Topic: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

Hi there, Needing some opinions as to why there is so much nudity throughout the 1970's Slasher genre as I am writing a Dissertation disguising the representation of Women in Horror. I am attempting to argue against the idea that the graphic sex and nudity is there simply for the Sadomasochistic pleasures of the male viewer. I believe it actually serves a purpose, what do you think ?

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

Yes, it was for the male viewer (my alternate-lifestyle girl friends, bare with me) for the most part.  But for the most part in horror films it was the "moralistic" thing that "sex=bad," thus death.  Go watch This Film is Not Yet Rated" for how bad films are skewed in whatever direction.  But for the SM angle you're looking for... nah.  Go look at 70s porn films that were released to theatres- it was all pump-and-grind stuff with a pizza delivery boy or what-not.

If you want to get into S&M, violence, exploitation, then you're talking an entirely different field  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilsa,_She_Wolf_of_the_SS) or even into Emanuelle in Prison.

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

Very interesting, thank you very much for your opinion smile

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

I think it also had a lot to do with the successes of Halloween and Friday the 13th, and the opportunistic filmmaker copycats who jumped on their bandwagon.  The slasher craze you're discussing actually started in the early 80s, following the success of Halloween in '78 and Friday the 13th in '80.  Despite being hugely different from one another they were both also hugely successful, and when something works in Hollywood, the roaches come out of the woodwork to capitalize.  Inferior filmmakers looking to make a quick buck study these films in order to derive from them their formulas for success, but it's like a six year old trying to make a birthday cake; he wants it to taste as good as the one mommy makes but has no idea of what ingredients are required.

So those aforementioned  opportunistic, inferior filmmakers (the kind of which exist in even larger numbers today) looked at these two films to determine what made them successful but they only see the superficial things, not the hard work and knowledge which went into making them.  They look at Halloween and see not expert storytelling and direction, they just see a big guy in a mask with a knife.  They look at Friday the 13th and see not the weeks and weeks of sculpting and artistry that went into creating the gore, they just see lots of blood and a body count.  So in effect they end up replicating the icing, and not the cake.

I don't think slasher films were commenting on the natures of sex and violence, they weren't attempting to spin tales of morality or allegoric fables.  The filmmakers who came after Friday the 13th and Halloween didn't possess that kind of intelligence or insight.  And I think this is plainly obvious if you go back and look through the history of slasher films from the 80s; you'll see that each new slasher flick that came out was worse and more cheaply made than the one which came before it. 

There were a couple exceptions, mostly by filmmakers who actually did have ability and saw the basic slasher paradigm as an opportunity to explore more adventurous or thought-provoking ideas (Craven's original A Nightmare on Elm Street being a prime case in point), but for the most part slasher films were made by talentless hacks looking to pocket some coin.  And if you don't believe me, look up the subsequent careers of those early 80s slasher filmmakers.  I'd wager a good 80% of them never made another film after.

So, going back to nudity in slasher films -- I think it was nothing more than a tool used by those venal, untalented filmmakers to draw in a larger audience.  It wasn't about art or sending a message, it was about putting more butts in the theater seats, because the more butts you put in the theater seats, the more money your movie makes.  And since lots of people like nudity...

It's all about the money.

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

Yep, it's definitely for the enjoyment the male viewer. But like I voted, the main goal is to create controversy and shock people. In the 70s the christianist side of society could hardly bear with these kinds of things. Just look at how much controversy Deep Throat [one of the first real amrican Porn flick] caused, it totally freaked them out. And I'm glad it did. People really need a good kick in the ass to see that sex wasn't as bad as their so called god was saying it was.

Censorship sucks big time and I think everybody should be able to watch whatever they want, even Hardcore rape/sex/Bloody movies.

I don't think girls in these movies are misrepresented, most of them get out as heroins. Look at I Spit On Your Grave, she made the fuckers pay really hard for what they've done to her.

And azathoth, AHHHHH MAAAN ILSAAA!!!! Woah, I dig Ilsa.

But yeah we guys love boobs like mad. I guess we miss being feed by tits as kids. Or something else.

But I don't care, BOOBS FOR PRESIDENT!!! lol

Last edited by kXnPunk (2013-09-01 18:47:11)

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

This Thread is relevant enough to your question that I thought I would mention it:

http://www.horror-movies.ca/Forum/viewt … p?id=27845

Almost every single person that responded disagreed with me, but it was my opinion and I still stand by it.

To directly answer your question...not sure.  I'm sure there were times the creator / director felt nudity gave something to the movie.  Majority of the time I'd echo Lon, and say it was just to get people to watch it.

