The Blaxploitation Horror Film

Adaptation, Appropriation and the Gothic

Author(s) Jamil Mustafa

Language: English

Genre(s): Media, Film and Theatre

Series: Horror Studies

  • June 2023 · 256 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786839978
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786839985
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786839992

About The Book

This book is a pioneering study of Blaxploitation horror films, connecting them with both mainstream horror movies and classic Gothic texts. The author argues that conventional horror films adapt, while Blaxploitation horror films appropriate, the archetypes of Gothic fiction – and rather than exploit, it is argued that they function to satisfy Black audiences. Of the few scholars who have given consideration to Blaxploitation horror films, only occasional chapters have been devoted by them in monographs focused on either Blaxploitation films or horror films. In marked contrast, the present study gives a book-length consideration to Blaxploitation horror films per se, demonstrating how they engage both Gothic fiction and film, and issues of vital significance to American society and culture in the 1970s. In this important and innovative study, chapters explore the sociocultural significance of the vampire, Frankenstein’s monster, Jekyll/Hyde and the werewolf, the zombie and the demon.


‘This clearly written and well researched book, deeply informed by adaptation theory, is now the definitive study of Gothic “Blaxploitation” movies since the 1970s. Not only does it analyse such films as films, more completely than they have ever been treated, but it also connects them thoroughly to (adding new revelations about) the civil and gay rights movements, Black Gothic writing, and the long history of Gothic texts and monsters that these films develop and critique.’

Jerrold E. Hogle, Professor of English Emeritus, University Distinguished Professor, University of Arizona

‘This lucid and compelling book represents the most substantial and rigorous analysis of Blaxploitation and horror cinema. Never shying away from the controversies of the Blaxploitation genre, Jamil Mustafa succeeds in exploring these extraordinary horror movies in detailed aesthetic, socio-historical and theoretical contexts. It is a pioneering and frequently brilliant study, essential reading for anyone interested in any aspect of race and the horror film.’

Professor Richard J. Hand, University of East Anglia



Introduction: Blaxploitation, Adaptation/Appropriation and the (Black) Gothic

1. Queer Bloodlines: The Vampire

2. Making Monsters: Frankenstein’s Creature

3. Beyond ‘the animal within’: Jekyll/Hyde and the Werewolf

4. Body and Soul: The Zombie and the Evil Spirit

Conclusion: The Legacy of the Blaxploitation Horror Film

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Jamil Mustafa

Jamil Mustafa is a professor in the Department of English Studies at Lewis University. His publications focus on Gothic and (neo-) Victorian literature, film and television.

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