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Folk horror and the contemporary cult of British rural landscape: the case of Blood on Satan's Claw

Newland, Paul ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8090-2965 (2016) Folk horror and the contemporary cult of British rural landscape: the case of Blood on Satan's Claw. In: British Rural Landscapes on Film. Manchester University Press, Manchester, pp. 162-179. ISBN 978-0-7190-9157-5

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Abstract

In this chapter I argue two separate (but related) things. Firstly, focusing primarily on the cult film Blood on Satan’s Claw (Piers Haggard, 1971), I explore the generic qualities of a range of Gothic and so-called ‘folk horror’ films, and think about how far rural landscape plays a part in their aesthetic and appeal. Secondly–and related to this–I demonstrate that we are witnessing a contemporary ‘cultification’ of folk horror which is manifesting itself as a subcultural reappraisal of a range of rural 1960s and 1970s texts, but also the development of new, contemporary texts that draw on, mine (and are indeed are haunted by) their textual antecedents - especially in the ways in which they often pit the rural ‘anti-modern’, ‘natural’ and/or pagan landscape against the technocracy of modernity. What we see in these texts then–but also the cult discourse that increasingly circulates around them - is a distinct romanticisation of a dark British (but especially English) vision of a pagan, pre-modern or proto-modern rural past, and a focus on what might still be alive now ‘in the present’ in such spaces.

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Uncontrolled Keywords: rural landscapes, British film, British cinema, British countryside, British cinema history, landscape, cinema, film, British, Rural, Representation, Place, Space, folk, horror, cult, Blood on Satan's Claw
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Divisions: Central Services > Directorate
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Depositing User: Paul Newland
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2020 11:31
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2020 09:21
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/9238

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