Cult Film and TV research notes


The definition of a cult “Is a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a specific area of culture. A film, book, musical artist, television series, or video game, among other things, will be said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fan base”.


Fight Club
Plan 9 From Outer Space
A Clockwork Orange
The Rocky Horror Picture Show 
The Big Lebowski 
Army of Darkness 
Donnie Darko
Ferris Beuller’s Day Off
Star Wars
Star Trek
Game of Thrones
Evil Dead + Sequal


Quentin Tarantino 
Ed Wood
Wes Anderson
J.J Abrams
Kevin Smith
Stanley Kubrick 
Joss Weadon

Auteur Theory

– J.J Abrams is a sort of fanboy director. Devoted to Sci-Fi, directing Super 8, Star Trek Franchise and is attached to direct and write the script for the new Star Wars film. Abrams did reveal in an interview with Simon Mayo and Mark Kemode that he wasn’t a fan of the Star Trek series before he thought of making the film and said as he was watching it that he felt like it was “exclusive”.

– Nolan directed Memento (considered a cult film) and directed The Dark Knight trilogy, bringing in a cultish element. Micheal Bay who is known for his over the top movies full of explosions directed the Transformers franchise which didn’t bring a cult element to it which it could have done, especially with the origins of the series.

– Tarantino would have the greatest success in turning cult films mainstream. He later used his fame to champion obscure cult films that had influenced him and set up the short lived Rolling Thunder Pictures, which distributed several of his favourite cult films. His clout led Phol Hoad of The Guardian to call Tarantino the worlds most influential director.

– Cult films are often approached in terms of autuer theory.

– Matt Hills states that autuer theory can help to create cult films; fans that see a film as continuing a directors creative vision are likely to accept it as a cult.

– According to Greg Taylor, autuer theory also helped to popularise cult films when middlebrow audiences found an accessible way to approach avant-grande film criticism.

– Autuer Theory provided an alternative culture for cult film fans while carrying the weight of scholarship.

– By requiring repeated viewings and extensive knowledge of details, autuer theory naturally appealed to cult film fans.

– Greg Taylor further states that this was instrumental in allowing cult films to break through to the mainstream.

Reasons for gaining a cult

According to a podcast by The Cult Film Club, there are 4 reasons:

– A failure of a film to reach an audience on its initial release – eventually it finds an audience through a revival of some kind – Denial from mainstream

– Typically has a counter-culture which is considered outside the norm – Transgressive Elements

– A film that is so bad it’s good

– A film that has a rabid fan base which has an almost “religious” following

A failure of a film to reach an audience on its initial release – eventually it finds an audience through a revival of some kind – Denial from mainstream

– A cult film is usually a film that hasn’t become mainstream.

– Stanley Kubricks A Clockwork Orange is a classic on which the directors withdrawal of the film in the uk after it’s release denied it’s place in the mainstream.

Typically has a counter-culture which is considered outside the norm – Transgressive Elements

– Examples of films outside the norm would be: 
 A Clockwork Orange 
Army of Darkness
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

A film that is so bad it’s good

– Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space (1956) was full of continuity errors and scenes where the actors clearly read from the script, the actor Bela Lugosi had died during filming and was replaced by an actor who was clearly much taller. The audience was so marvelled by how awful the film was that this gained a cult status as a comedy. 

A film that has a rabid fan base which has an almost “religious” following

– There is a difference between cult film fans and mainstream film fans. Mainstream film fans are passive, they are not as involved with the films as much as Cult film fans who are an active audience.

– Examples of how cult fans are an active audience range from fans of The Coen Brothers’ film The Big Lebowski who quote the dialogue and catchphrases to wearing purple jumpsuits. Another example would be fans of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with fans continuing the trend of dressing in leather and fishnet stocking and going to midnight screenings of this film, this trend has been happening for 35 years proving the devotion of the fans.

