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Old June 7 2013, 04:39 PM   #605
Christopher
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Anwar wrote: View Post
Funny how some ideas from recent monster movies like Cloverfield used ideas from Godzilla 1985, like how the giant monster would have giant parasites that would fall off and attack people afterwards.
There's something like that in the first giant-monster movie (and the inspiration for Godzilla), 1953's The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, in which the defrosted (and Harryhausen-animated) rhedosaur's blood contained a prehistoric disease that humans had no immunity to.


Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
I also liked the openning narration with Mary Shelly (they even used her maiden name) but I never liked her message about "playing god". There's a good point in there about not tampering with what you don't fully understand, but the message often sounds like an argument against power and knowledge.
I don't believe that was Shelley's message, just the film's misreading of it. She had Frankenstein curse his creation as evil, but I don't think she intended the reader to see Frankenstein as being in the right. The creature was highly intelligent and sympathetic, wanting only to be loved, but its rejection by its own creator, and everyone else, based solely on its physical appearance made it bitter and vengeful. I think the book was a statement against bigotry, not against "playing God." And it can be read as an allegory for how abused and neglected children can end up becoming violent and abusive themselves, so I think it's a statement about taking responsibility for your offspring.

And really, even the films don't quite buy into the characters' belief that the Monster is fundamentally evil. Whale and Karloff's Monster may not have the intellect of Shelley's, but it has the same basic benevolence, only lashing out when provoked or inadvertently doing harm because of his great strength and clumsiness. When he finally found someone who accepted him rather than attacking him -- the blind hermit -- he was able to live in peace with him for weeks, learn to speak, even temper his fear of fire. It was only when he was again attacked by xenophobes that he retaliated.

So maybe it wasn't the film's misreading of Shelley's message. Now that I think about it, I got the impression during that opening scene that maybe Lanchester's Mary was only pretending that the book condemned the creation of life in order to stave off protests or censorship, so she could slip its subversive message under the radar.


Kudos to Elsa Lanchester for playing both Mary Shelly and The Bride by the way.
I hadn't realized she also played Mary. Nor had I realized how pretty she was out of the fright wig and monster makeup.
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