Posthumanistische Visionen in Horrorfilmen der 1970er Jahre

  • Henning Engelke (Autor/in)


The article considers the inversion of counter-cultural utopias in 1970s horror films, focussing on the appropriation of experimental film aesthetics to produce visions of terror. It is argued that this inversion holds significant implications for understanding the historical context of current posthumanist thought. The two main examples, Donald Camell’s Demon Seed and Ken Russel’s Altered States, open up a nexus of narrative content, aesthetic strategies and media reflection that reaches deep into specific counter-cultural contexts. Employing the service of experimental filmmakers to produce special effects, these films highlight the intersections between counter-cultural aesthetics and the evolving horror film genre. At the same time, they also mark crucial shifts in the perception of utopian ideas of a technologically expanded consciousness. This shift is often overlooked in recent assumptions – often made only implicitly – of continuities between counter-cultural techno-imagination and posthumanist conceptions.