Critical discussion of cult cinema has often noted its tendency to straddle or ignore boundaries, to pull together different sets of conventions, narrative formulas, or character types for the almost surreal pleasure to be found in their sudden juxtapositions or narrative combination. With its own boundary-blurring nature—as both science and fiction, reality and fantasy—science fiction has played a key role in such cinematic cult formation. This volume examines that largely unexplored relationship, looking at how the sf film’s own double nature neatly matches up with a persistent double vision common to the cult film. It does so by bringing together an international array of scholars to address key questions about the intersections of sf and cult cinema: how different genre elements, directors, and stars contribute to cult formation; what role fan activities, including “con” participation, play in cult development; and how the occulted or “bad” sf cult film works. The volume pursues these questions by addressing a variety of such sf cult works, including Robot Monster (1953), Zardoz (1974), A Boy and His Dog (1975), Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989), Space Truckers (1996), Ghost in the Shell 2 (2004), and Iron Sky (2012). What these essays afford is a revealing vision of both the sf aspects of much cult film activity and the cultish aspects of the whole sf genre.
Contributor list: Stacey Abbott is a Reader in Film and Television Studies at the University of Roehampton. M. Keith Booker is the James E. and Ellen Wadley Roper Professor of English at the University of Arkansas. Mark Bould is Reader in Film and Literature at the University of the West of England and co-editor of Science Fiction Film and Television. Gerald Duchovnay, Professor of English and Film at Texas A&M University-Commerce, is the founding and general editor of Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities. Rodney F. Hill, Assistant Professor of Film at Hofstra University, holds a Ph.D. in Theatre & Film from the University of Kansas. Matt Hills is Professor in Film and TV Studies at Aberystwyth University. Nicolle Lamerichs is a Dutch lecturer at Utrecht University. Rob Latham is Professor of English at the University of California-Riverside, where he is developing a program in Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies. Sharalyn Orbaugh is a professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. Takayuki Tatsumi is professor of American Literature at Keio University, Tokyo. J. P. Telotte is a professor of film and media and former Chair of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, where he teaches courses in film history, film genres, and film and television. Chuck Tryon is an associate professor in the Department of English at Fayetteville State University. Sherryl Vint is a Professor in the Department of English at University of California-Riverside. Jeffrey Weinstock is Professor English and the graduate program coordinator at Central Michigan University. Rhonda V. Wilcox, Ph.D., is Professor of English at Gordon State College and Past President of the Whedon Studies Association.
Reviews'Coherent, well-organised and covers the field effectively. There is a decent balance of the obvious (Blade Runner) and the obscure (Ghost in the Shell 2). The pieces are written by evident fans and are pitched at a level undergraduates would appreciate, while offering enough novelty and rigour to add something to the field. I can imagine the book would find its way onto modules on SF as well as cult film and fan studies generally.'
'Science Fiction, Double Feature is a thoroughly approachable text that would appeal most to anyone who is looking for greater insight into the often overlooked world of cult cinema and SF. The inclusion of twenty-first century examples along with earlier cinematic works makes for an intriguing mix that maintains interest from one chapter to the next, and will appeal to a broader reading audience than the usual academic essay collection.'
British Society for Literature and Science