Desiring Dexter: The pangs and pleasures of serial killer body technique
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The television series Dexter uses the figure of appealing monstrosity to unfold troubled relationships between corporeality, spectatorship, and desire. Through a plastic-wrapped display of body horror, lightly veiled by suburban romance, Dexter turns its audience on to the consuming sensations of blood, death, and dismemberment while simultaneously alluding to its own narrative and ethical contradictions. The excitations of Dexter are thus encapsulated within a tension between form and content as ambivalent and eroticized desire; both for heroic transgression and narrative resolution. Arguably, however, it is Dexter's execution of a carefully developed serial killer body technique which makes this series so compelling. Through an examination of Dexter and his plotted body moves, this paper explores the representations of intimacy and murderous identity in this contemporary example of domestic screen horror entertainment.
© 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Continuum, Volume 26, Issue 4, 2012, Pages 579-588. Continuum is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.
Screen and Media Culture