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Author Topic: WHAT FILM INVENTED THE GENRE?  (Read 8852 times)
Allhallowsday
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« on: October 09, 2008, 10:20:46 PM »

This is a tough idea.  I'm sort of watching THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974) on the IFC that some have espoused "hatred" for, and thinking to myself that it does not cease to amaze me how well made this film is.  The tone, the score, the artistry, the relentless Horror (yet a lack of gore) make this the one to beat.  And it hasn't been.  Though some might cite 'Torture Porn" (like ROB ZOMBIE who's practically made a career distilling this film and not that well, or ELI ROTH's HOSTEL) but I think the term, really coined later than this film, would be "Slasher."  And the best of the bunch remains THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE .  If ever a film spawned a technique, this was one.  Are there others? 

WHAT FILM INVENTED THE GENRE? 
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2008, 05:03:26 AM »

One word-PSYCHO .
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2008, 06:07:55 AM »

The Last House on the Left or Cannibal Holocaust. Gotta go way back dude.
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Menard
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2008, 06:42:36 AM »

The Last House on the Left or Cannibal Holocaust. Gotta go way back dude.

Those films would be from 1972 and 1980 respectively.

Two questions:

1) How far back is 'way back' dude?

2) What genre were you suggesting those two invented?
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zombie #1
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Oookaay...


« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2008, 08:49:23 AM »

SPOOF DOCUMENTARY: This Is Spinal Tap

my guess... unless theres any earlier than '84, when Tap came out?





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schmendrik
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2008, 09:39:20 AM »

Kurosawa probably has to come up sooner or later in a discussion like this, since so many directors point to him as a source of ideas and inspiration. I guess you'd have to name Rashomon (1950) as the start of the "truth depends on who tells it" concept, though I don't know if there are enough of those to make a genre. He Said, She Said (1991) is the only other one that comes to mind.

But you know that shot of the burning sun that you've seen in so many westerns, or in any movie whenever they want to indicate that it's really, really hot? I recall Robert Altman on the extras of some Kurosawa DVD, I think this one, as saying that Kurosawa was the guy who first thought of turning the camera right at the sun. And Altman immediately stole the idea to use in TV westerns.

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inframan
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2008, 10:38:02 AM »

Which genre are you talking about? Torture porn?
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2008, 02:35:35 PM »

A few that come to mind immediately without thinking very hard:

THE WILD ONE (1953) is the earliest biker movie I can think of.

BLOOD FEAST (1963) is famous for starting the gore genre.

Speaking of H.G. Lewis, I think 2000 MANIACS (1964) was the first torture-porn movie.

THE IMMORAL MR. TEAS (1959) is credited as the first "nudie-cutie", and therefore the beginning of the softcore porn industry. 

BLOOD FREAK (1972) definitely started the Christian gore/anti-drug horror movie genre. 
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2008, 02:57:33 PM »


BLOOD FREAK (1972) definitely started the Christian gore/anti-drug horror movie genre. 
[/quote]

That was quite the extensive genre wasn't it? TongueOut

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Kester Pelagius
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2008, 04:31:46 PM »

If ever a film spawned a technique, this was one.  Are there others? 

WHAT FILM INVENTED THE GENRE? 

My first reaction was to climb on the "What genre?" bandwagon and shout with everyone else, then I re-read the last bit.  I assume you are asking which movie(s) started off specific "sub-genres" - since most genre categories were borrowed from literature and the pulps?  If so. .

BLOOD FEAST; usually attributed as starting the gore trend.

Before this the genre was simply referred to as "roughies", IIRC.  Not sure what the first roughie was though.  Anyone?  Also related to this theme would be the "revenge" sub-genre of horror.  Alas not sure what the first flick in this category was.  I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE?

Sci-fi: There is pre and post STAR WARS sci-fi.  But SW definitely created a sub-genre of it's own.  (see, STARCRASH, THE HUMANOID, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, &tc)

Sworld-and-sandal: The first Italian Hercules movie is usually attributed as starting the "peplum" genre.

