Undead yakuza: The Japanese zombie movie, cultural resonance and generic conventions
Murphy, Kayleigh F. & Ryan, Mark David (2016) Undead yakuza: The Japanese zombie movie, cultural resonance and generic conventions. In Brodman, Barbara & Doan, James (Eds.) The Supernatural Revamped: From Timeworn Legends to 21st Century Chic. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (in association with Rowman and Littlefield Press)., Madison, Teaneck, pp. 191-206.
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The zombie has long been regarded as a “fundamentally American creation” (Bishop 2010) and a western monster representing the fears and anxieties of Western society. Since the renaissance of the zombie movie in the early 2000s, a subsequent surge in international production has seen the release of movies from Norway, Cuba, Pakistan and Thailand to name a few. Although Japanese zombie movies have been far more visible for Western cult audiences than in mainstream markets, Japanese cinema has emerged as one of the more prolific producers of zombie films outside of Anglophone or Western European countries in recent years. Films such as Helldriver (2010), Zombie TV (2013), Versus (2000), Tokyo Zombie (2005), Happiness of the Katakuris (2001) and anime television series High School of the Dead (2010) have generated varying degrees of popularity and critical attention internationally. At first glance Japanese zombie films, with musical zombie interludes, undead yakuza henchmen and revenge-seeking yūrei zombies, appear fundamentally different to their Western counterparts. Yet, on closer examination, the Japanese zombie movie could be regarded as a hybrid and intertextual generic form drawing on syntactic conventions at the core of a universal zombie sub-genre established by Western filmmaking traditions, while also distilling culturally specific tropes unique to various Japanese horror cinema sub-genres. Most importantly, the Japanese zombie film extracts, emphasises and revises particular conventions and motifs common within Western zombie films that are particularly relevant to Japanese audiences. This chapter investigates the cultural resonance of key generic motifs identifiable in the Japanese zombie film. It establishes a production context and the influence of Japanese horror cinema on style and thematic concerns. It then examines the function of prominent narrative conventions, namely: the source, outbreak and spread of infection; mutation and the representation of the monster; and the inclusion of supernatural and religious motifs.
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|Item Type:||Book Chapter|
|Keywords:||Japanese zombie films, Japanese cinema, Zombie films, Japanese horror, Horror cinema|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Cinema Studies (190201)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Film and Television (190204)
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2015 Rowman and Littlefield Press|
|Deposited On:||06 Jan 2016 00:25|
|Last Modified:||19 Apr 2016 09:41|
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