Week 11 Journal Response
Couple options for this week.
- What makes your monster monstrous? This is the question we are trying to answer with our Monster Evaluation. What makes it a monster? We are using the monster theory as a way to understand the monster and the monstrosity.
- Find an evaluation or movie review of your monster. Summarize and explain what they say about it.
- You can also continue with your monster analysis and connect our theory to something from popular culture.
- We talked about Frankenstein and his Monster this week. Connect to monster theory or find current references to Frankenstein.
Make sure to include a link, summary, and analysis. Minimum 250 words.
My journal response deals with an article about the Bride of Frankenstein. The headline of said article (“Director of Abandoned Bride of Frankenstein Movie Claims the Studio Got “Cold Feet””) is self-explanatory but I have noticed there is more to the story than meets the eye. In 2017, Universal Pictures was preparing to start a cinematic universe with their classic monsters, starting with The Mummy starring Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe. However, the movie was considered a complete bomb, financially and critically, leading Universal in making the decision to put their new cinematic universe (called the Dark Universe) on an extended hiatus. Bill Condon, the director of a planned Bride of Frankenstein movie, claims in the article that The Mummy’s underperformance is what led Universal to halt his movie.
The reason why I chose to respond to this particular story is because I thought it would be interesting to connect the monster theory to this unrealized project. “Thesis I: The Monster’s Body Is a Cultural Body” can connect to this proposed Bride of Frankenstein film because it would have been a new adaption of the classic story. Could it have been different from the original story? Would the creation of the Bride have changed to make the movie more adaptive to modern culture? Chances are it probably would have – the last movie adaption of Frankenstein’s story was in 2015; Bride of Frankenstein was last seen in 1994, a twenty-one year difference. As we have talked in class, adaptions of these monsters have to be different so it is not always the same. “Thesis VII: The Monster Stands at the Threshold… of Becoming” works as well because it also asks an additional question: “Why make a Bride of Frankenstein movie?” Maybe this new monster film would follow in the footsteps of Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel and Charlie’s Angels – a movie that can serve as a symbol of female empowerment
The monster I am writing about is Vampires, more specially the vampires from The Lost Boys and Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. What makes vampires monstrous though? I found an article from National Geographic called The Bloody Truth about Vampires by Becky Little. Personally as a child who grew up infatuated with the universal monsters I really loved vampires but I was terrified with them as well. Reading the article the most modern day vampire is known to have fangs, drink human blood, and can’t see themselves in mirrors; also for vampires not to come near you garlic is known to help ward them off and in some movies you see if they touch or even get near garlic it burns them just like the sun.
According to the article that I read “scholars suspect that vampires evolved from various traditional beliefs that were held throughout Europe.” The beliefs centered on the fear that once the dead are buried they could still harm the living. It goes further into the misunderstanding during that time period of how bodies decomposed, the “purge fluid” that leaks from the nose and the mouth was thought to be the blood of the dead corpse’s victim and not just from the corpses decomposing body. They also believed that vampires brought these unknown disease that were taking over a community, they thought killing these “vampires” and preventing them from feeding on the living was a way for people to feel that they had some control over the spread of the disease. All in all, I just think people during that time and still during our time are afraid of the unknown and would rather blame a made up monster to blame for what is going on within the community.
The link: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2016/10/vampires-europe-new-england-halloween-history/
My journal response deals with the portrayal of the monster wendigo in the game ‘Until Dawn’ and how closely it takes after the origins of the monster itself. The video explores the lore of the monster in the game and how they came to be. It describes the features of the wendigo as “emaciated physique, spider-like limbs, and tattered pale skin” in the game. It goes into the origins and explains that it comes from the ‘Cree tribes’ who considered the mountain that the game takes place on to be sacred and refused to hunt animals or disturb the area on there in fear of disturbing and awakening the spirits that inhabited the place. In the games story the wendigo comes into existence when a person eats human flesh on the mountain which allows possession to occur, then the spirit takes over the human body that sinned. As said in the video, although they were possessed, it seemed that they, the wendigo, kept some of the memories of the person it used to be.
The reason that I chose this version of the monster wendigo to analyze would be because it seems to be the one that sticks most closely to the origin of the Wendigo. The game incorporated many features of the original Native American Wendigo such as cannibalism being one of the factors, and also that wendigos are monsters of the cold, and the ones in the game were out and about in a snowing mountain. The only thing it lacked happen to be the size of the creature, as the myths of Native American wendigo portrayed the monster as a giant. Overall, a great representation of the monster that sticks close to the origins of what is a wendigo.