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

^^^
That was an interesting really old thread Ghostseeker, very interesting and hilarious at times read. Thanks for bringing the link back...

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

Looking back at the classic slasher movie Psycho, and the famous shower scene.  Although the woman in the shower is naked, you never see her entirely naked. Yet the scene remains a ultra classic.

Now take the Halloween movies. A ton of nudity and sex throughout, and in every installment, I believe. Why? Not for shock value.

I believe the nudity is mainly for the male viewer.

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

Yeh I definitely agree that the long line of Slashers after Halloween and Friday jumped on the band wagon, but what I was also wondering is why the prolonged focus is almost never on the man getting off, Surely they would get more arses in the seats if they catered to both sexes

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

^^^
True but I think most of these producers/directors and the like are mostly guys, not many girls in sadly. So they do what they THINK is right without thinking about what girls think, Suckers... sad

Last edited by kXnPunk (2013-09-01 19:29:50)

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

rebecca574 wrote:

Yeh I definitely agree that the long line of Slashers after Halloween and Friday jumped on the band wagon, but what I was also wondering is why the prolonged focus is almost never on the man getting off, Surely they would get more arses in the seats if they catered to both sexes

Females make up the smaller percentage of the horror-going audience by far.  Women aren't typically put off by the sight of another woman nude, so there's no risk in including female nudity. 

But the vast majority of the horror-going audience is male.  Males love female nudity.  But not many men enjoy seeing dongs flapping around on-screen (unless it's porn, but that's a different kind of thrill, a vicarious one -- which is a subject for another conversation).

If you include female nudity, you're catering to the much larger audience with very little risk of putting off the smaller audience.  If you unclude male nudity and cater to the smaller audience, you are running the exponentially greater risk of putting off the larger audience. 

It's simple math, really.

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

I think the genre of ''gross-out'' horror (see Hershell Gordon-Lewis) created an association point, on film, with violence and sexualitly.  While I believe that a male dominated society fueled  demand for a male-centric narratrives in the exploitation genre,originally;  I believe that the actual amount of nudity in horror films of the 70's wasn't exclusive to the genre.  Filmaking in general during the 1970's experienced a level of artistic creation and freedom that, in my opinion, is unrivaled in history.  the freedom of the 60's liberation without the constraints of the 80's conservatism.  I think the 70's was the last time when filmaking was tuly an artform, uninhibited and unabashed.  Nudity was merely a side effect.

Last edited by JackBurton (2013-09-01 20:21:51)

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

^^^ I agree.  70s cinema -- and as you said, not just horror -- was much more artistic and open, and the use of nudity bordered on casual; it was rarely the main reason, or even one of the main reasons, to see a film. 

That can't be said of 80s slasher flicks, whose only real selling points were nudity and violence.  Artistic merit was typically negligible, the cast was primarily made up of nobodys and story lines were typically sparse or vapid because they existed only as linchpins upon which to hang the violence and nudity.  There was almost always little or no point to them.

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

What's the point of having a point to them anyways??? lol

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

I was thinking (shush you!) about this some more.  Over in Europe, topless women are not a big thing, to the point that they were at some point OK for prime time TV (don't know if that is still true).

Over here in the United States of "Oh my God was that Janet Jackson's nipple!!!!!," we seem to be a bit more prudish.  Guys can run around all man-nipples-akimbo, and no one cares, but somehow the thing that 90%+ of us feed off of when we're babies is a big no-no once we grow up.

Why?  I have no idea, though I know there have been studies down about it.  It is a strange phenomena though.

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

^^^
Yeah indeed. Been in Europe four years and lemme tell you that there's a huge bunch of topless beaches were the most part of the girls wear nothing over these beautiful breasts but also and the difference is striking from here, when a girl is still wearing her top, she's the one getting looked badly at, not the opposite like here. And that's not the only thing, they have an insane lot of HUGE Porn or Escorts billboards with topless girls on.

Damn I love Europe. big_smile

And very true, it's really a strange phenomena.

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

That's true, ill do some research into the European horrors during this period and weather they were as controversial as the films produced in America. I guess in Britain and America, nudity seems to be such a big deal, more so in America than here, so i gather just from observing their television programs.

Re: Nudity in the Slasher Genre

Yeah and that's weird. Like in Europe, Christianism is even more present but they see it totally differently. No idea why though. Prude people, can't stand them.

Like Facebook is prude as mad, got banned a month for posting a pict of a girl's ass covered halfway by a blanket... I think that the Thongs/G-String picts are far worst. But hey, it's american sooo... Damn this crap...