Great grandfather to the modern slasher film, the posters of Grand Guignol seem to promise something more than blood soaked massacres as entertainment
These posters would never fly today as advertisements for legitimate theater. Frankly, I'm surprised they were accepted in the 1920s, when Grand Guignol was at its brief height.
The point of Grand Guignol was extreme, realistic violence. They had all manner of graphic violence, and showing the violence was something that wasn't at all common---especially with the realistic, buckets of blood approach. The Elizabethans had their go at it, but they were restrained by comparison to Grand Guignol, who really went balls to the walls with this. As the quote below explains the experiences of one actress in the company:
From 1917 to the 1930s, [Paula Maxa] performed most frequently as a victim and was known as "the most assassinated woman in the world." During her career at the Grand Guignol, Maxa's characters were murdered more than 10,000 times in at least 60 different ways and raped at least 3,000 times.
The posters, however, suggest there was something more than just blood lust and seeing realistic violence on stage, for an audience who had never experienced such a thing in their entertainment before.
It was sexual: in particular, it was overt sexual violence toward women.
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I've been extraordinarily open minded about sex ever since my first year in college, when I learned women could have orgasms. (I was a late bloomer in high school.) Nothing shocks me. All of it interests me. I can never get enough of it.
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