‘Squealing like a pig’: the War on Terror and the resurgence of hillbilly horror after 9/11

Linnie Blake

in The Wounds of Nations

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780719075933
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700914 | DOI:
‘Squealing like a pig’: the War on Terror and the resurgence of hillbilly horror after 9/11

Show Summary Details


This chapter explores the remarkable cinematic resurgence of hillbilly horror in the years since 9/11. For as George W. Bush pits the ostensible civilisation of the United States (US) against the oriental barbarism of the terrorist threat, providing himself in the process with justification for both the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the introduction of a range of ‘homeland security’ measures that have restricted US civil liberties with an effectiveness that would have made Nixon proud, a new generation of horror film makers have brought the next generation of hillbillies to cinema screens. Engaging with the traumatic inheritance of 9/11 though the new hillbilly horror, like Trauma Studies itself, is concerned with the complex relation between knowing and not knowing the truth, seeing and not seeing the wounds inflicted on the national psyche by recent events. This chapter later emphasizes that the sub-genre, hillbilly horror, comes to encapsulate all the archaic disorder, medieval darkness, anti-classical savagery and pantheistic paganism of the American other and the terrorist threat alike while making amply apparent the simultaneously repressive and oppressive qualities of everyday civilised life.

Keywords: hillbilly horror; homeland security; traumatic inheritance of 9/11; trauma studies; George W. Bush

Chapter.  9631 words. 

Subjects: Film

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.