– It is argued that if these are the conventions of a cult film, then why are there people who go to watch mainstream films like Lord of the Rings dressed as orcs and elves. 

– I believe that these films have fans who try to bring the films to cult status but are unable to due to the popularity in mainstream cinema, I believe that there are mainstream films with fans who are as devoted to the film as much as a fan who is devoted to a cult film. 

Audience Theories

– Cult films fans can be seen as Niche Audiences 

– Niche Audience:
Smaller than mass audience 

– Passive audience usually are audiences who use the media for gratification purposes.

– The active audience – more recent developments still suggest that there is a decoding process going on among the active audience who are not simply using the media for gratification purposes.

– The audience accept or agree with the encoded meanings, they accept and refine parts of the texts meanings or they are aware of the dominant meaning of the text but reject it for cultural, political or ideological reasons.

Types of cult films
– So bad it’s good
– Midnight movies 
– Camp & Guilty pleasures
– Art, Exploitation and genre films
– Animation 
– Nostalgia


– Time is a factor of defining a cult film or cult classic. The Hunger Games is not a cult film, yet it could become one in 10 to 20 years time.


– Cosplay is short for costume play and is a performance art in which people wear costumes to represent a specific character or idea

– This often occurs with cult films

Cult Blockbusters

– A “cult blockbuster” involves a cult following inside larger mainstream films. Although these are big budget mainstream film they still attract a cult following.

– The cult fans differentiate themselves from ordinary fans in several ways: longstanding devotion to the film, distinctive interpretations and fan works.

– Star Wars, with it’s large cult following in geek subculture, has been cited as both a cult blockbuster or a cult film. Although a mainstream epic, Star Wars has provided it’s fans with a spirituality and culture outside of the mainstream.
Fans, in response to the popularity of these blockbusters, will claim elements for themselves while rejecting others. The character Jar Jar Binks, for example, is rejected not because of racial stereotyping but because he represents mainstream appeal and marketing.

– To reduce mainstream accessibility, a film series can be self-reflexive and full of in-jokes that only longtime fans can understand.

Hollywood’s Attempt 

– Since the late 1970s, cult films have become increasingly more popular and mainstream, which has drawn accusations that Hollywood studios have begun trying to artificially create cult films.

– An attempt of a cult film that has gone wrong would be Samuel L. Jackson’s Snakes on a Plane, they tried too hard to make the film appeal to a cult fan base but it failed. All films are available to become a cult, but “you cannot guarantee the manufacture of one,” (BBC Arcticle) 

Internet and Social Media

– Some films have acquired massive quick cult followings, virally through social media.

– Easy access to cult films, via video on demand, and peer-to-peer file sharing have led some critics to pronounce the death of cult films.

– Sites like twitter allow cult fans to widen the cult status of the film, they can create account of the characters of the film. An example would be the twitter account of Tyler Durden (Fight Club character) “@tylerusesoap” is the twitter account in which it tweets quotes from the film.  

– The rise of social media has been a boon to cult films. Sites such as twitter have displaced traditional venues for fandom and courted controversy from cultural critics who are unamused by campy cult films.

Instant Cults

– Some films are frequently stated to be an “instant cult classic” now, sometimes before they are released. 

– Fickle fans on the internet have latched on to unreleased films only to abandon them later on release.

Quoting Dialogue 

– “The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club”. Most people would have heards the words said by someone they know or someone in the public, this line is the most famous line from the film Fight Club.


– Ernest Mathijs suggests that cult films help to understand ambiguity and incompleteness in life given the difficulty  in even defining the term. That cult films can have opposing qualities – such as good and bad, failure and success, innovative and retro – helps to illustrate that art is subjective and never self-evident.

– This ambiguity leads critics of postmodernism to accuse cult films of being beyond criticism as the emphasis is now on personal interpretation rather than critical analysis or metanarratives.

