Our Monsters, Ourselves: The Legacy of Pre-Code Horror

Produced for Proctors by Paul Kazee and curated by Jenelle Troxell, “Our Monsters, Ourselves: The Legacy of Pre-Code Horror” features conversations with several local Professors.

“Our Monsters, Ourselves” pays homage to the pre-Code origins of the horror genre. With roots in German Expressionism, the “talking” horror films produced between 1930 and 1934 (after the creation of the proscriptive Hays Code, but before its enforcement) serve as a rich repository of anxieties that haunted, and continue to haunt, the American cultural imaginary. Dismissing the Code’s injunction against “brutality, horror, gruesomeness” and sex, these films retain their subversive edge—and their power to shock!

Thursday, October 5
“Mystery of the Wax Museum” (1933) – Introduced by James De Sève, filmmaker, educator and Artist-in-Residence at Union College

Thursday, October 12 
“White Zombie” (1932) – Introduced by Kenneth Aslakson, Associate Professor of History at Union College

Friday, October 13
“F. W. Murnau’s “Faust” w/LIVE score by Order of the Illusive” (1926)

Thursday, October 26
“Black Cat” (1934) – Introduced by Michele Rici Bell, Associate Professor of German at Union College

Thursday, November 2
“Cat People” (1942) – Introduced by Kristin Bidoshi, Professor of Russian and Director of Russian and East European Studies at Union College

Thursday, November 30
“Island of Lost Souls” (1932) – Introduced by Andrew Burkett, Program Director of Science, Technology and Society; Co-Director of the Templeton Institute; and Professor of English at Union College