Science Fiction Double Feature

The Science Fiction Film as Cult Text

Edited by J. P. Telotte and Gerald Duchovnay

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ISBN: 9781781381830

Publication: July 27, 2015

Series: Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies 52

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
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.

Gerald Duchovnay is Professor of English and Film at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and the founding and general editor of Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities. His books include Film Voices (SUNY, 2004) and (co-edited with J. P. Telotte) Science Fiction Film, Television, and Adaptation: Across the Screens (Routledge, 2012).

J. P. Telotte is Professor of Film and Media at Georgia Tech. Author of more than 100 articles on film, television, and literature, and co-editor of Post Script, he has published numerous books on sf and the cult, among them: The Cult Film Experience (Texas, 1991), Replications: A Robotic History of the Science Fiction Film (Illinois 1995), The Science Fiction Film (Cambridge, 2001), The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader (Kentucky, 2008), and Science Fiction TV (Routledge, 2014).

I. Introduction: Science Fiction Double Feature (Telotte) II. The Multiple Texts of the SF/Cult Film 1. From “Multiverse” to “Abramsverse”: Blade Runner, Star Trek, Multiplicity, and the Authorizing of Cult/SF Worlds (Matt Hills) 2. The Coy Cult Text: The Man Who Wasn’t There as Noir SF (Mark Bould) 3. “It's Alive”: The Splattering of SF Films (Stacey Abbott) 4. Sean Connery Reconfigured: From Bond to Cult Science Fiction Figure (Gerald Duchovnay) 5.The Cult Film as Affective Technology: Anime and Oshii Mamoru’s Innocence (Sharalyn Orbaugh) III. SF Media and the Audience 6. Whedon, Browncoats, and the Big Damn Narrative: The Unified Meta-Myth of Firefly and Serenity (Rhonda Wilcox) 7. Iron Sky’s War Bonds: Cult SF Cinema and Crowdsourcing (Chuck Tryon) 8. Transnational Interactions: District 9, or Apaches in Johannesburg (Takayuki Tatsumi) 9. A Donut For Tom Paris: Identity and Belonging at European SF/Fantasy Conventions (Nicolle Lamerichs) IV. Occulting the Cult: The “Bad” SF Text 10. Robot Monster and the “Watchable . . . Terrible” Cult/SF Film (Telotte) 11. Science Fiction and the Cult of Ed Wood: Glen or Glenda?, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 from Outer Space (Rodney Hill) 12. Visual Pleasure, the Cult, and Paracinema (Sherryl Vint) 13. “Lack of Respect, Wrong Attitude, Failure to Obey Authority”: Dark Star and A Boy and His Dog as New Wave Cult SF (Rob Latham) 14. Capitalism, Camp, and Cult SF: Space Truckers as Satire (M. Keith Booker) 15. Bubba Ho-tep and the Seriously Silly Cult Film (Jeffrey Weinstock) Bibliography Filmography Index

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

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.
Ian Hunter  
De Montfort University

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 x 163 mm

256 Pages

ISBN: 9781781381830

Publication: July 27, 2015

Series: Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies 52

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