Extreme cult devotion 

– Dudeism is a philosophy and lifestyle inspired by the modern-day fictional character Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski, as portrayed by Jeff Bridges in the Coen Brothers’ 1998 film The Big Lebowski.

– Dudeism has sometimes been regarded as a mock religion, though it’s founder and many adherents regard it seriously.

Other Notes

– The Rocky Horror Picture Show was distributed by 20th Century Fox which is a major conglomerate.

– The Rocky Horror Picture Show wasn’t released on Home Video until decades later, it then became the 7th highest grossing R rated film ever.

– Anchorman is considered a cult film yet it’s sequel is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. 

– Cult film fans consider themselves collectors rather than consumers, as they associate consumers with mainstream, Hollywood audiences.

– Films can lose mainstream momentum and gain a cult following 


What drives people to keep coming back to the horror genre?

Over the last century the horror movie genre has been idolised and consumed by audiences from all over the world. It has been one of the most dominant genres of film to ever grace theatres, going through constant changes to refresh a very simple stimulus. Its aim is to frighten the viewer. There has been thousands and thousands of horror films created that have attempted to frighten audiences, but only a fraction of them will stand the test of time. The most famous horror movies have played on societal problems, myths, theories and just basic human instinct to survive which in turn play on human emotions. And yet no matter how scary or horrific these movies may be, we as an audience consistently return to them with open arms as if we want to be scared. But why is this? Why would we put ourselves through tormenting and uncomfortable scenes when there is so much more out there?

User and Gratifications theory is relevant when it comes to explaining why we enjoy being frightened, even if that means watching them again and again. When people watch horror films they tend to do it in small groups or pairs so they can share the experience together, this creates a personal relationship which allows them to discuss the traumatic and scary scenes presented. They can relate to each other through the text given to them. Also it could be used simply to escape from problems such as boredom and stress in the real world and forget their nagging problems. They can involve themselves with the villains for example as they won’t get that opportunity in real life, I hope… This works with all types of horror ranging from The Exorcist to The Thing because we as an audience would like to share the experience or just delve deeper into the text given.

There is also the ability to relate to the protagonist and their heroic/scared feelings towards the problem but this mainly requires the horror films with a large sense of believability and realism. It is much easier to relate to films such as Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and The Human Centipede because they are all believable and possible scenarios which can play out in society. The more believable a film, the bigger the effect it has on the viewer. Paranormal Activity shook the world in 2007 with its incredibly realistic scenarios and setup, it terrified audiences all over the world and people were still feeling the effects weeks after the initial screening. This however did not stop them producing another 4 or so movies which have most likely been viewed by the original people that watched it. Why would they put themselves through the suffering again?

 Joseph Ledoux gave an in depth analysis of the Amygdala in the brain which creates fear, he says “If you have a good imagination, you can connect to your hardwired fears simply by thinking about a scary situation.” “This may explain why, once an emotion is aroused, it is so hard for us to turn it off,” Paranormal Activity did a great job of making audiences think about the situations on screen which would play on their minds so much they may want to see it again just to try and get the full picture. Eventually a sort of Hypodermic Needle takes place in the shape of a sequel; the intrigue surrounding the following films meant that they had to be seen. Two Step Flow is also assisting the institutions by having opinion leaders reinforce the products being made in the name of Paranormal Activity. Two Step Flow was more beneficial however in advertising a whole new wave of remakes which hit the cinemas from the mid 2000’s to modern day.

Some horror films are re watched so people could either bring back the fears they had when they watched it before, or just for the nostalgic feel of the movie. Having a nostalgic feel has become quite a large selling point for horror fans everywhere in the last decade or so. There have been countless remakes of horror movies which have been proven draws for horror. Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Thing and Predator are just examples of films returning to the big screen and they are being eaten up by the ever demanding horror genre audience. Even spin off prequels like Prometheus have been made in order to reconnect with cult fans. This proves that either the remakes are a guaranteed draw; the audience will consume any horror product, or both.

