The Cinematic Body in View of the AntipodesPhilip Brophy’s Body Melt as the bad copyby Lauren Bliss
Through a wide ranging study of Philip Brophy’s academic and critical writings on horror cinema, this essay considers how Brophy’s theory of the spectator’s body is figured in his only horror feature Body Melt (1993). Body Melt is noteworthy insofar as it poorly copies a number of infamous sequences from classical horror films of the 1970s and 1980s, a form of figuration that this essay will theorise as distinctly Antipodean. Body Melt will be related as an antagonistic ‘turning inside out’ of the subjectivity of the horror movie spectator, which will be read in the light of both the usurped subject of semiotic film theory, and the political aesthetics of Australian exploitation cinema.
Lauren Bliss is a writer-researcher based in Melbourne, she recently completed a PhD in screen studies at the University of Melbourne.