The very first moving pictures may have scared people with stampeding horses and moving trains, but monsters soon became the subject of some of the best — and worst — movies ever made.
The 1922 classic Nosferatu, by F.W Murnau with Max Schreck as the vamprie is a truly monstrous interpretation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula story. The completely creepy vampire doesn’t fit into the contemporary landscape of sexy vampires, but it’s from a different time and place. I’ve never seen the 1920 German film The Golem, but now that I’m in a monster mode, I’m going to seek it out. The Golem is based on the classic Jewish story of a gigantic clay statue that comes to life to aid the Jews of medieval Prague.
One of the first monster movies that I remember watching on TV was THEM! It’s a 1954 film starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn and
James Arness. Set in New Mexico, the monsters are gigantic ants. With the post WWII nightmares about radiation, the prospect of ants being mutated into monstrous giants must have tapped into the fears of 1950s movie fans.
By the time I saw it on CREATURE FEATURES it was camp, but I still shivered when the queen ant and two males fly off at the end of the movie. I saw it again a few years ago and now it’s laugh-out-loud funny — with the notable exception of the sexism, which is simply boring. The woman scientist seems to be there only because her dad is scientist and to provide a love interest to an otherwise romance-free story.
Now that’s a little frightening.
Every year new monster movies are made. My completely unscientific assessment is that many of the new horror movies feature monsters of the humans who inspire fear because of their evil actions and extreme cruelty variety. There’s also the surge of romantic monsters — the Twilight vampires and werewolves, etc. I wonder what Bram Stoker would think of the sexy True Blood and teen cute Twilight descendants of his monster’s lineage.
MONSTER Birthday Day
I have not one, or two but three friends with February 2 birthdays!
Nancy, Shanna and Lew Happy Birthday!
Have a Monstrous Good Time.