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Posted by Gina Freitag
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Diving in with “The Year of Aquatic Horrors”

Have you RSVP’d yet? Click the link to reserve your spot for Joe’s virtual lecture on August 12th, “From Bruce to Meg: The Evolution of the Aquatic Horror Blockbuster”!

By Joe Lipsett

I’ve always had an interest in Aquatic Horror, but I had never considered how and why the subgenre had evolved. It wasn’t until I listened to Nightmare University by Dr. Rebekah McKendry that the topic for this Black Museum lecture truly began to take shape.

For the uninitiated, “The Year of Aquatic Horrors” is a good primer in defining and outlining the characteristics of Aquatic Horror. McKendry, along with guests Josh Miller and Stephen Scarlata, do a good job of exploring titles that are both well-known and obscure.

More significantly, however, the podcast offers insight into the events of 1989, which wound up being a banner year for the subgenre. The last year of the 80s saw the release of multiple like-minded aquatic horror films, which is symptomatic of Hollywood’s tendency to capitalize on the economic success of a hit film with a bunch of knock-offs. The hit in question was James Cameron’s The Abyss, whose anticipated success green-lit notable imitators Leviathan and DeepStar Six, both of which wound up offering their own spin on the familiar “crew in an underwater outpost who find themselves in danger” narrative trope.

Listen to the episode:

Nightmare University

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