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50's Sci-Fi/Horror and the Red Scare

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  • 50's Sci-Fi/Horror and the Red Scare

    A lot of film historians and viewers, when looking back at science fiction films from the Cold War (particularly the McCarthyist fifties) see a cinematic body rife with fear of the Communist threat. Examples of such movies might include Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Blob, Them, and The Thing From Outer Space, all of which involve amassed forces advancing on, infiltrating, destroying, and/or enveloping middle America.

    Though I'm inclined to agree that these sentiments of paranoia and infiltration are obvious symptoms of American cultural reaction to the Red Menace, I've also heard a lot of critics (including The Blob screenwriter Rudy Nelson) who totally dismiss these ideas, or at least downplay them.

    How much of a role, if any, do you think Cold War paranoia played in the creation and popularity of such films, and what other possible examples can you think of?

  • #2
    I smell homework.
    READ ME AT horror films 101
    03/28/12 - Feature: Candle Cove
    03/26/12 - Review: The Maker of Gargoyles (Clark Ashton Smith)
    03/04/12 - Review: The Video Dead (Robert Scott)


    • #3
      Look, the people who made those films can deny the influence of commie/Red Scare 50s paranoia on their work all they want, but its clearly there. The only one of the bunch that may be the least obvious is probably The Thing From Another World and maybe Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and even those films are clearly about fear of the godless commie heathens conquering us and defeating good old fashioned American values and beliefs. All hail capitalism!
      Horrorfest 2013

      This has nothing to do with where I came from, or what happened to me... I would've ended up here no matter what. I made a choice, I made a choice to provide a counterbalance to all those things that we hold good... and pure. You chose journalism, okay.