Ask me how excited I was about all of that snow this morning? Not at all. Listen, how do people forget every single year that it snows & the roads get bad so instead of driving cautiously, they just slam into one another then my 15-minute commute turns into a 45-minute commute because of stupidity. How?! I’ve had it, to anyone who cannot drive in the snow – please move, immediately. I hope that it all melts because I cannot deal with that crap on my way home. Aside from all of the morons on the road this morning, lets talk monsters – specifically my favorite, old school monsters. Not homicidal maniacs, Michael Myers wins that spot, no contest 😛 We are talking classic monsters here, the tragically misunderstood abominations that haunted but certainly enriched my childhood.
Raise your hand if you read every horror/gothic novel listed on the permissible classics reading list in AP English. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was not my first introduction to the character but certainly the most disappointing. I blame this on the litany of modern Dracula interpretations that I had been exposed to prior to reading this classic. It is a classic, I think it’s fantastic reading but it wasn’t sexy or alluring & the story of Dracula is a lot more tragic than beautiful creatures that live forever. I’m not a fan of Nosferatu which is probably the most accurate adaptation of the original Dracula if you consider how slow it is. I don’t care for the original or the remake featuring Eddie Izzard which still cracks me up. I much prefer Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula which took some liberties but captured the tortured, oddly alluring creature that I am drawn to. Aside from his more modern appearances, the story of Vlad the Impaler while horrific is very interesting. I love that this classic monster, cloaked in black magic has some crossover to the mortal world as it makes him seem so much more tangible. The scope of interpretations of Dracula is also what keeps me interested, he can be placed in any time period, at any age, from very sinister to more congenial & it just works. Always classic. Overall, I’m just a big fan of the vampire genre, child vampires, teen punk vampires (not Twilight), wealthy southern vampires…
OK, by now we all know that the monster is not Frankenstein, that’s the name of the doctor – if not, now you do. The story of this unnamed monster is a tragedy but Mary Shelley’s life is also pretty tragic. Read more about that elsewhere but it isn’t shocking that this abomination was the creation of an 1800’s scholarly lady once you know more about her. Frankenstein is about a grad student, Victor Frankenstein who pieces together a monster from parts of dead bodies & reanimates it using alchemy & chemistry. Finding his creation so abhorrent, he pretty much loses his mind & flees. The monster, now having no creator sets out on his own, he is hated by everyone he encounters & commits two murders to wreak vengeance on his creator. What I found most sad about the story is that the monster is more repentant for his misdeeds than Frankenstein is. Everyone says that I am wrong on this but I think the book was about Frankenstein being the actual monster & less about the monster, hence the reason he wasn’t given a name. Apparently it is more widely accepted that Shelley did not name the monster because it was more titillating for audiences, it just seems like a really trite reason considering the events that transpire. I appreciate this monster because he turned out to be more human than the other humans he encountered, I wish that there were more adaptations & think that while everyone knows who he is, he is a bit overlooked.
From Little Red Riding Hood to Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, the werewolf is another creature that has survived countless reinterpretations & just tends to work. The historical references of a werewolf like creature can be found in various legends from numerous different cultures & regions. It’s another tale rooted in the mystical that human beings seemingly believe exists. Werewolf lore is so far reaching that we attribute odd behavior in humans to a full moon. Again, I just appreciate a creature that has some significant historical context that transcends generations & remains relevant even in modern, less superstitious time periods.
I’ve always been confused about the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde creature, he doesn’t turn into a werewolf but I do think that he is close enough to be in the same species. I think that Mr. Hyde is a sociopath, not really a monster though – let me know your thoughts on that. I guess he’s an honorable mention along with the Phantom of the Opera…dun, dun, dun.
Let me know who your favorite monsters are, are you a fan of the classic monster movies? I’m in an ooky-spooky mood now & ready to binge some classics 🧡🖤