Dr Xavier Mendik
Professor in Film/Director of the Cine-Excess International Film Festival
Xavier Mendik is Professor of Cult Cinema Studies within Birmingham School of Media, from where he runs the Cine-Excess International Film Festival (www.cine-excess.co.uk). His research interests focus on the study of European and American cult and horror cinema, and he has published and broadcast widely in these areas. Between 1996 and 2015 he has completed: nine academic books as author/editor/co-editor, twenty nine book chapters/journal articles, and six commercially funded film documentaries on cult cinema.
In recognition of his research and practice research profile in this area, Xavier was conferred as the UK’s first Professor of Cult Cinema Studies by the University in March 2016. Xavier’s status as a leading researcher in the area of cult cinema studies is also confirmed by his role as Director of the annual Cine-Excess film festival, which regularly attracts a range of international directors and scholars to an event which combines filmmaker awards/retrospectives with UK theatrical premieres and a 3 day themed academic conference.
PhD in Film Studies, The School of Humanities De Montfort University, Leicester (2011). The thesis offered a primary theorization of a range of marginal Italian cult film cycles, linking their subversive strategies of representation to wider social and sexual tensions implicit associated with the terrorist ‘years of lead’ that lasted from 1970 until the mid-1980s.
MA Film Studies (by research and 40,000 word thesis), The University of Kent at Canterbury (1997). The thesis was entitled ‘Reclaiming the Gaze: Structure and Sexuality in the Films of Dario Argento’, and used a variety of psychoanalytic and gender based methodologies to consider the output of the Italian director.
BA (Hons) Film Studies: Second-First Class, The University of Kent at Canterbury (1992).
- BAFTTS (British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies)
- AATI (American Association of Teachers of Italian)
Production Labs (MA Media Suite), Film Cultures (BA Media)
Research interests: cult cinema studies, psychoanalytical perspectives of cinema, 1970s American cinema, global horror film traditions, Italian cinema, documentary production.
My research considers the application of psychoanalytic and sociocultural methodologies to the study of international cult and horror film traditions. I am particularly interested in the analysis of previously untheorised genres of European and American cult and ‘exploitation' cinema of the 1970s, and have published and broadcast widely in these areas. To date I have completed 9 volumes (as author, editor, co-editor) in this area, as well as co-editor) in this area, as well as completing six funded documentaries that also consider the social importance of cult cinema traditions. I am also the Director of the annual Cine-Excess International Film Conference and Festival, which regularly attracts acclaimed filmmakers and scholars from around the world: www.cine-excess.co.uk.
2014: King’s College, London - PhD External Examiner ‘Levinas, Bataille and the Snuff Film.’
2013: Birmingham City University - PhD External Examiner ‘Cult Cinema and Fan Production.’
2009: Brunel University - PhD Internal Examiner ‘Censorship in Swedish Media.’
2007: Curtin University, Australia – PhD External Examiner ‘De Sade and Horror Cinema.’
Contracted/Completed Books (as Author/Editor/Co-editor)
Shockers. (Co-Editor, with Julian Petley). I. B. Tauris, 2017. (Forthcoming).
Bodies of Desire and Bodies in Distress. (Author). Cambridge Scholars Press, 2015 (http://www.cambridgescholars.com/bodies-of-desire-and-bodies-in-distress).
Peep Shows: Cult Film and the Cine-Erotic. (Editor). Columbia University Press 2012 (http://cup.columbia.edu/book/peep-shows/9781906660352).
BFI Screen-Guide to 100 Cult Movies. (Co-author, with Ernest Mathijs). Palgrave/BFI, 2011 (http://shop.bfi.org.uk/100-cult-films-book.html#.Vqugdf_cu74).
The Cult Film Reader. (Co-editor, with Ernest Mathijs). Open University Press, 2008 (http://www.mheducation.co.uk/9780335219230-emea-the-cult-film-reader).
Alternative Europe: Eurotrash and Exploitation Cinema Since 1945. (Co-editor, with Ernest Mathijs). Columbia University Press, 2004 (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=H8kmu4hmTx4C&redir_esc=y)
Underground USA: Filmmaking Beyond the Hollywood Canon. (Co-editor, with Steven Jay Schneider). Columbia University Press, 2002 (http://cup.columbia.edu/book/underground-usa/9780231162791).
