveals a ‘white-centre’ vision of eco-collapse.

A recent crop of documentaries made by (or about) indigenous activists (e.g., What Was Ours, 2017, Lake of Betrayal, 2017 & Standing on Sacred Ground 2014) underscore the view that ecohorror is a post-Apocalyptic reality for the colonised victims of the American pioneering spirit.

Dr Scott Freer is an independent scholar and currently employed at Lincoln University. He has published scholarly articles on A Canterbury Tale (1944), Scott of the Antarctic (1948), The Third Man (1949), I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987) and Sweeney Todd (2007), as well as the transmedia legacies of modernist literature in the visual arts, digital media and television.

He is the editor for ‘The Journal of the T.S. Eliot Society (UK)’ and his monograph, Modernist Mythopoeia: The Twilight of the Gods (2015), examines experimental literary forms of articulating notions of the sacred that lie between secular materialism and dogmatic religion. His next book, American Disaster Films: High Modernity, Crisis and Spectacle, will be published in 2022 by Bloomsbury.

Please note this will be a ZOOM WEBINAR. You will not be invited to use your audio or cameras but can ask your questions or give your comments through the Q&A chat.

All those who book on Eventbrite will be sent the LINK TO JOIN three days before the event and again on the day of the event.

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We look forward to welcoming you to our programme!

Contact and Booking Details

  6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Booking details and information at this website.

Reserve tickets at this website

Disclaimer: All information given is correct at the time of compiling the listings. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser.

2021-09-15 18:30 2021-09-15 18:30 Europe/London The Eco Horror film with Scott Freer Explore the world of the 1970s eco horror movie with Dr Scott Freer ,,,

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.


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