Mainstream Satanic Cinema in the Seventies: A Generational Crisis of Assimiliation

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A particularly fertile period for satanic presence can be found in mainstream Hollywood during the early to mid 1970s. Encouraged by the success of Rosemary’s Baby, major studios produced The Exorcist and The Omen series, not to mention a flurry of independent productions across the decade. Neither before nor since this decade has satanic content in cinema achieved such widespread popularity, and so this particular moment ought to warrant deeper consideration. In general, these narratives appealed to countercultural notions of conspiracy, especially with respect to authority figures and/or the government. But at an even more subconscious level, these satanic films spoke to a pervading fear, at this particular time, of relinquishing a former sense of control over one’s destiny. This article explores and elucidates the cultural conditions attributable for the emergence and popular embrace of these films in this particularly modernist cultural moment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-226
Number of pages24
JournalStudia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai - Dramatica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

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