There’s something about horror films what attract all forms of audiences, being brought together by a common goal of being scared. There are many different approaches to our enjoyment of them such as our imagination enticing us, a form of escapism from the real world, or just simply an adrenaline boost with friends. It seems like there will always be a market for the horror genre in our society. It is considered one of the most withstanding genre’s in the world of film.

A2 essay first draft: To what extent does the changing representation of movie heroes reflect society’s attitude towards masculinity?

A protagonists/heroes role in every movie is to connect with the audience, they have to invest in the character whether it be excitement, intrigue, lust, sympathy or any other emotion it doesn’t matter, what matters is the audience is invested in the character. With the constant evolution of the media, different eras of stereotypes for these heroes have passed, some have been more successful than others but were these sudden changes in heroes reflecting the current events in society and in turn how masculinity was looked upon by society?

A hero can be defined as a [1]‘person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities’. To fit the definition it seems anyone could be a superhero, however that tends not to be the case as these heroes have to have something special that makes the audience connect with them, in the late 70’s into the early 80’s the movie industry was booming and grossing more money than ever before and one thing was consistent, the representation and appearance of the male hero. A fascination of muscular, larger than life males took place, taking over not only the sports world but all grounds of the media including movies. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Jean Claude Van Damme among others dominated the red carpet all portraying buff, strong and brave super heroes in some of the highest grossing movies ever at this time. They all possessed enormous amounts of charisma and always had the audience emotionally invested, the talent of these heroes can’t be diminished by putting their success down to their physical appearance but soon a new era of super heroes was going to take over and the muscular physiques began fading out…

Societies romanticizing of men with muscular physiques was reflected in all forms of media and especially movies throughout the 70’s and 80’s but in the early 90’s a scandal would take over America and muscular physiques went from being romanticized to looked down upon and American heroes of the 80’s were publically spotlighted and many had their images chopped down by the media due to a drug which had garnered much negative attention, steroids.

The dawn of the new decade saw a huge turn for the movie industry, a steroid scandal rocked the home of the movie industry, America, in a national debacle which changed both the entertainment and sports world. American heroes from the past and present were publically torn down due to past admission or accusation of using steroids. The news was taken over for weeks upon months with doctors and scientists giving their views on the drug and persuading the public of the ramifications of taking them, however in the opinions of many these views were unjustified as there had never been any long term monitoring of the drug due to its illegal status. Christopher Bell, the director of the Bigger, Stronger, Faster documentary which particularly looks at the steroid scandal in the 90’s among other negative and positive outlooks on the drug, shares his views on the media’s coverage regarding steroids claiming [2]‘despite extensive negative coverage on the drug you can tell simply by watching the news their opinions are one sided and not backed up with any scientific research’. Despite this, the public were convinced, the media had marketed these former heroes as being unworthy role models for children and it changed the careers of many successful actors. Steroids continued to be in and out of the media continuing into the 2000’s, but with society’s views on masculinity at an all-time low a new era of male heroes was on the rise….

During this time a small dry patch took place in the movie industry but shortly thereafter the rise of technology helped recreate the success from the 80’s. CGI – computer generated imagery became frequent in big money blockbusters towards the end of the 90’s and with that came much success. Films like Star Wars, Toy Story, Aladdin and The Matrix were some of the most successful movies of the decade, with the CGI special effects now being the wow factor in the movies we saw a different breed of male heroes, some were computer generated and others were just regular actors as the days of jacked up heroes were gone. CGI brought an added dimension to movies at a time when the audience was craving change, however some writers credit the rise of CGI in movies as being a long term negative effect to the movie industry. [3]Garry Maddox, an Australian newspaper writer who has wrote many articles on the evolution of the audience as well as the evolution of films believes CGI has led to the ‘compromising of good film making’. This begs the question to whether CGI was excessively used as the focal point in many blockbuster movies in the 90’s due to the bad attitude that society had regarding masculinity, possibly stemming from the bad publicity that was directed towards many of the most successful male movie heroes of the 80’s.

