Journals Higher Education



Published: 01 July 2000

290 Pages

8.5 x 5.4 inches

ISBN: 9780719059056

Bookseller Code (06)


The new avengers

Jacinda Read

Published by Manchester University Press

Inside Popular Film MUP

A study of the rape-revenge film, in which Jacinda Read suggests that the rape-revenge cycle can be read as one of the primary ways in which Hollywood has attempted to make sense of feminism and the changing shape of heterosexual femininity in the post-1970 period. Arguing that rape-revenge is better understood not as a genre, but as a narrative structure, the author analyzes the ways in which various deployments of this structure rework the "mass cultural fictions of femininity" inscribed in the genres over which they have been mapped. From the "frontier femmes" of rape-revenge westerns such as "Hannie Caulder", through the "erotic avengers" of neo-noirs such as "Batman Returns", to the "maternal avengers" of rape-revenge melodrama such as "An Eye for an Eye", this work explores the popular understandings of feminism that circulate around these generic manifestations of the female avenger. Applying ideas from feminist cultural studies to the analysis of film, and combining detailed textual analysis with contextual analysis, the book challenges many of the received orthodoxies of feminist theory.


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