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.
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.