Porn of the Dead: Necrophilia, feminism and gendering the undead

Jones, Steve (2011) Porn of the Dead: Necrophilia, feminism and gendering the undead. In: Zombies Are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the walking Dead. McFarland and Company, Jefferson, NC, pp. 40-61. ISBN 9780786459124

[img] Text
Jones_Porn_of_the_Dead.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (859kB) | Request a copy


Erotic Nights of the Living Dead (1980) may have featured both animated corpses and hardcore sex scenes, but only recently have Re-Penetrator (2004) and Porn of the Dead (2006) managed to fully eroticise the living dead, allowing these creatures to engage in intercourse. In doing so, the usually a-subjective zombie is allotted a key facet of identity - sexuality. This development within the sub-genre needs accounting for outside of the contexts of porn studies, where it has only been briefly touched upon in relation to its "extremity".

Moreover, the gendering of the undead opens a discussion which expand the horizons of zombie studies away from the overt critiques of capitalism, race and psychoanalysis that have pervaded analyses of these narratives. The dichotomy of binary oppositions so often associated with psychoanalytic approaches dictates that "passive (non-phallic) = female", and "active (phallic) = male". In these terms, the zombies are feminine - soft-bodied and passive, despite their murderous intent (which has been accounted for, by Barabara Creed (1993) amongst others, by invoking the vagina-dentata motif). Humans (active) are deemed masculine, not least since they tend to dispatch zombies with "phallic guns". Taking this logic to an extreme, the zombie may be read as allegorising feminism: the "feminised" figures (zombies) become fearsome in their will to exert themselves despite their seeming disempowerment in the face of "masculine" hegemony. Ultimately, by grouping together as a force, they overthrow or at least significantly damage that "normality" (an ideological paradigm usually read in terms of race, class and economics).

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: P300 Media studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Arts
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Steve Jones
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2012 10:42
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 20:16

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics