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Selling the Splat Pack

The DVD Revolution and the American Horror Film

Mark Bernard

Paperback (Reprint Under Consideration)
eBook (PDF) i

The role of the DVD market in the growth of ultraviolent horror in the 2000s

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Table of Contents
Part I: The Industrial Context of the Splat Pack
1. Introducing the Splat Pack
2. Politics and the Horror Film: An Industry Studies Intervention
3. The DVD Revolution and the Horror Film, Take One: From Trash to Art to Collectable
4. The DVD Revolution and the Horror Film, Take Two: Rise of the ‘Unrated’
Part II: The Splat Pack on DVD
5. Text, Subtext, and the Story of the Film: Eli Roth’s Hostel and Hostel: Part II on DVD
6. The ‘White Trash’ World of Rob Zombie: Class, Collecting, and Slumming Spectators
7. Seriality, Subjectivity, and New Media: Consuming the Saw Series
8. Scars, Both Material and Cyber: Haute Tension and The Descent on DVD

DVD Supplemental Materials Referenced.

About the Author

Mark Bernard is an Instructor of American Studies and Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is co-author (with Cynthia Baron and Diane Carson) of Appetites and Anxieties: Food, Film, and the Politics of Representation. He is currently working on a book about horror film acting and stardom (with Kate Egan) and a book about the representation of food in the horror film.


In this much-needed addition to the study of contemporary US horror cinema from an industry standpoint, Mark Bernard’s Selling the Splat Pack provides an extremely lucid framework in which we can engage with and truly understand the reasons behind the outburst of the horror ‘indies’ of the 2000s and their success in the theatrical and DVD markets. Packed with fresh ideas and arguments, and through an in-depth examination and understanding of the converged-with-other-media American film industry, the book offers a fascinating new perspective in the study of horror film that will appeal to both academics and fans of the genre.

- Yannis Tzioumakis, Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media, University of Liverpool
'Bernard’s criticism of the “Splat Pack” (and their imported peers, French director Alexandre Aja and Scottish director Neil Marshall) is incisive and delightful, thoroughly researched and written with a scholar’s skepticism and a fan’s enthusiasm…Bernard gives horror obsessives (or film studies majors) deep and insightful new angles from which to assess their favorite fright flicks. It won’t help justify a taste for gore in the minds of those who can’t stand it, but for those of us whose celluloid bloodlust is insatiable, Selling The Splat Pack yields an abundance of ideas to ponder during repeat viewings.'
- Bryan Reed, Charlotte Viewpoint

'Roth is one of the primary filmmakers at the (stabbed and bleeding) heart of Mark Bernard’s Selling the Splat Pack: The DVD Revolution and the American Horror Film. In the Edinburgh University Press release, the author examines the business behind pushing the likes of Rob Zombie and the Saw franchise onto audiences of the multiplex and then, more tellingly, to home-video consumers who salivate over discs branded with lurid promises of "UNRATED" cuts and extra content… Selling the Splat Pack emerges as a smart study in the economics of horror — not to be confused with the horror of economics.' 

- Flick Attack and Bookgasm
"Thorough and engaging Selling the Splat Pack is an industrial and economic analysis of a cycle of brutal but popular works of the mid-2000s like the Saw series, Hostel and Haute Tension (Switchblade Romance)"
- Glenn Ward, The Gothic Imagination

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