So I’ve been paging through the book Monsters in the Movies by John Landis over the past couple weeks. While I find the title a little bit of a misnomer – it covers everything from the typical booga-booga style monsters, but also movie serial killers and faeries/mythological creatures – I really love this book. It’s got a zillion pictures and puts everything into a nice, cohesive grouping by genre. Throughout the book he’s also got interviews with many industry greats – everyone from Christopher Lee to Guillermo del Toro – and they all have vastly different definitions of what makes a monster. While I’ve seen a lot of these it was good to get some ideas of things that weren’t so familiar to me and his humor is amusing all throughout the book.
Which brings to mind the life question that’s kept popping up for me since November…as a woman am I actually supposed to like this sort of thing? I’m not talking in the sexy ‘oooh I’m gonna dress up as Mrs. Jason Voorhees in a slashed shirt that shows off my entire front!’ way. I’m talking about just utterly being fascinated by monsters and the dark territory they frequent. Every time I feel like I’ve gotten comfortable with the fact that I love this stuff and show up at a con or somewhere…I feel like I’m a different type of geek than what’s around me. Is this bad? Not in the least…but while I like meeting actors and seeing all the stuff at cons I also want to know the story behind the story. What was it like to film these sorts of films? How did things work? What did the actors actually have to go on in the way of character and story?
If this puts things in perspective I totally fall asleep every time I try to watch Titanic. It’s been this way since it came out when I was a senior in high school. I cannot stay awake through this movie. It’s not a bad movie and it’s nothing personal – it just isn’t my thing.
And yet I cry like a little girl during Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
You laugh, but the whole thing with Hellboy destroying the Forest God that is the ONLY one left of it’s kind tears me up…and the faeries losing is totally unacceptable to me. I mean sure if I was in that world I’d get wiped out with the rest of the humans but I can’t help but think that in the context of the movie the “villains” kind of had a point.
I’m also the weirdo that has to cover her eyes during Texas Chainsaw Massacre but yet I want to know WHY things like that came about. What makes those people tick that they feel the need to do what they do?
And I can also pick out all seven thousand folklore references in the Sonja Blue series even though I nearly vomited the first time I read the first book in the series.
As a kid I was totally scared to death by my shadow. Everything freaked me out and I had to leave the room during scary movie previews. And yet I would sneak into the horror aisle at the video store and read the back of all the boxes. Although I didn’t realize it yet I’m totally the kind of person that would most likely go right up to a vampire or a werewolf and claim them as my own. Bring on the Cthulhu, bring on the alternate universes and weird dopplegangers – bring it on please! For whatever reason as much as I’m freaked out by things, I’m also drawn to them. I still can’t do gore or torture porn – but I will admit to pulling up every new release on wikipedia and reading the plot so 1. I know if I can handle it and 2. so I at least know what the story is. There’s something so glorious about the mysterious and monsters are just the coolest things ever. I suppose I could blame this on growing up in the eighties – all the cute cartoons I overdosed on had their dark aspects. My Little Ponies had ooze that ate up Ponyland, the Care Bears battled demons and a cartoon Necronomicon, and it wasn’t a traditional Saturday if at least one character wasn’t getting put into a trance-like sleep, kidnapped into an “other” world, or the known universe wasn’t getting sucked into a vortex. The Real Ghostbusters was pretty good too for a while until it decided to be a little kids’ cartoon, and even as a teen I will admit that I was intrigued by the choice to make a cartoon out of Tales from the Crypt.
I’m not exactly sure what it is about monsters that attracts me, but I love them. I adore traditional cute stuff but I will admit to having a statue of the Rancor from Return of the Jedi in my office and if I could own a real one I totally would. And I’d ride it around town ALL THE TIME.
And beyond my early experiences, my love of writing dark material, and my tendency to see gross scaley things as cute…I may enjoy making themed outfits. Now granted I do like making pretty dresses and all of that, but I also have this weird obsession with latex and crafting my own version of parts and sfx-style stuff. I have a long way to go but I LOVE it and have gotten such an appreciation for the process and the human body because of it.
So does this make me less feminine? I don’t think so. As snarky as I can be I have a definite feminine side – I like cute things and appreciate chibi-style cartoons. I like puppies and kitties and small children. I will admit to sacking out to Moulin Rouge or Bollywood movies or old MGM musicals because they’re so gushy and happy and adorable.
I just also happen to find mutants and vampires and haunted houses that sit on a vortex to a dark dimension equally adorable.
Yeah, I’m probably always going to be an original and I’ll never get a clear answer.
And screw running with the crowd – I like monsters damn it and that’s all there is to it!