Analyzing American Horror Story Asylum: Episode One

As the song goes, I don’t know much about history, but I know – especially after reading W. Scott Poole’s Monsters in America – that the 1960’s were a turbulent era:  America was 15-20 years past WWII, but still dealing with the anxieties that accompany the use and proliferation of nuclear arms as the Cold War mounted.  Vietnam had started, and according to Poole, American soldiers were often times literally getting rewards for how many Vietnamese citizens they could kill.  Of course, this was the era of Civil Rights, and second wave feminism was also in full swing.  Birth control was invented in 1960, making sex less formidable, and the Black Arts Movement started around 1965.  Despite a struggle for rights by many groups, racism, sexism, and homophobia were pretty rampant.  In the horror world, Psycho launched the interest in “maniac” killers in 1960, and The Exorcist was released in 1973.  Serial killer lore and urban legends were on the rise.  In 1968, censorship ended in Hollywood, making the modern horror fare we watch today possible. 

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Analyzing American Horror Story Asylum: Episode One