In class this week, while discussing Frankenstein and his Monster, we mentioned how the doctor himself seemed to act quite ‘monstrously’ by abandoning his creation and attempting to kill it before it even does anything bad. The seven theses of monster theory can apply to the creation of Dr. Frankenstein as well as himself as we touched on in class. The doctor is responsible for bringing the creature to life as well as responsible for teaching the creature that it’s a monster. There have been several retellings of Frankenstein and many different versions of what his monster looks like, but they all share the same basic elements from Mary Shelley’s original: a doctor with an unstoppable desire to scientifically create life, a larger than life mostly humanoid creature, and victims of said creature’s terror. A loose, but wildly successful adaptation of the Frankenstein story that I love is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. While the 1975 film is a campy, horror musical rather than a classic monster flick, it maintains the same elements of the doctor, the creation, and the victims. Even the transvestite Dr. Frank N Furter and his adonis creature can be considered monsters using the seven theses of monster theory. For example, the first thesis states “the monster’s body is a cultural body.” What made The Rocky Horror Picture Show so successful was it’s bold representation of communities that had never garnered media attention before. Dr. Frank N Furter is an overtly sexual being who invites an average, run of the mill couple into his hedonistic world of desire. However, it is the doctor and his companions’ blatant sexualities that make the couple, Janet and Brad, so scared in the first place because they represent the societal norms of the time and Dr. Frank N Furter represents what is culturally unacceptable. Of course, the most obvious thesis of monster theory to apply to Dr. Frank N Furter and his creature is that “fear of the monster is really a kind of desire.” The doctor and creature, Rocky, are both a temptation to poor Janet as they prey on her suppressed sexuality. While Rocky doesn’t mean to seduce her, his glistening muscles are too much for her to resist. Janet and Brad are scared, alone, and trapped in a castle yet despite witnessing a strange cult-like party, the artificial creation of life, as well as a murder, neither of them can deny their attraction to the doctor and a lifestyle so different from their own. I have written more in detail and applied more theses with more evidence in my evaluation essay, but Dr. Frank N Furter representing the sexual deviants living on the outskirts of society is similar to Dr. Frankenstein representing a radical scientist who pushes the boundaries of society. Rocky, the creature born from desire who causes an innocent to fall victim to her desire, can be compared to the monster of Frankenstein, the creature born to challenge death who ultimately brings death by killing multiple people.
With my monster being A vampire but more specifically on the ideals of the creators of What We Do in the Shadows and how they portray a group of lazy, Staten Island citizens that instead of doing what their Vampiric order ask by conquering the humans, they would rather argue with each other about things that eternal beings should not care about. With three out of the five in the group being from centauries like the twelfth, fourteenth, and eighteenth centaury and the other two being from the twenty-first century they still have a way of seeming like they haven’t evolved with the times as the rest of the world has. Nandor who was an ottoman empire royal that managed to become undead has well not done too much with his eternal life much other than frolicking around the night not doing anything really, his roommate Lazlo that was an eighteenth centaury partier with fashion, and his partner of sorts Nadja which is a gypsy seductress out of Transylvania that just likes to mess with people cause why not. The show does allude to the dark things vampires stand for like new-world domination, blood sucking, and messing with humans like the inferior beings they are to the vampires but that isn’t the goal of the show to give freight on the thought of the bad things vampires do but more how everyday life would be for someone who has supernatural abilities, cant die, and have given up on world domination casue at this point they are hundreds of years behind on their task and they just don’t feel like doing it. All in all the show is great 30 minute satirical piece that doesn’t take too much complicated thinking to just enjoy it.
When the word “monster” is mentioned and for the majority of the part people would imagine something that of a abominable creature. Something that terrifies you so deep that you feel it in your bones. For the most part those people would be correct, but in this case, this monster is not this deformed creature. In fact it is a human, corrupted with a form of mental illness that lead her to murder over 5 possible men within the span of twenty years. this monsters name is Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong and she is no longer living due to health related issues such as cancer. This short article briefly describes the events leading up to her past murders and her bomb robbery that she got convicted for.
Marjorie was definitely mentally unstable and lashed out on others whenever she felt threatened and challenged. With past boyfriends this became a constant issue and relationships would only last a couple years before one was seriously injured or even ended up dead due to unfortunate circumstances. She finally had meet someone that was as crazy as her and plotted the bomb heist the caused the death of Brian Wells, then later the death of his co worker and Marjorie’s ex boyfriend James Roden. The accomplice with this murder was her current boyfriend at the time, Bill Rothstein. To find this information, someone had to come forth that was involved with the whole situation and let authorities know what really had happened. Eventually that is exactly what happened, and later Marjorie was found guilty of the murder of Brian Wells and the plotting of the bomb heist. not that much longer later, Rothstein was convicted for the aid in the bomb heist as well, but time and health complications had caught up with Marjorie and Bill, because they were diagnosed with cancer and had died in prison. A documentary was made compiling most of the events that occurred that had Marjorie involved. Although this women never had strange defects or makeshift body parts or even drank blood, yet she is still a monster.
In recent times, my class is supposed to write a rhetorical analysis on a monster that they chose to write about. I already have a monster that I am currently writing about which is known as “The Rake” and its horrifying story, but I have also considered writing about an old Creepypasta monster notoriously known as “The Slenderman.” Also known as The Tall Man or The Blank Face, his features are even represented in its name. This supernatural entity is abnormally tall, is said to be wearing a suit and tie, has abnormally long arms and fingers, and has four to eight-foot-long tentacles protruding from its back. The most notable feature that this creature has and it is what makes it very famous is that this entity has no physical facial features. It has no eyes, no nose, no mouth. It is just a blank pale face, and even though it does not have eyes, it has been said that others can still feel as if it is staring at you. This creature is known to have been around for centuries, dating back to the times of cavemen. There are even cave drawings that resemble a dark figure with tentacles attacking people, and so many theorists believe that this could be that entity slaughtering and feeding on the corpses of cavemen. I wanted to write about this monster, but I felt as if this creature was too overrated to be mentioned, so that is why I have decided to write about something more underrated as The Rake.
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