Monster Mash

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Monster Mash
Everyone loves a good scare. The rush we feel when our worst nightmares are realized, and yet that small inkling in our minds reminds us, this isn’t real. It’s fun. First we clench and scream and our hearts pop out of our chests. Then, we smile, laugh, and say “wow, that scared me” escape our lips, and we again move on with the rest of our average everyday lives. It’s exciting, and to some, arousing. But the concept of horror raises an all too common inquiry. What if you could become one of those famous monsters of the silver screen? Would you choose to be the seductive vampire, the gnarly werewolf, the ghastly ghost, or the ravenous Frankenstien?

Now I know what you’re thinking. What about Jason Vorhees, or Freddy Kruger? What about Leatherface, or the Pinhead? Those are all excellent horror film identities. They are however, latter day principals that have all been crafted from the inspiration of the age old favorites. We couldn’t possibly begin to appreciate Jason Vorhees or Leatherface without first acknowledging the colossal juggernaut that was Frankenstien. So for this paper, I’ll only be focusing on the primary figures of horror.

Let’s kick this off with an all-time classic. This horror figure amassed not only one of the largest fan bases in film, but directly influenced its own underground culture. Bela Lugosi donned the crimson cape in 1927 as Count Dracula in a Broadway adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel, where he was talent-spotted as a character actor for the new Hollywood talkies, appearing in the first Dracula film with sound. It would be four years later, with the movie adaptation of that play that vampires would become a public icon. Here we are almost ninety years later, vampire lore has erupted into many renditions, many new ideals. There has been games, and music inspired by their sultry image. These being thrive on the lust and temptation of man, the sexiness of evil. They indulge in blood, and ritual. Only ever able to enjoy their immortality at night, as sunlight invariably reduces them to dust and ash. They are dexterous, equally cunning, using sleight of hand and a quick tongue to gain your every allegiance. They are connected into every façade of regular, and have either allies, or brethren in powerful social circles. The older the vampire, the more attuned to the gift. On the darker side of this coin lies the cold hard fact that you are completely vulnerable to fire, sunlight, and according to EVERY SINGLE vampire movie, the inevitable betrayal of those closest to you. Which for me begs the ultimate question, “what good is immortality, if you have no one to share it with”. One a cold dark night, when the moon is full, can you hear the howling of their kind. They are excellent hunters, and even better combatants. They are supernaturally strong, fast, and almost impossible to fend off. All it takes is a simple scratch and your fate is sealed. The werewolf is a tragic Monster. There is nothing sexy or fun about this curse. Every four weeks, when the moon is full, your body reconstructs itself. Breaking bones, and rearranging them. Stretching muscle mass, and skin. I don’t recommend watching someone turn if you are squeamish or faint of heart. The mind goes into an instinctive mode, where you can only process hunger, and anger. You’re compelled not by your humanity, but by the beast within. No matter how you shake it, or which rendition of this monster you look at, werewolves are awesome and sad. Immense power, and raw animal agility, but without a single ounce of control. The concept of man becoming beast has been around for a long time. Ancient Celtics used to believe the spirit of the earth created them to protect her forests from all dangers. It wasn’t until 1941 that the “wolf man” would see the silver screen, and forever change the way we looked at secluded romantic ventures in the wood. Speaking of silver, nothing but, can truly bring this monster to peace. Ghosts are a...
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