October 5, 2012
Why do monster mash-up movies creep me out?
I don’t mean they scare me. Horror movies don’t really scare me.
I mean they give me the willies. A little bit.
Last night I watched Universal’s (mistitled) House of Dracula (1945). Here’s the synopsis:
Count Dracula and the Wolf Man seek a cure for their afflictions; a hunchbacked woman, a mad scientist and the Frankenstein monster have their own troubles.
I fantasize about buying up every number of Famous Monsters of Filmland if I won the lottery.
But just because I like peanut butter and blue cheese and Coke doesn’t mean I want to mix them together.
I really don’t want to hear “Monster Mash” ever again and there is no way I’m going to Hotel Transylvania.
Premises like those literally embarrass me.
Watching them makes me feel… bashful. (I do it anyway. Which makes me feel worse.)
It can’t just be the cringe-inducing expository “Dr. Frankenstein, I presume” dialogue and inane, geographically and era-challenged plot fractures needed to make the story “work.”
These movies rely upon our shared accumulated knowledge of the characters and their backstories.
Was it simply a quirk of 17th century English that led King James’ team to equate “knowing” with the most intimate physical act?
Because these conceits make me feel like a stranger has brute forced the password to my brain and is now playing Barbies in there.
I feel the same way about any other “Argonaut Folly” storylines (like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and movies about, say, the Kennedy family (“Hello my brother the Attorney General!”)
Does anybody else know what I’m talking about?