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Seduced and abandoned: Lesbian vampires on screen 1968–74

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Between 1968 and 1974 there was an extraordinary proliferation of lesbian vampire feature films. This proliferation was due to a combination of factors. Graphic representations of lesbian sex entered the low-budget horror genre due to the more general relaxing of restrictions on what was permissible on screen at that time. This took place against what is often termed the ‘sexual revolution’ and the rise of feminism. Critical work on these films has tended to follow the work of Bonnie Zimmerman and Andrea Weiss who suggested that the narrative of these films employ a structure of bisexual triangular desire wherein the heterosexual couple are threatened by the lesbian vampire only to be reunited at the end of the film – thus alleviating men's fears and re-establishing patriarchal norms. A close analysis of the films, however, indicates that although some do employ the structure of bisexual triangular desire, the critique established by Zimmerman and Weiss is extremely impoverished in relation to the complexity of the films themselves.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Humanities, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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