Shocking Cinema of the Seventies. (Editor). Noir Publishing, 2002 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shocking-Cinema-Seventies-Necronomicon-Presents/dp/0953656446).
Dario Argento’s Tenebrae. (Author). Flicks Books, 2000.
Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and its Critics. (Co-editor Graeme Harper). Fab Press, 2000 (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TV8bAQAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y).
Selected Book Chapters and Journal Articles
(with Nicolò Gallio) ‘Snuff and the South: Murderous Receptions of Cannibal Holocaust’ in Shaun Kimber and Johnny Walker (eds) The Cultural Mythology of the Snuff Film. Bloomsbury Press, 2016.
‘From Sexual Perversion to Social Trauma: Titillation, Terrorism and Italian Erotic Cinema During the Anni di piombo’ in Darren Kerr and Donna Peberdy (eds) Tainted Love: Screening Sexual Perversions. London: I.B. Tauris, 2017 (forthcoming).
(with Alex Marlow-Mann) ‘Death, Desire and Dania: Satire, Sexuality and Erotic Immobility in an Italian Context’ in Alex Marlow-Man & Xavier Mendik (eds) Cine-Excess e-journal 1:2, 2016.
‘Beneath Still Waters: Brian Yuzna’s Ritualistic Return to Indonesian Cinema’ in Ekky Imanjaya (ed) Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society, 2015.
‘From the Return of the Repressed to the Return of the Rural: An Introduction to the Mezzogiorno Giallo’ in Harry M. Benshoff (ed) The Blackwell Companion to Horror. Blackwell Books, 2014.
‘Joe D’Amato and the Sadean Art of Love’ in Xavier Mendik (ed) Peep Shows: Cult Film and the Cine-Erotic. Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press, 2012.
‘A History of Violence: Cannibal Holocaust and the Confrontational Cinema of Ruggero Deodato’ in Harvey Fenton (ed) Cannibal Holocaust and the Savage Cinema of Ruggero Deodato. FAB Press, 2010.
‘Body in a Bed, Body Growing Dead: Uncanny Women in Joe D’Amato’s Exploitation Cinema’ in Robert G. Weiner and John Cline (eds) Cinema Inferno: Celluloid Explosions From the Cultural Margins. Scarecrow Press, 2010.
‘Menstrual Monsters of the Blood Red North: The Reception of the Ginger Snaps Trilogy’ (co-written with Martin Barker and Ernest Mathijs), in Daniel Lindvall (ed) Film International # 20, 2006.Commissioned by Daniel Lindvall (editor).
‘Resurrecting Horror: Rottweiler and the Fantastic Cinema of Brian Yuzna’ in Anna Arnan (ed) Film International #17, 2005: 5. Commissioned by Anna Arnan (editor).
A (Perverse) Kind of Loving: The Gothic Horror Films of Joe D’Amato’ published at http://www.senses of cinema.com (and published in the e-journal Senses of Cinema, February 2004). Commissioned by Patricia MacCormack (Guest Editor).
‘Black Sex, Bad Sex: Monstrous Ethnicity in the Black Emanuelle Films’ in Mathijs and Mendik (eds) Alternative Europe: European Trash and Underground Cinema. Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press, 2004.
‘Fear and Loathing in Beverly Hills: Alex Cox On Filmmaking, Film Criticism and The Hollywood Machine’ published at http://www.sensesofcinema.com (and published in the e-journal Senses of Cinema, February 2003). Commissioned by Fiona A. Villella (editor).
‘A Tasteless Art: Waters, Kaufman and the Pursuit of ‘Pure’ Gross-Out.’ (with Steven Jay Schneider) & ‘Gouts of Blood: An Interview with H.G. Lewis.’ Both in Mendik & Schneider (ed’s) Underground USA: Filmmaking Beyond the Hollywood Canon. Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press, 2002.
‘Transgressive Drives and Traumatic Flashbacks’ published at http://www.kinoeye.org (and published in the e-journal Kinoeye, June 2002). Commissioned by Steven Jay Schneider (editor).
‘Fran Monstermamma Till ‘Tredje Konet’’ in Michael Tapper (ed) Film Haftet 119, nr 7, 2001. (Trans M. Tapper.)
