Archive for the Misc. Category

Man or Monster….

Posted in Misc. on September 5, 2009 by jamesdunn81

Everyone loves monsters in some way or another, I mean who doesn’t. They are essential us in a different form. If we take a look back at the twentieth century’s most popular monsters of cinema and literature a couple stands out: Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, Jekyll and Hyde, and the Phantom of the Opera. What a lot of people don’t see is how much sympathy each of them get’s, they receive this from the same audiences that look forward to being frightened by them.

Even Dracula, who after all, is a creature of Satan, can be seen as someone doomed, compelled to do evil until a stake is driven deep into his heart, after which a look of piece spreads over his face as he crumbles to dust. Frankenstein is the model of an absolute orphan, abandoned by Victor, his creator, and because of his size and ugliness, is forever doomed to a loveless existence. The Wolfman also, invokes compassion because he does not choose his brutality. He is reluctant before his transformation and remorseful after he has committed his acts of violence.

As we go further down our list of monsters we notice that by the time we get to Jekyll and Hyde, and especially when we get to the Phantom of the Opera, our monsters begin to resemble regular people. They are mortal, and they are people. When we are first introduced to Dr. Jekyll, there is nothing about him that makes us think he is a monster. Only do we realize that inside Dr. Jekyll lays waiting, the devious and murderous Mr. Hyde, flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone.

Now its time for the Phantom, when we think about how he’s a monster it becomes a grey area. The Phantom is a very talented and gifted person whose physical deformities drive him to crime. Just like Frankenstein, the fault isn’t his, but his makers. In the Phantoms case, that maker is God, who he curses at for even letting him be born.

So for the purpose of argument, the line between monster and man can be either black or white, or a hazy area which there is no middle ground. Lines become blurred and emotions take a front seat to drive either man or monster to do what ever he or she is compelled to do. It’s this thinking that makes me think we have a little monster in all of us.

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Frankenstein, my favorite monster

Posted in Misc. on August 13, 2009 by jamesdunn81

frankenstein-halloweenFrom the moment it was published in 1818, Frankenstein, a classic horror story, has been enormously popular and continuously in print in many languages. The story has inspired plays, poems, parodies as well as other stories, novels, and more than 40 movies. The monster derives from the novel by Mary Shelley and is the result of man’s tinkering with nature and his untamed desire to create and apply his knowledge.

The name of the scientist is sometimes wrongly used as that of the monster itself, and hence for any monstrous creation. Frankenstein’s popularity is partly because it is the first modern myth that used science to release the monster. Frankenstein is sometimes compared with politics, nuclear science, genetic engineering and other agents of change to warn against experimenting with things we don’t understand.frankenstein

Frankenstein has enjoyed an afterlife in numerous stage productions and movie adaptations that have reshaped the monster of the original story. Indeed the monster has taken the name of his creator and his archetypal image is still influenced by the 1931 movie poster and movie starring Boris Karloff as a green skinned giant with bolts in his neck.

The creature in Shelley’s 1818 novel is hardly the grunting, green-skinned behemoth familiar to generations of movie fans. Stitched together from body parts and brought back to life by Swiss scientist Victor Frankenstein, he develops into an articulate, sensitive being who ponders the meaning of life while suffering his miserable existence abandoned and alone.

The myth of the Frankenstein monster returns to its literary roots in this tale of a scientist’s monstrous attempt to play God. This story is the archetype for many subsequent tales of the mad scientist and his creatures with the monster of misguided science eventually tormenting its creator.

FrankAt the centre of the novel is the Monster’s own autobiography, as this highly articulate being reveals the loneliness and persecution he suffered as a consequence of a lonely and abnormal creature .Victor Frankenstein, father to that loathsome creature, must finally open his soul to a kindred spirit in hopes of unburdening his fallen conscience. Thus we begin at the end of his journey through the frame narrator Robert Walton, aboard a ship attempting to reach the North Pole.

In the novel, Victor Frankenstein’s last words are, “Farewell, Walton! Seek happiness in tranquillity, and avoid ambition, even if it be only the apparently innocent one of distinguishing yourself in science and discoveries. Yet why do I say this? I have myself been blasted in these hopes, yet another may succeed.” Frankenstein’s conflicted ambition is with us always. He is the one true man made monster in which everyone in one way can relate to. And that’s the Monster that stands at our window, reminding us to take care of our creations.

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Alternante Death Proof posters and script cover

Posted in Misc. on August 12, 2009 by jamesdunn81

Death Proof is another movie I will be revisting in the future. Untill then, check these awesome alternante posters!

Death Proof 1Death Proof 2Death Proof 3Death Proof 4Death Proof 5Death Proof 6Death Proof 7Death Proof Script Cover

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Top five Lucio Fulci scenes that scarred me for life……enjoy!

Posted in Misc. on August 8, 2009 by jamesdunn81

#5 The Beyond.

 #4 The Beyond….again

#3 The New York Ripper

#2 Zombi

#1 City of the Living Dead

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Zombies….We’re them and they’re us.

Posted in Misc. on August 8, 2009 by jamesdunn81

            night_of_the_living_deadThe undead are everywhere these days. The movie 28 Weeks Later pits them against the U.S. military. The comic series Marvel Zombies has them eating the Silver Surfer. The video game Dead Rising lets players attack them with weapons ranging from hockey pucks to shower heads. Today, the undead are very much walking amongst the living.
            No other horror creatures invite quite the same breadth of paranoid speculation as zombies, perhaps because they embody such a pure, reflective sense of terror: animated corpses dependent on living flesh for survival. No wolf mythology, no castles, no capes, no fangs; just dead people eating flesh. In short, except for the “being dead” part, they’re just like us. I’d say this accounts for their popularity over decades of cinema, as well as their more recent migration to other popular media. Zombie movies force us to figure out what, if anything, differentiates us from the monsters on the screen.                                                                                                                                                

             But to the average horror-movie fan, a zombie is any reanimated dead thing that tends to hunger for the flesh of the living.  They also usually have no thought processes to speak of other than instinct.  By this reckoning, Frankenstein’s monster was not a zombie.  He had a brain that worked and he never thought of eating the living.  His predicament was a little different and he knew it.  NightOfTheLivingDead 2                                              

             Zombies have an undeniable attraction.  Is it their persistence?  Is it their dogged determination to fulfill their primary motivating desire…hunger?  Perhaps it’s that they represent death itself and its relentless march toward each and every one of us.  No matter where we hide, how long we run, or how many guns we have…death will come.                    

             Indeed, zombies are the perfect horror creations for a ­media saturated age overloaded with reports of terrorism, famine, disease, and warfare. George A Romero is the foremost figure on zombies, if not the father of all zombies. His movies have shed the most light on all topics from race to religion. Deep down, these awesome horror flicks are asking some of the most profound questions. The way in which zombie movies pose these questions has changed significantly over time, telling us more about ourselves, and about what we most fear, in the process. Maybe we should start thinking about these questions, or answering them.

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