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Desiring Dexter: The pangs and pleasures of serial killer body technique

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The television series Dexter uses the figure of appealing monstrosity to unfold troubled relationships between corporeality, spectatorship, and desire. Through a plastic-wrapped display of body horror, lightly veiled by suburban romance, Dexter turns its audience on to the consuming sensations of blood, death, and dismemberment while simultaneously alluding to its own narrative and ethical contradictions. The excitations of Dexter are thus encapsulated within a tension between form and content as ambivalent and eroticized desire; both for heroic transgression and narrative resolution. Arguably, however, it is Dexter's execution of a carefully developed serial killer body technique which makes this series so compelling. Through an examination of Dexter and his plotted body moves, this paper explores the representations of intimacy and murderous identity in this contemporary example of domestic screen horror entertainment.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Humanities, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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