‘Och (Kristiska) Feltolkningar Kreativet’ in Michael Tapper (ed) Film Haftet 118, nr 6, 2001.
‘(Un) Hollow Man: An Interview with Paul Verhoeven’ in Michael Tapper (ed) Film Haftet 117, nr 5, 2001.
‘Shooting Up on Speech: The Female Fix of The Addiction’ in Jack Hunter (ed), Christopher Walken: Movie Top Ten. Creation Books, 2000.
‘A (Repeated) Time to Die: The Investigation of Primal Trauma in the Films of Dario Argento’ in Anne Mullen (ed) The European Detective Since 1945. Rodopi Press, 2000.
‘Logic, Creativity and (Critical) Misinterpretations: An Interview with David Cronenberg’ in Michael Grant (ed) The Modern Fantastic: The Cinema of David Cronenberg. Flicks Books, 2000.
‘“I Think, Therefore You are”- How I Lost Myself In the Mouth of Madness’ in Andy Black (ed), Necronomicon Book 3. Noir Press, 1999.
‘Performative Hysteria: Gestures of Male Masochism in the Recent Films of Harvey Keitel’ in Jack Hunter (ed), Harvey Keitel: Movie Top Ten. Creation Books, 1999.
‘From the Monstrous Mother to the ‘Third Sex’: Abject Constructions of the Feminine in the Films of Dario Argento’ in Andy Black (ed), Necronomicon Book 2. Creation Books, 1988.
‘Transgressive Bodies on Display: The Form and Function of the Body in Horror Cinema’ in Karl Simms (ed), Ethics and the Subject. Rodopi Press, 1997.
‘Figuring the Real - the Investigative Drive of the Giallo’ in Andy Black (ed), Necronomicon Book 1. Creation Books, 1996.
That’s La Morte (2017, forthcoming): a documentary that considers how terrorist fears impacted on the creation of Italian cult films of the 1970s.
Tax Shelter Terrors (2016): A documentary that examines the social, cultural and political factors behind the explosion of Canadian cult cinema during the 1970s.
The Long Road Back from Hell (2011): A documentary that critically evaluates the controversial status of the Italian film Cannibal Holocaust (1979), and how it reflected wider social and political fears of the decade.
Fear at 400 Degrees (2010): A documentary which examines the cult reputation of Dario Argento's iconic horror film Suspiria (1977), and its stylistic and gender representations.
Menstrual Monsters (2005): A documentary which explodes issues of gender and cultural identity within the Canadian Ginger Snaps film franchise.
Resurrecting Horror (2005): A documentary profiling the psychoanalytic components contained in the work of American horror filmmaker Brian Yuzna.
Fear Today, Horror Tomorrow (2004): A documentary which analyses Eli Roth's Cabin Fever (2002) as part of a new wave of post-9/11 American horror cinema.
Shockers: a co-edited volume (I.B. Tauris) that considers 1970s cult cinema as a symbol of social discontent.
Scum of the Earth: a research project charting the connections between the eugenics movement and representations of the rural within American cinema traditions.
As Conference Organizer
Cine-Excess X International Conference and Film Festival [forthcoming] (Birmingham City University, November 2016).
Cine-Excess IX International Conference and Film Festival (The University of Brighton, November 2015).
Cine-Excess VIII International Conference and Film Festival (The University of Brighton, November 2014).
Cine-Excess VII International Conference and Film Festival (The Midlands Arts Centre Birmingham, November 2013).
Cine-Excess VI International Conference and Film Festival (Odeon Covent Garden/Italian Cultural Institute London, May 2012).
Cine-Excess V International Conference and Film Festival (Odeon Covent Garden London, May 2011).
Cine-Excess IV International Conference and Film Festival (Odeon Covent Garden London, May 2010).
Cine-Excess III International Conference and Film Festival (Odeon Covent Garden London, May 2009).
Cine-Excess II International Conference and Film Festival (ICA London, May 2008).
Cine-Excess International Conference and Film Festival (Apollo West-End, May 2007).
Keynote Address/Invited Speaker
Keynote Address: ‘The Devil Inside Her: Mark of the Devil and 1970s European Possession Cinema’ (The Mark of the Devil International Conference, Austria), April 2014.
Bang, BangG, BANG!: Vigilante Cinema From Around the World- international cinema season programmer (Cyprus Days Film Festival), April 2013.