However on the flip side in the book ‘Image and Representation – key concepts in media studies’ by Nick Lacey, when discussing the eras of action heroes he defends the shift in the 90’s as different actors proving they could play credible action leads, quote [4]‘In the 1980s muscular bodies defined the biggest stars of the genre: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. The muscular body was de-emphasized in the 1990s, when actors such as Keanus Reeves in Speed (1994) and the Matrix trilogy (1999-2003) and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic (1997) could play credible action leads’.

In 2001 another shocking change in society would again affect the movie industry. The September 11 attacks, more commonly known as 9/11, was a tragic terrorist attack on the world trade centre which led to almost 3,000 deaths and thousands of injuries. It heavily effected America and the world as a whole, the entertainment business suffered whiplash from the event starting with the [5]changing, delaying and even in some cases cancellation of movies and television programmes, however according to Charlie Anders, co-founder and editor of the science fiction blog ‘io9’, it changed the movie industry in a far greater way, by creating the super hero boom in the early 2000’s. She claims Hollywood went super hero crazy following 9/11 in her popular [6]‘Where would super heroes be without 9/11 article’. She points out that super heroes ‘regularly confront evils that are organized but hard to identify, in much the same way terrorists are stateless’ and goes as far to say that Spiderman, one of the highest grossing movies of 2001 ‘was a huge success partly because people wanted a fun, escapist movie following 9/11. Also included in her article she credits the continued improvement of CGI animation in movies as another reason for the super hero boom.

There’s no denying 9/11 changed all forms of entertainment, to this day terrorists are still used regularly in film and television as the ultimate heel. What is debatable however is whether society’s views on masculinity changed following the tragedy? In my opinion, no, in fact to the movie industry it was a positive as it allowed for villains that the audience would instantly hate, playing off the 9/11 attacks, then allowing almost anyone to play the role of the hero if represented correctly. If anything 9/11 re-defined masculinity in movies, changing from the already fading ‘hard body’ look into more attainable features such as bravery, courage and pride.






A2 Essay Introduction – David Blakemore

Does the BBC fulfil its remit to remain neutral and representative, or is the criticism that the BBC receives valid?

The BBC are seen as The Daily Mail’s greatest enemy, with a collection of grudges and criticism from Paul Dacre of The Daily Mail and other institutions, this has led to an argument on whether the BBC fulfill their remit to remain neutral and representative, or have the BBC been bias and unrepresentative within news reports and their media products, or has a bigger shock arisen and that The Daily Mail’s criticisms are valid?

The BBC (British Broadcasting Company), is a public service broadcast, in which it is owned by the public and Ofcom, who accountable to Parliament, Ofcom are involved in advising and setting some of the more technical aspects of regulation, implementing and enforcing the law, this means that they enforce a set of rules onto a PSB such as the BBC. These rules include having an array of quality programmes that appeal to a mass audience, that the programmes reflect diversity in Britain and make sure no one is offended by the programmes shown by the BBC.

The BBC has a charter and an agreement in which it is to fulfill, The Charter is a set of rules and regulations that they signed in order to govern the BBC to get the most out of license payers money. The Charter includes six public purposes of the BBC, these purposes are to sustain citizenship and a civil society, promote education and learning, stimulate creativity and cultural excellence, to have a clear representation of the UK’s regions and communities, to bring the UK to the world and the world to the UK and to promote it’s other purposes to the benefit of the public, for example emerging communications and technology such as BBC iPlayer. Overall the BBC’s main slogan is to inform, educate and entertain.

The BBC has an array of channels that they individually aim a specific target audience with mixed genres, BBC focuses more on factual programmes, BBC Three is aimed at a younger audience, and channels such as Cbeebies are aimed at children of a very young age, also CBBC is aimed at the pre-teen audience.



