Science Fiction Double Feature

BookScience Fiction Double Feature

Science Fiction Double Feature

The Science Fiction Film as Cult Text

Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies, 52


July 27th, 2015

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Critical discussion of cult cinema has often noted its tendency to straddle or ignore boundaries, to pull together different sets of conventions, narrative formulas, or character types for the almost surreal pleasure to be found in their sudden juxtapositions or narrative combination. With its own boundary-blurring nature—as both science and fiction, reality and fantasy—science fiction has played a key role in such cinematic cult formation. This volume examines that largely unexplored relationship, looking at how the sf film’s own double nature neatly matches up with a persistent double vision common to the cult film. It does so by bringing together an international array of scholars to address key questions about the intersections of sf and cult cinema: how different genre elements, directors, and stars contribute to cult formation; what role fan activities, including “con” participation, play in cult development; and how the occulted or “bad” sf cult film works. The volume pursues these questions by addressing a variety of such sf cult works, including Robot Monster (1953), Zardoz (1974), A Boy and His Dog (1975), Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989), Space Truckers (1996), Ghost in the Shell 2 (2004), and Iron Sky (2012). What these essays afford is a revealing vision of both the sf aspects of much cult film activity and the cultish aspects of the whole sf genre.

Contributor list: Stacey Abbott is a Reader in Film and Television Studies at the University of Roehampton. M. Keith Booker is the James E. and Ellen Wadley Roper Professor of English at the University of Arkansas. Mark Bould is Reader in Film and Literature at the University of the West of England and co-editor of Science Fiction Film and Television. Gerald Duchovnay, Professor of English and Film at Texas A&M University-Commerce, is the founding and general editor of Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities. Rodney F. Hill, Assistant Professor of Film at Hofstra University, holds a Ph.D. in Theatre & Film from the University of Kansas. Matt Hills is Professor in Film and TV Studies at Aberystwyth University. Nicolle Lamerichs is a Dutch lecturer at Utrecht University. Rob Latham is Professor of English at the University of California-Riverside, where he is developing a program in Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies. Sharalyn Orbaugh is a professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. Takayuki Tatsumi is professor of American Literature at Keio University, Tokyo. J. P. Telotte is a professor of film and media and former Chair of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, where he teaches courses in film history, film genres, and film and television. Chuck Tryon is an associate professor in the Department of English at Fayetteville State University. Sherryl Vint is a Professor in the Department of English at University of California-Riverside. Jeffrey Weinstock is Professor English and the graduate program coordinator at Central Michigan University. Rhonda V. Wilcox, Ph.D., is Professor of English at Gordon State College and Past President of the Whedon Studies Association.


'Coherent, well-organised and covers the field effectively. There is a decent balance of the obvious (Blade Runner) and the obscure (Ghost in the Shell 2). The pieces are written by evident fans and are pitched at a level undergraduates would appreciate, while offering enough novelty and rigour to add something to the field. I can imagine the book would find its way onto modules on SF as well as cult film and fan studies generally.'
Ian Hunter

'Science Fiction, Double Feature is a thoroughly approachable text that would appeal most to anyone who is looking for greater insight into the often overlooked world of cult cinema and SF. The inclusion of twenty-first century examples along with earlier cinematic works makes for an intriguing mix that maintains interest from one chapter to the next, and will appeal to a broader reading audience than the usual academic essay collection.'
British Society for Literature and Science

Author Information

J. P. Telotte is Professor of Film and Media at Georgia Tech. Author of more than 100 articles on film, television, and literature, and co-editor of Post Script, he has published numerous books on sf and the cult, among them: The Cult Film Experience (Texas, 1991), Replications: A Robotic History of the Science Fiction Film (Illinois 1995), The Science Fiction Film (Cambridge, 2001), The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader (Kentucky, 2008), and Science Fiction TV (Routledge, 2014). Gerald Duchovnay is Professor of English and Film at Texas A&M University-Commerce, and the founding and general editor of Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities. His books include Film Voices (SUNY, 2004) and (co-edited with J. P. Telotte) Science Fiction Film, Television, and Adaptation: Across the Screens (Routledge, 2012).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Illustrations7
Notes on Contributors10
Introduction: Science Fiction Double Feature15
1. From “Multiverse” to “Abramsverse”: Blade Runner, Star Trek, Multiplicity, and the Authorizing of Cult/SF Worlds35
2. The Coy Cult Text: The Man Who Wasn’t There as Noir SF52
3. “It’s Alive!”: The Splattering of SF Films67
4. Sean Connery Reconfigured: From Bond to Cult Science Fiction Figure82
5. The Cult Film as Affective Technology: Anime and Oshii Mamoru’s Innocence98
6. Whedon, Browncoats, and the Big Damn Narrative: The Unified Meta-Myth of Firefly and Serenity112
7. Iron Sky’s War Bonds: Cult SF Cinema and Crowdsourcing129
8. Transnational Interactions: District 9, or Apaches in Johannesburg144
9. A Donut for Tom Paris: Identity and Belonging at European SF/Fantasy Conventions157
10. Robot Monster and the “Watchable … Terrible” Cult/SF Film173
11. Science Fiction and the Cult of Ed Wood: Glen or Glenda?, Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 from Outer Space186
12. Visual Pleasure, the Cult, and Paracinema204
13. “Lack of Respect, Wrong Attitude, Failure to Obey Authority”: Dark Star, A Boy and His Dog, and New Wave Cult SF219
14. Capitalism, Camp, and Cult SF: Space Truckers as Satire234
15. Bubba Ho-tep and the Seriously Silly Cult Film247
A Select Cult/SF Bibliography263
A Select Cult SF Filmography267