Thursday, February 28, 2013

Shocking the System: The American Horror Film After PSYCHO

My friend Maya Montanez Smukler invited me to do a guest lecture for her online course "This Picture is Condemned! Censorship, Controversy, and the Movies" at The New School University in New York, NY.  The unit was on American horror films in the 1960s and 1970s, and she showed Psycho and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.  In case anybody is interested in what my classes are like, here is my guest lecture:

Watching Psycho in 2013, it can be difficult to understand how shocking, terrifying, and traumatic it was for audiences watching it in 1960.  I first saw it when I was around 11, after having devoured a steady diet of Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers, and I remember thinking "What's the big deal?  It's not so scary."