Dr Xavier Mendik
Institutional Lead for the BCU Film Futures/BFI Partnership | Director of BCU Film Futures | Professor of Cult Cinema Studies
- 0121 331 6753
Xavier Mendik is a Professor of Cult Cinema Studies at Birmingham City University, where he also runs the annual Cine-Excess International Film Festival (www.cine-excess.co.uk). He is the author, editor and co-editor of nine volumes on cult cinema traditions, including Bodies of Desire and Bodies in Distress: The Golden Age of Italian Cult Cinema (2015), Peep Shows: Cult Film and the Cine-Erotic (2012) and The Cult Film Reader (2008). Xavier has also completed twelve documentaries on cult cinema including Tax Shelter Terrors: The Real Story of Canadian Cult Film (2017) and That’s La Morte: Italian Cult Cinema and the Years of Lead (2018).
Areas of Expertise
- Cult Cinema
- Italian film
- Psychoanalysis and cinema
- Canadian cinema
- Documentary as research practices
- Film festivals as industry practices
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)
- BA (Hons) Film Studies
- BA (Hons) Film and Screenwriting
- BA (Hons) Filmmaking
- Hollywood: Early Film to Blockbuster (L4)
- Europe on Screen (L5)
- Cinema of the Seventies (L5)
- Cult Film (L6)
- Terrorism and popular Italian film
- Constructions of rurality in cult and exploitation cinema
- Canadian cinema of the 1970s
- Indonesian cult cinema traditions
- The cult of dead stardom in Spanish cinema
- 2019-2022; Birmingham City University ‘Queer Representations in Slasher Cinema’ (M3C AHRC funded studentship [second supervisor]).
- 2017-2020: De Montfort University/Birmingham City University - ‘Monsters by the Millions: An Eco-cultural History of the 'Killer Bug’ Film’ (M3C AHRC funded studentship [second supervisor]).
- 2017-2022: Birmingham City University - ‘Experiencing Independent Film: The role of new technologies & experiential cinema in the distribution and marketing of independent films’ (second supervisor).
Completed Books (as Author/Editor/Co-editor)
- Shockers: The ‘70s Cinema of Trash, Terror and Sexploitation (Co-editor, with Julian Petley). Bloomsbury Academic 2021 (forthcoming).
- Bodies of Desire and Bodies in Distress. (Author). Cambridge Scholars Press, 2015.
- Peep Shows: Cult Film and the Cine-Erotic. (Editor). Columbia University Press 2012.
- BFI Screen-Guide to 100 Cult Movies. (Co-author, with Ernest Mathijs). Palgrave/BFI, 2011.
- The Cult Film Reader. (Co-editor, with Ernest Mathijs). Open University Press, 2008.
- Alternative Europe: Eurotrash and Exploitation Cinema Since 1945. (Co-editor, with Ernest Mathijs).Columbia University Press, 2004.
- Underground USA: Filmmaking Beyond the Hollywood Canon. (Co-editor, with Steven Jay Schneider). Columbia University Press, 2002.
- Shocking Cinema of the Seventies. (Editor). Noir Publishing, 2002.
- Dario Argento’s Tenebrae. (Author). Flicks Books, 2000.
- Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and its Critics. (Co-editor Graeme Harper). Fab Press, 2000.
Selected Book Chapters and Journal Articles
- ‘From Midnight Movies to Mainstream Excess: Cult Horror Festivals and the Academy’ in Joe Hickinbottom, Eddie Falvey & Jonathan Wroot (eds)New Blood: Framing Horror in the 21st Century. University of Wales Press, 2020.
- ‘She Kills in Ecstasy and Drives at Dangerously High Speeds: The Fatal Fictions of Soledad Miranda’ in Antonio Lázario Reboll and Ian Olney (eds) The Cinema of Jesus Franco. Indiana University Press, 2018.
- ‘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.
- (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.
- (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.
- ‘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.
- ‘The Chaotic Text and the Sadean Audience: Narrative Transgressions of a Contemporary Cult Film’ (with Graeme Harper) in Mendik and Harper (eds) Unruly Pleasures: The Cult Film and its Critics. Fab Press, 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.
Funded Documentaries Completed
- A Quiet Revolution: Sexuality, Society and Canadian Horror Cinema (part 2) – Director. Commissioned production budget of £4,000 provided by 101 Films for use on UK DVD release of the 2019 remake of Rabid (58 minutes, 2019).
- A Quiet Revolution: Sexuality, Society and Canadian Horror Cinema (part 1) – Director. Commissioned production budget of £4,000 provided by 101 Films for use on UK DVD re-release of Rabid 1977 (106 minutes, 2019).
- That’s La Morte: Italian Cult Films and the Years of Lead – Director. Commissioned production budget of £9,500 provided by the University of Brighton, with a postproduction budget of £3,300 provided by Birmingham City University (80 minutes, 2018).
- Zombies Need Houses Too: A Film and Regeneration Project – Director & Executive Producer (2018)
- Commissioned budget of £9,500 provided by the National Lottery’s Big Local Fund to facilitate the creation of the following documentary film shorts:
- Brombies (2018), They Live Outside (2018) and We Do Exist (2018).
- Tax Shelter Terrors: The Real Story of Canadian Cult Film – Director & Executive Producer (2016)
- Commissioned budget of £4,500 provided by Birmingham City University 60 minutes. Awarded the Director’s Choice Prize at the 2016 Sydney Night of Horror International Film Festival.
- Festival Screenings: Horrorama Film Festival, Toronto (October 2016), Night of Horror International Film Festival, Sydney (December 2016), Sitges International Film Festival, Spain (October 2017).
- The Long Road Back From Hell : Reclaiming Cannibal Holocaust -Director & Executive ProducerCommissioned budget of £4,370 provided 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. Commissioned budget of £4,700 provided by Nouveaux Pictures for use on the Cine-Excess UK DVD release of Suspiria (26 minutes, 2010). 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. Commissioned budget of £5,000 provided 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. Commissioned budget of £5,000 provided by Mosaic Entertainment. (18 minutes, 2005).
- Cabin Fever: Fear Today, Horror Tomorrow -Producer & Writer. Commissioned by Lions Gate Films with a budget of £2,000 provided by Nordisk Entertainment (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).
Work With Industry
As Director of the annual Cine-Excess International Film Festival I regularly work with a wide range of leading filmmakers, distributors, exhibitors and related industry figures.