This Friday I'll be delivering a keynote lecture at Exploitation Cinema in the 21st Century -- an awesome symposium organised by Dr James Newton at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Find the amazing poster, and the equally amazing schedule, below. I can't wait!
09.00 – 09.30 Registration and Tea/Coffee
Welcome: James Newton
09.30 – 10.30 Panel One: Waves and Cycles
10.30 – 10.35 Short Break
10.35 – 11.35 Panel Two: Exploitation Business and Industry
11.35 – 12.00 Tea Break
12.00 – 13.00 Panel Three: Violence, Sexual Transgression, and Exploitation
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.15 Panel Four: Wider Contexts of Exploitation
15.15 – 15.30 Break
15.30 – 16.45 Panel Five: International Exploitation Cinema
16.45 – 17.00 Break
17.00 – 18.00 Keynote:
18.00 Drinks reception.
On 9 June I will be delivering a keynote lecture at "Exploitation Cinema in the 21st Century", a day symposium organised by Dr James Newton.
My talk will consider "direct to video" horror movies in the early 2000s. Find my abstract below.
Easy-to-make money machines: making and marketing exploitation films in the early 2000s
This talk will examine direct-to-video (DTV) horror movies at the turn of the new millennium, addressing the production contexts and marketing strategies of numerous films released just as video’s “tangible phase” was beginning to wane (Herbert 2014). I will consider various North American DTV cycles which emerged in the wake of Scream (1996), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) and The Blair Witch Project (1999), and discuss how such films were marketed to consumers. Key to the visibility of DTV horror during this period, I maintain, is the mainstream video chain Blockbuster, which sharply became a key access point for audiences of contemporary exploitation films at the beginning of the DVD age. The talk will show how Blockbuster’s movie acquisitions company, DEJ Productions, was, for a short while, a threat to DTV market-leaders Artisan and Lions Gate, both of which relied on the rental chain to stock their “B-level” fare (Perren 2013: 110).
Through acknowledging the rise in popularity of DTV horror movies since the 1980s, this paper maintains that DTV films such as Scream Bloody Murder (2000), I’ve Been Watching You (2001), Voyeur.com (2001), Do You Wanna Know a Secret? (2001) and Final Scream (2001) complicate how contemporary exploitation movies are so often—and, in my view, so wrongly—framed as retroactive “cult objects” above all else, and that Blockbuster—in spite of its traditional “family” image—facilitated the widespread distribution of new, low budget, horror films aimed at mainstream audiences. I will argue that these films’ tangibility, as VHS cassettes and DVDs on shelves in video stores through North America and the UK, was central to their market visibility.
Last November I delivered a keynote lecture to the delegates at "Spectacular Now", an excellent conference which took place at the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany.
Recently I was sent some photos of my presentation by one of the organisers, Dr Mark Schmitt. Thanks for the memories guys!
Joining roundtable plenary at Transnational Monstrosity in Popular Culture, York St John University, 3 June 2017
I will be participating in a roundtable discussion that will close the forthcoming Transnational Monstrosity in Popular Culture event at York St John University on 3rd June.
From the official website:
My fellow panellists comprise: Dr Colette Balmain (Kingston University),
Dr Donna McCormack (University of Surrey) and Professor Andrew Smith (University of Sheffield).
The full programme can be accessed here.
New article on early video culture published in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
My latest article on children's video entertainment has just been published in the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.
The article is based on research undertaken for my current book project on the history of pre-recorded video entertainment in Britain.
Dr Johnny Walker
Senior Lecturer in Media, Northumbria University