COMING IN OCTOBER: Terror Down Under A History of Horror Film in Australia, 1897–1973
Coming in October, from McFarland Publishing.
Terror Down Under: A History of Horror Film in Australia, 1897 - 1973 is available for pre-order right now directly from McFarland Publishing, or via your local bookstore.
In 1948, the Australian government banned the production, importation and exhibition of horror films in a move to appease religious communities and entertainment watchdogs. Drawing upon previously unseen government documents, private letters and contemporary newspaper accounts, this book is the first to extensively cover the history of censorship and the early production of horror movies in Australia. Beginning its examination in the late 19th century, the book documents the earliest horror films like Georges Méliès’ The Haunted Castle (1896), and how Australians enjoyed such films before the ban.
The book explains how certain imports, like 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon, were able to circumvent the ban while others were not. It also reveals how Australian television, though similarly impacted by government censorship, was occasionally able to broadcast films technically banned from cinematic release. The work concludes with a look at the first Australian horror films produced after the ban was formally lifted in 1969, like Terry Bourke’s Night of Fear (1973).
Read how films such as Frankenstein was banned in South Australia for over twenty years, and how Freaks was banned for over forty. And they weren't the only ones.
This book has been a labour of love for me, and the idea came from a series of Rondo Award nominated articles for the now defunct Monster! magazine. The book covers so much ground, you'll be wanting a seat belt.