Other sci-fi: ALIEN knock-off.  Alien started the so-called "Alien" sub-genre of sci-fi even though it wasn't entirely original itself.  (see GALAXY OF TERROR, CREATURE, FORBIDDEN WORLD, INSEMINOID, STAR CRYSTAL, &tc)

Horror, the "slasher" flick: Depending on who you talk to this either began with BAY OF BLOOD or the first FRIDAY THE 13TH movie.  This is also a genre some classify as belonging to the 80s.

Torture Porn:  The door to this genre was opened by the Hannibal Lectur movies, STRANGELAND, and their ilk IMO.  Though the genre didn't really get a label until movies like SAW and HOSTEL came out.

&tc
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2008, 05:51:08 PM »

If ever a film spawned a technique, this was one.  Are there others? 

WHAT FILM INVENTED THE GENRE? 

My first reaction was to climb on the "What genre?" bandwagon and shout with everyone else, then I re-read the last bit.  I assume you are asking which movie(s) started off specific "sub-genres" - since most genre categories were borrowed from literature and the pulps?  If so. .

BLOOD FEAST; usually attributed as starting the gore trend.

Before this the genre was simply referred to as "roughies", IIRC.  Not sure what the first roughie was though.  Anyone?  Also related to this theme would be the "revenge" sub-genre of horror.  Alas not sure what the first flick in this category was.  I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE?

"Roughie" is sort of a term of art for the more violent sexploitation features that followed when the novelty of the nudie-cuties wore off.  The first one my have been Russ Meyer's LORNA (1964) or THE HEADMISTRESS (1965).

Sci-fi: There is pre and post STAR WARS sci-fi.  But SW definitely created a sub-genre of it's own.  (see, STARCRASH, THE HUMANOID, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS, &tc)

Sworld-and-sandal: The first Italian Hercules movie is usually attributed as starting the "peplum" genre.

Other sci-fi: ALIEN knock-off.  Alien started the so-called "Alien" sub-genre of sci-fi even though it wasn't entirely original itself.  (see GALAXY OF TERROR, CREATURE, FORBIDDEN WORLD, INSEMINOID, STAR CRYSTAL, &tc)

Horror, the "slasher" flick: Depending on who you talk to this either began with BAY OF BLOOD or the first FRIDAY THE 13TH movie.  This is also a genre some classify as belonging to the 80s.

Torture Porn:  The door to this genre was opened by the Hannibal Lectur movies, STRANGELAND, and their ilk IMO.  Though the genre didn't really get a label until movies like SAW and HOSTEL came out.

&tc

What defines torture porn, though?  Why are 2000 MANIACS and THE INCREDIBLE TORTURE SHOW [AKA BLOODSUCKING FREAKS] not considered part of the genre?  Certainly there was a modern mini-revival of this kind of film, but exploitation movies centering around torture are nothing new.

Thought of another one: although there had been films where women just happened to be in prison, I think the women-in-prison formula (new fish, sadistic warden, lesbian sex, shower scenes, etc) started with Jack Hill's THE BIG DOLL HOUSE in the early 1970s.
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Menard
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2008, 07:27:57 PM »

Also related to this theme would be the "revenge" sub-genre of horror.  Alas not sure what the first flick in this category was.  I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE?

Sorry, Kester, I'm not picking on you. There is a point in your response I want to touch on, but otherwise this is a general post and not specifically a response to your post.


Bringing up 'I Spit on Your Grave' as a potential starter to the revenge sub-genre (though I would consider the rape/revenge movie itself to be a distinct sub-genre) raises an interesting point.

Is the first such film of any sub-genre really where that sub-genre starts?

Case and point with 'I Spit on Your Grave': it was born out of a Made-for-TV movie called 'Revenge for a Rape' which preceded it by two years. There are two main differences between the two movies in that the victim in 'Revenge' is not the one who is the avenger, but her husband (played by Mike Connors), and 'Spit' does not have the twist ending as she knew her attackers, unlike in 'Revenge' where he thought he knew who they were, but he killed the wrong guys.

Even though 'Revenge' inspired 'Spit', and the later 3D movie 'Hunting Season' (which was a direct take-off of it, save that the victim is the hunter, but makes the same mistake), 'Revenge' did not become the poster child of the sub-genre, but 'Spit' did.

