Festival Previews

Remakesploitation: The Turkish Exorcist to Dracula in Pakistan Event Coming To London

by Cara

The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies returns for it’s 2019 Spring semester with a one of a kind class on international horror ‘remakesploitations’ discussed through the lens of the popular ‘meme’ concept to explore what these films can tell us about processes of cultural globalization. International Remakesploitation: The Horror Meme from The Turkish Exorcist to Dracula in Pakistan takes place January 10th at The Horse Hospital. The event takes place on January 10th, in Bloomsbury, London.

The Miskatonic Institute is a celebrated organization with branches in the UK and US that is committed to bringing academic level classes to the public that focus on the genre and themes surrounding horror, while spotlighting some of the genre world’s most renowned critical, literary and filmmaking luminaries.

Author Iain Robert Smith uses examples ranging from the Turkish EXORCIST-inspired ŞEYTAN to Pakistani director Khwaja Sarfraz’s unique spin on Dracula, ZINDA LAASH, to examine the wide scope of cross-pollination and how the horror genre fluidly adapts and mutates as it travels around the globe.

In 1974 the celebrated Turkish filmmaker Metin Erksan directed Şeytan, a near shot-for-shot remake of The Exorcist (1973), albeit with the Catholic iconography replaced with equivalents from Islam. This was part of a global trend for producing unlicensed reworkings of William Friedkin’s film including the blaxploitation film Abby (1974), the Italian-American rip-off Beyond the Door (1974) and the re-release of Mario Bava’s Lisa and the Devil with additional scenes under the title The House of Exorcism (1974). Similarly, in 1967 the Pakistani director Khwaja Sarfraz produced a loose remake of Dracula (1958) titled Zinda Laash that recreated many elements from the Terence Fisher Hammer film but with the notable addition of ‘item girl’ dance sequences – thereby creating one of the most unique adaptations of Bram Stoker’s novel.

Surveying a range of examples of horror remakesploitation from around the world, this lecture uses Richard Dawkins’ concept of the ‘meme’ – a cultural equivalent of the biological gene that spreads and mutates in a manner analogous to evolution – to explore what these films can tell us about processes of cultural globalization.

Iain Robert Smith is a Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London. He has published extensively on cult and horror cinema, with a particular emphasis on international remakes. He is author of The Hollywood Meme: Transnational Adaptations in World Cinema (EUP, 2016) and co-editor of the collections Transnational Film Remakes (with Constantine Verevis, EUP, 2017) and Media Across Borders (with Andrea Esser and Miguel Bernal-Merino, Routledge, 2016). He is also the co-founder of the Remakesploitation Film Club and he is currently working on a book about global cult cinema.

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