Them or Us: Archetypal Interpretations of Fifties Alien Invasion Films

Patrick Lucanio, Author Indiana University Press $0 (194p) ISBN 978-0-253-20435-6
Univ. of Oregon film-history professor Lucanio asks, ""Can films with such titles as The Crawling Eye, Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman, Gog and The Blob transcend their presumed exploitative absurdity to genuinely express true meaning and value to their audiences?'' In this salient, critical study, he answers in the affirmative, maintaining that creatures in alien-invasion films are projections of the collective unconscious described by Jung. Focusing on William Cameron Menzies's Invaders from Mars (1953) and Arthur Crabtree's Fiend Without a Face (1958), Lucanio examines narrative patterns, myths, motifs, iconography and conventions of the monster-movie genre in terms of Jungian esthetics and myth criticism. The simple plots and stereotyped characters are, he concludes, ``visionary in the Jungian sense'' and offer ``meaning and value through the symbolic power of their images and events.'' Genre buffs will appreciate the fact that the 199 black-and-white photos include many frame enlargements. Filmography. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Hardcover - 194 pages - 978-0-253-35871-4
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