Penny Dreadful, having premiered at South by Southwest and airing on Showtime, is a “quality TV” version of episodic horror.

The series derives its name from 19th century serialized fiction called penny dreadfuls, and the series’ main characters and narrative arches are derived from classic 19th century horror literature (Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus for example).

Further Reading

Benshoff, Harry M. Monsters in the Closet: Homosexuality and the Horror Film. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1997. Print.

Clover, Carol J. Men Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. London: BFI, 1992. Print.

Creed, Barbara. The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis. London: Routledge, 1993. Print.

Hand, Richard J., and Jay McRoy. Monstrous Adaptations: Generic and Thematic Mutations in Horror Film. Manchester: Manchester UP, 2007. Print.

Humm, Maggie. Feminism and Film. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 1997. Print.

Janisse, Kier-La. House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films. Godalming, UK: Fab, 2012. Print.

Kiefer-Newman, Katherine. “Agent of Change: A Multiplicity of Female Tricksters in Two Decades (1990s and Early 2000s to 2010) of Postmodern American Movies.” Diss. Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2011. Print.

Kristeva, Julia. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia UP, 1982. Print.

Skal, David J. The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror. New York: Norton, 1993. Print.

Let’s Start at the Beginning (Lee Rosevere) / CC BY-SA 4.0

Image Credit: Desert Wolf Productions, Neal Street Productions © 2015

Author: Geneveive Newman