IsoHunt shuts down early to prevent archiving, owner Gary Fung rickrolls fans

IsoHunt shuts down early to prevent archiving, owner Gary Fung rickrolls fans

Popular torrenting site IsoHunt has lost a seven-year court battle with the MPAA


Tuesday 22 October 2013
Popular torrenting website IsoHunt has completed its shut down this week following a court settlement with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) announced last Thursday.
The court case began seven years and ended last Thursday with the site’s owner, Gary Fung, agreeing to pay $110 million (£68m) to the group of film studios including Twentieth Century Fox and Disney.
Court documents obtained by the BBC have indicated that Mr Fung and his company will only be able to pay between $2m and $4m of the $110m fine.
The shut-down of the website had originally been planned for the evening of 22 October, but an early closure was initiated to stop “rouge archivists” creating a back-up of the torrent directory.
The homepage of the site was replaced with a post written by Fung titled “Initiating Self Destruct”, with Fung explaining that “We are shutting down isoHunt services a little early. I’m told there was this Internet archival team that wants to make historical copy of our .torrent files.”
Speaking to TorrentFreak the archivists noted that the aim had to been to preserve the metadata surrounding the files (including comment threads and user IDs) as a historical document, rather than the torrents themself. ArchiveTeam member ‘joepie91’ has reported that the group were still able to collect 242GB of data before the site was closed.
Mr Fung was accused by the MPAA of inducing the pirating of films and TV shows. Fung defended himself by saying that his site did not host any pirate material although it did index where such material could be found.
“[The] truth is about 95% of those .torrent files can be found off Google regardless and mostly have been indexed from other BitTorrent sites in the first place,” said Mr Fung in a statement from IsoHunt.
“It’s been an adventure in the last 10.5 years working on isoHunt, a privilege working with some of the smartest guys I’ve worked with, and my life won’t be the same without it,” For what I’m working on next, please look up my blog on Google and follow me there. Because as the Terminator would say with a German accent, ‘I’ll be backkk.’ – Gary Fung.”
Fung then posted a link to a video titled “Terminator Salvation – Newly Released Trailer” although users who clicked the link found themselves listening to Rick Astley’s 1987 hit ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

Change women’s roles in postmodern horror films?

Change women’s roles in postmodern horror films?

(question decided when finished)

Has the power women had in their roles and the importance of their roles in the old horror films such as ‘Dracula’, ‘Psycho’ and ‘The Shining’ changed in postmodern films such as ‘Silent Hill’, ‘Cabin in the Woods’ and ‘The descent’. Women used to be portrayed as the beauty that seduces and captivates the creature. This is best summed up by the character of Carl Denham in ‘King Kong’[1] when he said “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast”. Although ‘King Kong’ isn’t a horror it is still a clear example of what women’s role in film used to be. Also with the change of women both socially and politically has this had an effect on their role in film?

In many of the old horror films in the early 1900’s such as: ‘Dracula’, ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Phantom of the Opera’, the female role is played by a young woman and is usually seen upon as the object of the creature’s desire. In ‘Dracula’ the women is held captive by Count Dracula and is saved by male protagonist. The film ‘Psycho’, released in the early 1960’s, was considered very controversial as it showed an unmarried couple in bed together, which at the time was unheard of. This then led to a trend in women nudity in horror films and making it acceptable for unmarried women and men to be having sex. Psycho also had the famous shower scene in which Lila Crane (Vera Miles) is stabbed to death in the shower by her killer. This scene also demonstrates this particular woman’s vulnerability and by doing so it then exposes all women’s helplessness in these types of old films.

