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June 2022

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Chills ‘n’ Thrills: The Unholy Union of Porn and Horror
Featured Article

Chills ‘n’ Thrills: The Unholy Union of Porn and Horror

As unholy unions go, it’s a marriage made in hell. Horror in porn, porn in horror, horror porn. Chop it up however you want—just be sure to give us an extra big slice of that magnificent mess. The interplay of sex and violence is visceral, unsettling as it is electrifying. But this relationship is built on more than mere boobs and gore; porn and horror share a longstanding and unspoken fellowship, borrowing from and fueling each other in ways that speak to our deepest impulses.

Horror and sexuality in cinema is both exploitation and genre-defining staple. Sure, there is perhaps little artistic merit to the deluge of boobs and bush throughout the Sleepaway Camp franchise, but what of Janet Leigh’s untimely demise in Hitchcock’s Psycho? Nudity can imply vulnerability, which serves to heighten fear. It can also be a marker for social values and era-specific mores on sex. Look at the ’80s and the rise of the AIDS epidemic —in horror, this translated into “promiscuity is bad.” Think about it: Have you ever seen a slut make it past the second act?

Adult entertainment and horror are two sides of the same coin. Together, they are outliers. Fringe-dwellers. And like all great alliances, theirs is forged in the fires of mutual respect. Adult entertainment is teeming with talented actors, and horror gives them the opportunity to shine. Fans of one are usually fans of both. So gather ’round the Ouija board as we incant the dark spirits who put the chills in our thrills and vice versa. They take many forms—director, actor, puke bunny…

RICKY GREENWOOD

Twitter: @RickyGreenwoodX; SweetheartVideo.com

Auteur, award-winning director and connoisseur of cinematic smut Ricky Greenwood knows a thing or three about horror in porn and porn in horror. By his account, this pitch-perfect pairing is a product of demand: Fans of one or the other tend to love both and want both in one film. This is easier said than done, however, as adult entertainment is subject to a different set of rules. Finding new solutions and creative ways around these restrictions is how great art is born.

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