April 27, 2012

Life Lessons from Slasher Films, by Jessica Robinson

Got great news from a friend of mine yesterday: her nonfiction book on slasher films will be out this summer!  It’s called Life Lessons from Slasher Films and it began as her master’s thesis. 

Fascinating stuff.  I’m not a fan of slasher films ~ they majorly creep me out because my stress dreams consist of men chasing me with knives ~ but nonetheless this is a great read.  I know because I helped her index it. J (Funny story about that here.)

This is what Jessica (pen name Pembroke Sinclair) says about it:

The book takes an academic/scholarly look at slasher films and the importance they have in our culture, but since I don't have any "credentials," I can't actually claim it's a "scholarly" book. The writing has been altered to appeal to a more general audience, so it should be accessible to all readers. I look at seven films: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Psycho, Black Christmas, Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream, along with the remakes of every film, except for Scream (Scream 4 wasn't out yet while I was working on this). I picked these specific films because they helped define the genre.

Some of the things I examine in the book are gender, the rites of passage from teens into adults, the killer as a demonic teacher, and how the remakes have tried to make the killer sympathetic, along with some other ideas. It's the culmination of years of work, and I still can't believe someone is going to publish it.

I have to say, one of the many things I love about the book is the skillful way Jessica builds her argument.  One of the things I’ve long admired about some writers is their ability to further an argument just short of the next point, and then bam! the next section continues the argument.  In other words, they lead your mind right to the point where you’re asking the question, and then the next section answers that question but then leads you on to the next question in the next section.  So easy for the reader, so hard for the writer. 

So be on the lookout for it, especially if you like that hair-raising feeling of spooky music, a deserted house, innocent teen sitting there not knowing about the masked maniac in the closet. Oooh!


Pembroke Sinclair said...

"Innocent teens"? That's a bit of a stretch! Thanks for posting this! YOU ROCK!

Tamara said...

Oh, you are so so welcome!!

(I say "innocent" because I was thinking that premarital sex does not deserve 15 stab wounds. Maybe I'm a bit too liberal. :-) )

Tamara said...

PS Coolest cover ever!