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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 06:15 PM
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Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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In Moot Member Blogs Classic American monsters Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #490 New January 24th, 2019 06:23 PM
So, I don't hate old American staples like the Wolfman, Dracula, Frankenstein, the Creatures from the Black Lagoon, and I guess the generic ghost or two. But when those films, mostly black and white, hit the screen I wasn't even born yet. And when their colorized remakes hit the screen, I was too young to not to be scared by American mythos based on European folklore staples.

But I remember as a kid an adult asking me what monster frightened me most. I sensibly answered King Ghidorah. He thought that a rather interesting answer (maybe read that as odd or just plain crazy), and went on to ask me why I was afraid of King Ghidorah. I corrected him and stated that I wasn't afraid of Monster Zero, but would be if appeared. I tried to explain to him my logic; with Frankenstein, the Mummy, Dracula, whichever conventional Hollywood monster you throw at a person, there's always an out. And, if all else failed, you could always RUN. Set a trap for Frankie, make a makeshift crucifix for Drac out of twigs, the Mummy just staggers all over the place with his arms outreached, and the wolfman seems to shun silvers stuff (it would have to be silver in its pure form, and anything silver … I mean, there weren't any bullets in medieval or classical times when this things ancestors were around, so …), and there you go. But King Ghidorah? A three headed golden dragon tearing up downtown Tokyo with electric breath weapons, and that could walk as fast as a car at around 40 mph? And bat like wings that brewed up local tornados? Debris flying around, the thing hacking up buildings with its death weapons, all the while it's stomping around all over the place, taking down office buildings and urban multilevel parking garages, not to mentions homes, schools, park lands, and being a menace to air space ... what's not to be afraid of if it suddenly appeared?

Okay, sure, it's a Japanese stuntman or actor inside a suit, but, what if that critter was real? That's scary. Because nothing short of another equally sized monster or nuke can take the thing out! And this school counselor type who was interviewing the entire student body for some study has the nerve to question my logic

Frankenstein; burn him up or hack him up. I mean, that nutcase put him together in the first place, certainly you can take him apart (how gruesome). Dracula; apparently has some kind of aversion to religious symbols, but is otherwise susceptible to physical trauma, notably a steak in his crotch … er, heart I don't know why lycanthropes are vulnerable to silver, but they are, so raid the parents good silverware, and keep one of the smaller steak knives in your pocket (maybe get a leather sheath made for it). And the mummy? More religious mumbo-jumbo, but otherwise set it on fire. Mummy flambι.

I will point out that none of these solutions work on classic Japanese kaiju. So...what do you think of that?

I guess the other thing that baffled my kid-logic mind at the time was that for Halloween I always saw costumes for these classic Americanized Hollywood monsters. But … when was the last time any grade schooler saw any of those old movies? Much less get scared of them.

Oh well. Just me. Sorry if I skewered anyone's sacred cows here. Yes Virginia, there is NO Santa Claus. Accept it, kid. You'll be thanking me years from now.

And, true to form, all of these monsters seemed to have Freudian sexual component attached to them, and they ALWAYS scared girls on and off screen. I mean as a middle aged adult, I get it now, but I didn't then, and to be brutally honest, I still think that aspect is silly.

And, think about it, if you were a back ally surrounded by a gang and needed someone backing you up, would you rather have a Hollywood monster backing you up, or a Toho Studios super-kaiju! … I'm a genius …

Anyway, just some tongue in cheek here. In all seriousness that was the answer and explanation I gave to that researcher. Who knows how my data point appeared on the data … "normal, normal, normal, normal, WHOA! Who the heck was this guy?!...normal, normal, normal..." And so it goes.

No, I didn't lose sleep over King Ghidorah. If anything I had some really rocking kid dreams about Godzilla and his pantheon of monsters. But the thought that if they could somehow become real physical manifestations truly was scary to me. Kind of like a force of nature like a hurricane, flood or volcano. Just stuff that you couldn't contend with. That's the fear that Eiji Tsuburaya wanted to bring to the screen. If only he were alive in the day of CGI.

Ah, memories.
Views: 206 | Comments: 3


RSS Feed 3 Responses to "Classic American monsters"
#3 January 25th, 2019 04:37 AM
Blue Ghost Says:
timerover, thanks for the replies and reads, but I need to ask you something about this log entry. When was the last time you saw any kid watch a movie with any of the classic American monsters? I ask this because every Halloween I still see the plastic mask Halloween costume kits, but I can't remember any film made in the last 50 years with the classic monsters. Can you?
#2 January 25th, 2019 02:01 AM
Blue Ghost Says:
I did not know that about the Mummy films. I'll have to scope them out again.
#1 January 25th, 2019 01:55 AM
timerover51 Says:
I always thought that Rodan was a quite impressive monster as well. Again, a Japanese creation. The original Mummy, with Boris Karloff, was not the normal Mummy movie, as he only appeared as a mummy in the opening sequence. It was the follow-on movies that had the Mummy with his arm out-stretched.
 


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