Keynote Address: ‘The Long Road Back From Hell: Reclaiming Cannibal Holocaust (Snuff Movie Conference, Bournemouth University), November 2012.
Cannibal Holocaust and Italian Cinema of the 1970s’ (invited Research Paper and documentary screening (The Sitges Film Festival, Spain), October 2012.
Cannibal Holocaust and Italian Cinema of the 1970s’ (invited Research Paper and documentary screening (The Off-Screen Film Festival, Brussels), March 2012.
Keynote Address ‘The Long Road Back From Hell: Cannibal Holocaust and Italian Cinema of the 1970s’ (annual research conference, University of Nicosia, Cyprus), November 2011.
Keynote Address ‘Extremity and Euro-Excess: Fear at 400 Degrees and the Cine-Excess of Suspiria’ (‘Extremity and Excess’ Conference, Salford University), September 2011.
Invited Research Paper and documentary screening ‘Fear at 400 Degrees: The Restoration of Suspiria’ (The Sitges Film Festival, Spain), October 2010.
Keynote Address and documentary screening ‘Fear at 400 Degrees, The Cine-Excess of Suspiria’, (The DAMS 2010 Film Festival, Rome), May 2010. Invited Research Paper ‘Fear at 400 Degrees: The Restoration of Suspiria’(Birmingham City University), May 2010.
Keynote Address and documentary screening ‘Fear at 400 Degrees, The Cine-Excess of Suspiria’(Cyprus Days Film Festival, Cyprus), April 2010.
Invited speaker/panel member ‘Menstrual Monsters: The Ginger Snaps Trilogy’ (Puchon Festival of Fantastic Film, Korea), July 2005.
Invited panel member ‘Contemporary Horror Heroines’ (Brussels Festival of Fantastic Films) March 2005.
‘Fear Today, Horror Tomorrow : Eli Roth and Cabin Fever’ (Manchester Metropolitan University) March 2004.
Invited panel member ‘Fear Without Frontiers’ conference (Brussels Festival of Fantastic Film) March 2004.
Invited Speaker: ‘White Trash Terror: The Monster as Other in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Beyond’ (Research Seminar Series, University of Gloucestershire) February 2004.
Contracted Documentaries Completed
That’s La Morte: Italian Cult Films and the Years of Lead – Director (forthcoming).
The Long Road Back From Hell: Reclaiming Cannibal Holocaust - Director & Executive Producer. The documentary was commissioned by Chain Productions for use on the UK DVD release of Cannibal Holocaust (38 minutes, 2011). Festival Screenings: the Off-Screen Film Festival, Brussels (March 2011), the Cyprus Days Film Festival (April 2011), the Sitges International Film Festival, Spain (October 2011), the Leeds International Film Festival, UK (November 2013).
Fear at 400 Degrees: The Cine-Excess of Suspiria –Director &Executive Producer. The documentary was commissioned by Nouveaux Pictures on the Cine-Excess UK DVD release of Suspiria (26 minutes, 2010). http://www.cine-excess.co.uk/releases.php. Festival Screenings: the Cyprus Days Film Festival (April 2010), the DAMS Film Festival, Italy (May 2010), the Sitges International Film Festival (October 2010).
Menstrual Monsters: The Ginger Snaps Trilogy - Producer & Writer. The documentary was commissioned by Commissioned budget by Mosaic Entertainment. (22 minutes, 2005). Festival Screenings: the Puchon Fantastic Film Festival of Korea (July 2005), the Outflix Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, USA (August 2005), Fantasporto Film Festival, Portugal (March 2006), London Sci-Fi International Film Festival, UK (May 2006), (as part of a key note address) the Critical Reviewings Conference, Gloucester University (December 2006).
Resurrecting Horror: Inside the Mind of Brian Yuzna - Producer & Writer. The documentary was commissioned by Mosaic Entertainment. (18 minutes, 2005).
Cabin Fever: Fear Today, Horror Tomorrow - Producer & Writer. Commissioned by Nordisk Entertainment for the release of Cabin Fever (Sweden). (19 minutes 2004). Festival Screenings: the Brussels International Festival of Fantastic Film (March 2005), the Compass of Terror International Film Festival, Bristol, UK (November 2006).