Though, even before both of those, some would point to movies like 'They Call Her One Eye' and 'Last House on the Left', even though both of those were preceded by 'Hannie Caulder' (1971).

Quite frankly, 'I Spit on Your Grave' was rather late in the sub-genre as rape and rape/revenge was not a stranger to the grindhouse scene of the late 60s and early 70s.

Which, though, invents a sub-genre; the first such movie, which often often cannot be agreed upon, or the one which became most synonymous with the sub-genre from which others sprang?
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zombie #1
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Oookaay...


« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2008, 11:46:08 PM »


Which, though, invents a sub-genre; the first such movie, which often often cannot be agreed upon, or the one which became most synonymous with the sub-genre from which others sprang?

good point

Im just thinking about shark movies...was there one before JAWS? I cant think of one before, and there have certainly been lots since, and JAWS is also the film most synonymous with shark movies.
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AndyC
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2008, 06:48:57 AM »


Which, though, invents a sub-genre; the first such movie, which often often cannot be agreed upon, or the one which became most synonymous with the sub-genre from which others sprang?

good point

Im just thinking about shark movies...was there one before JAWS? I cant think of one before, and there have certainly been lots since, and JAWS is also the film most synonymous with shark movies.

I can't think of one either, but it should be noted that the subgenre went beyond sharks to include a number of other animals (Grizzly, Orca, etc). That would be the specific Jaws format, but do the roots of the genre (small town or group of people terrorized by rogue predator) go back further? I guess that is an extension of Menard's question - whether the subgenre is a killer animal or the specific Jaws format.

Similarly, while disasters have been depicted in films for years, Airport (1970) kicked off a specific style of "disaster film."
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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2008, 09:37:22 AM »

Sorry, Kester, I'm not picking on you. There is a point in your response I want to touch on, but otherwise this is a general post and not specifically a response to your post.

No worries.

 Cheers

Menard,

To address some of your remakrs. .

IMO it's hard to nail any sub-genre down to one specific movie as having "INVENTED THE GENRE", as the OP put it.  However there are certain movies that can be pointed to as being the "film [that] spawned a technique" or, rather, movies that made a big box office smash and became so popular their format and/or formula became widely imitated; and thus influenced the genre.

Take STAR WARS.  The same year this came out so did CINDERELLA 2000.  Yet who even recalls this movie today?  It's the same way with TV.

STAR TREK has become so iconic that it's virtually impossible to make a sci-fi space opera series and NOT have it compared to ST.  BABYLON 5 was called a imitation of DEEP SPACE 9 when it first hit the airwaves.   But it overcame this.  Alas SEAQUEST DSV was called a shameless rip-off of the same series from the start and remains so to this day.  Why?  Because it remained clichéd and formulaic.  In this the TV genre also shows us how overuse of genre tropes can render a genre meaningless.  Take the cop/police drama.  These have been so over done that they're all just cop/police dramas.  You may remember one or two but, after a while, they all blend together into vapid insignificance.  Just as the STAR TREK franchise did before it imploded with ENTERPRISE.

The equivalent in movies is the sequel.

And what of ALIEN?  There's numerous movies that get panned as being "Alien knock-offs" yet many of us here can point to specific movies that came out years before Alien which were, if not virtually identical, so close to what Alien was that it boggles the mind.  For instance there was PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, a movie with virtually the same premise as ALIEN.  Both movies involve ships landing on a distant world to investigate a alien signal, IIRC.  Both movies have their characters stumble on an alien vessel, finding giant sized dead aliens, and fighting off parasitic alien life forms.  (IN POV they are preternatural spirit entities that inhabit the dead as opposed to the physical xenoid BEM alien parasites of ALIEN.)  Yet it's ALIEN that has become, and  remains, the genre yardstick.  Even though some of the latter movies are really knock-offs of imitators movies!

Too, you're quite right about I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE being a "rape/revenge" movie, thus placing it into a sub-category of the genre.  Yet IT is the movie that immediately sprang to mind even though there were many "roughies" that preceded it in the ouvre of the revenge genre.


KP
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