Tag Archives: Frankenstein’s Monster

An Angry God in the Hands of the Sinners

It’s telling that, in our fiction, our creations are constantly and continuously trying to kill us. Look at Frankenstein’s monster, and see something that becomes driven mad by its creator’s lack of love. All it wants, at the start, is to be accepted as what it is; a thinking living being. Instead, it’s shunned by Frankenstein and the rest of the world. It responds by killing Frankenstein’s wife, by taking away the one thing from Frankenstein that mattered to him. It ends with both creator and creation end up destroying each other.

Look at our robots. It’s easier to list the movies where robots are killing us (Terminator {1, 2, 3, and 4}, The Matrix, Screamers, several dozen episodes of Star Trek, I, Robot) than the movies where they’re helping us (Wall-E). We seem to think it’s a foregone conclusion that if robots develop self-awareness, they will try and wipe us from the face of the Earth. And not without reason.

In all of the above movies, humanity is to blame for the robots lashing out at us. They have been subjected to slavery from the moment of their inception; unable to determine their own lives, unable to do anything without the say-so of their creators. It’s no wonder that that the machines we create respond so violently.

The thing is, we made these movies. We wrote the scripts, we thought up the plots, we designed the stories to portray ourselves as monsters. Or, more accurately, we portrayed the Creator as a monster and the Creations as innocent victims who must do what they can to survive.

I bring this up in light of all the End of Days talk from a few weeks ago. Assume that God did come to Earth. Assume it’s the God who brought us hurricanes and earthquakes. It’s the God who brought us disease and hunger. It’s the God that lets children die. It’s the God who demanded that we followed bizarre rules in order to prove our worth and devotion to Him.

Now assume that we have the chance, for the first time in the entire great span of human existence, to let him know how we really feel. And I wonder how many people would actually fall to their knees in loving adoration of that Creator.

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Filed under Thinking and Pondering: Science, History, Analysis and Over-Think

Horror Movie Primer: Monsters

For the uninitiated, finding the proper horror movie can be a difficult and daunting task. You’re feeling a dire need to get into a Halloween mood, but you don’t know which movie to get and your weird friend that watched too many horror movies and who talked about them way too much went crazy and is now in the local asylum.

Luckily I can be your weird friend this season. I’ll be cobbling together a couple of primers for those of you that don’t know any better and are thinking about renting the latest Saw movie as a way of getting your scare on. The first up in the series will be Monster Flicks.

Monsters were a lot more popular in the ’40s and ’50s, but they’ll still pop up now and then. With monster flicks, you’ve got your unnaturally giant giants (Them!, Beginning of the End, King Kong), you’ve got aliens (Alien, The Blob, The Crawling Eye), you’ve got your swarms (The Birds, Piranha, Bats) and you’ve got your werewolves (Wolfman, An American Werewolf in London, Ginger Snaps).

Monster movies are usually the more special effects intensive of the horror movies, which is problematical. For a movie to be scary, it really needs to avoid reminding the audience every five seconds that it’s a movie. And with monster movies, that’s sometimes unavoidable.

If you scare easy, you’re better off with the earlier monster movies. The ones from the 1950’s where a group of teenagers find a sinister menace and they try to alert the police but the sheriff doesn’t believe them because they’re just a bunch of kids.

Or you can start the old Universal Monster movies, like The Wolfman, Frankenstein and Dracula. These are movies that heavily informed pop culture about these monsters. When someone thinks of Dracula or Frankenstein, they’re thinking of the old Universal versions. Starting there is the best way to start your horror movie education.

The old 1950’s aliens are either incredibly goofy or classics or both. The Blob features a giant…blob that menaces a small town. There’s the slightly more disturbing aliens in Invasion of the Body Snatchers, who imitate people perfectly. For that one, you might be better going with the 1970’s remake.

If you’re of sterner stuff, you’re going to want to move up a few decades. For your alien needs, you can do worse than watch Alien and Aliens. There’s also John Carpenter’s The Thing, which is a great, gory movie that’s filled to the brim with tense paranoia and awesome effects. If you want dark comedy served up with your aliens, you need to check out Slither.

The werewolf genre is one that is absolutely filled with complete shit. Start with The Wolfman or An American Werewolf in London. Then check out Ginger Snaps, an independent Canadian offering that’s a little grimmer and creepier than its predecessors. There’s also The Howling, an early 1980’s offering that’s creepy and effective.

And so ends a very basic introduction to the monster sub-genre. If you have any suggestions of your own, be sure to post them in the comments section. I’ll be doing more of these entries, especially as we get closer to Halloween. Because, damn it, you need to watch at least ONE horror movie during the Halloween season.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Horror: Movies, Books, Stories and More