ABSTRACT

One of the most clearly identifiable generic shifts in film noir from the classical period to neo noir of the 1980s and 1990s is the addition of sexually explicit material. Where the classical films used innuendo and visual symbolism to bypass the requirements of the Production Code, the more recent films can afford to display the erotic excess that the earlier films could only imply. This shift has led to a significant intersection between the neo noir film and the erotic thriller, as the femme fatale’s sexual activities are showcased in a range of explicit crime films, from star-studded studio productions like Fatal Attraction (1987) and Body of Evidence (1993) to straight-to-video offerings, and, as noted in the introduction, this set of films forms the object of study for most accounts of the femme fatale after classical Hollywood noir.