In postmodern horror films females tend to play a stronger role. This includes playing the role of the main protagonist, main antagonist and playing the majority of the characters. For example, in ‘The Descent’, It is an all-female cast with the exception of one male character who dies at the start of the film. In films such as ‘Resident Evil’ and ‘Silent Hill’ the main protagonist is a strong female role, which is a contrast to the old horrors with the weak female role with lack of control. Here it is interesting to look into how the roles contrast from the old horrors to the postmodern horrors. In ‘The Cabin In the Woods’ there are two female main roles which both contrast each other, one being the stereotypical ditsy blonde who ends up being killed and then the smart, virgin girl (to be seen as pure) who makes it through to the end. Here the comparison between the modern characters can be drawn. The modern women roles can still show some behaviours that also follow old stereotypes such as the damsel in distress.

Women had no rights and nothing was done about it up until the 19th century, in Britain, where the Feminism movement began.[2] Then in the twentieth century things began to change. Many protests took place for women to have the right to vote. This led to them being given the ballot in 1918. But only women over the age of 21 who could vote whereas the voting age for men stood at 18. It took until 1928 for women to be given equal voting rights.[3] At this time women’s role in film still hadn’t changed that much. Examples of this can be ‘The Singing Fool’, ‘Lights of New York’ and ‘Alraune’ which were all released in 1928 and all were aimed around a main male role. Horrors were not popular at this time. In ‘The Singing Fool’ the female is portrayed as a gold digging show girl who Al Stone (the male protagonist) takes a fancy too. In the ‘Lights of New York’ there are two female roles, one is a “chorus-girl with a heart of gold”[4] and the other isn’t spoken about that much and ends up being the killer in the end as she hands herself in. Then in ‘Arlaune’ is based around a rich professor who conducts and experiment on a women from a low social status, she leaves the professor to try and make her own life again but she is tracked and under watch by the professor until she is older where the professor then steps in with her life again, she tries to leave and in the end results in her being chased with a knife by the professor and being saved by the professor’s young nephew Franz. This showing that women are represented as less innocent characters in some films of this time also giving them slight more power that they didn’t have before this time but still displays patriarchy. The horror genre at this time, although uncommon, displayed women as very venerable and having to be saved by another male which is following the ‘damsel in distress’ role. During the twentieth century women also became more important in supporting total warfare, as housewives, munitions workers, replacements for men in service, nurses, and combat soldiers.[5] The second world war was the beginning of women working with a big increase of working women in the 1960’s. This giving women more power. At this time films such as ‘Psycho’ (which is talked about in the second paragraph), ‘City of the Dead’ and ‘Dracula’s Brides’ were released as horror became a more common genre.  In the later half of the 20th century some nations began to legalize abortion. This was a very controversial subject and sparked heated debates and in some cases even violence.[2]


What I will look at in my next paragraphs:

  • The ‘Scream’ films
  • Horror comedy cross genre and its stereotypes
  • Feminism, Post feminism, Third-wave feminism and Patriarchy







[5] Bernard Cook, ed, Women and War: Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present (2 vol, 2006)


Youtube – Damselsindistress: Women’s representation in horror

Is Britain’s relationship with disability sport changing?

The value of sport in Britain has increased over time and now holds great importance in society. However sport is even more important in the life of a person with a disability. This is because of the rehabilitative influence sport can have not only on the physical body but also on rehabilitating people with a disability into society. Furthermore, sport teaches independence. Nowadays, people with a disability participate in high performance as well as in competitive and recreational sport. However with sport being so important to disabled people is the relationship between it and Britain changing? Was the extensive coverage of the Paralympics on Channel 4 a result of it being in Britain as a result of the BBC raising the bar for coverage, of technology becoming available, trying to be politically correct, or is it genuinely because of social attitudes and is this enough?

The host of the London 2012 Paralympics was Channel 4 who said they’d be offering ‘around 500 hours in total, including around 150 hours on Channel 4 as well as three additional streams of live action on Paralympics Extra, which are available online and on digital platforms.’[1] This tells us that the Paralympics in 2012 had a considerably more amount of airtime than any previous Paralympics ever. This also tells us that Channel 4 have made it available so that viewers can watch live action online and other digital platforms as well as their main televised channel.

The media has played a big part in making people a lot more aware of disabled sport compared to 40 years ago when disabled sport was never even considered to be something worth watching. One of the main reasons towards disabled sports success was the London 2012 Paralympics. ‘Some 2.7 million Paralympics tickets have been sold – beating targets by 200,000 and predicted sales by £10m.’[2] This implies that people are beginning to show more interest in disabled sport.  This encourages the media to cover sporting events with disabled individuals due to the extra demand to watch this type of sport as society increases its awareness and interest in disabled sport.

However, an article from the BBC was recently published questioning the long-term impact of the Paralympic legacy.  ‘A year on from the Paralympics, the event’s legacy “hangs in the balance” as attitudes towards disabled people fail to improve.’[3] This suggests that society did take some interest in the leading disabled sports events however over time appear to have lost that interest. ‘In a survey of more than 1000 disabled UK adults, 81% say attitudes towards them have not improved while more than one in five believes life has got worse in the 12 months since the Games.’[4] This tells us that the public has now dropped their curiosity in disabled sport, which may then have on effect on the amount of airtime the media choose to assign to disabled sport.

Yet, in 2011, an article was published by The Guardian saying ‘the proportion of disabled people is rising and now represents 1 billion people – 15% of the global population.’[5] This significant increase in the disabled population in relation to the rest of society could suggest that the percentage of people taking part in disabled sport is also rising giving the media more of an incentive to cover events or games. ‘More disabled people in Wales are taking part in sport than ever before, according to new figures’. This implies that the percentage of disabled people taking part in disabled sport is rising and, therefore, increasing awareness in society, which may contribute to the media giving more airtime to disabled sport.

Another consideration is effect of global warfare, and the media coverage of significant conflicts, which have highlighted the tragic effects of war when soldiers are injured and become disabled through their injuries. ‘One of the main developments in Paralympic sport across the world in recent years has been the number of injured service personnel becoming involved.’[6]  Since 2001 the United Nations has been at war with Afghanistan and Iraq and from then ‘at least 39,914’ [7] soldiers have been injured whilst fighting – increasing the amount of disabled population. As soldiers are trained to fight they have to keep themselves fit by maintaining regular exercise, but as they get injured they may not be able to serve in wars but are disciplined to continue with this need to exercise on a consistent and regular basis.  Jon-Allen Butterworth, ‘The 26-year-old lost his left arm in a rocket attack in Basra in 2007 while serving with the RAF as a weapons technician’ then decided to take up cycling and ‘he won gold and broke the world record in the C5 1km time trial at his first World Championships in 2011 and repeated the feat earlier this year in Los Angeles. He is set to compete in five events in London – the kilo, 4km pursuit and team sprint on the track and the road race and time trial at Brands Hatch.’[8]

Since 2009, Jonnie Peacock, the British amputee, has been an archetype of the Paralympics recently becoming the world record holder for the T44 100m sprint taking gold at the London 2012 Paralympics and also been awarded an MBE for the service to his country. 100 meter sprint being the most popular athletic event across both the Olympic and Paralympic games was bound to be watched by many but it having such a popular British icon with high hopes of success had a big impact of the number of British viewers. ‘Over 6m viewers watch Jonnie Peacock’s gold medal-winning 100m sprint.’[9] This quotation showing the massive volume of people that tuned in to watch Peacock race. With such a vast amount of people interested in the much loved Jonnie Peacock Channel 4 could be accused of using him in a way that could relate to the star system- using a popular icon to draw in attention- which will have an affect on the relationship between Britain and disabled sport.



(Next Paragraph- Talk about the Channel 4 Paralympic logo ‘Meet the Superhumans’ which emphasizes how much society recognizes the triumphs of disabled people, the logo suggesting instead of disabled people being behind able bodied people they’re actually in front and how much they are recognized from the past to today)