Okay I think it’s time for someone to stick up for the monsters. Ever since Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, the poor monsters have been defanged, declawed and mislabeled by entertainment industry greed.
Night of the Living Dead was probably the first major blow to the monsters in movies. Romero never referred to the ‘dead’ people as zombies, he called them ghouls which is what they are. Ghouls are flesh eaters, zombies are mindless slaves under the control of a voodoo priest. However Hollywood managed to totally sell ghouls as zombies to an uneducated public. Very few had a clue when the movie came out and now most people have no clue what a zombie actually is. They have been spoon fed the Hollywood garbage.
Zombies are not dead people that bite other dead people. Zombies are living people in a drug induced paralysis that mimics death. Yes they get buried, alive, and when dug up people label them as the walking dead. After all they saw them buried! The walking dead are more common than you think. Many people have been in catatonic states over the years and buried alive even without the drugs. It was such a common occurence that a patent was issued for a coffin alarm just in case you woke up from your catatonic state 6 feet under. Probably the only recent movie that came close to being correct about zombies was The Serpent and the Rainbow.
Ghouls are different. These creatures eat human flesh and traditionally hung out in graveyards. The only change Romero made between the traditional ghoul and those in his film was that Romero’s ghouls preferred their flesh alive and kicking while the traditional ghoul would eat dead flesh. What Romero created on screen was almost a cross between a ghoul and a Wendigo (of Native American mythology) which is more of a cannibalistic spirit that possesses it’s victim. Neither one of these creatures had anything to do with Zombie lore.
The one thing I appreciate about The Walking Dead is that so far I haven’t heard anyone refer to them as zombies on the show. They call them Walkers or geeks. Thank you for staying away from the ‘Z’ word! If there comes a time when you do have to actually name them, please use the right term and call them ghouls. The poor ghoul has no press while Zombies are getting credit for all of their horrific work!
Now that brings me to Bram Stoker and the vampires. Previous to Dracula, there was nothing noble or romantic about the vampire. It was a hideous creature that preyed on the living. I mean hideous in actions and looks. From the moment Dracula was published, the vampire was dealt a blow that is almost impossible to overcome. Once Hollywood got a hold of it forget it. For decades we had only one (almost) authentic representation of the vampire, Count Orlock of Nosferatu. Once Bela Lugosi played Dracula, it was downhill from there.
Vampires are consistently portrayed on screen as good-looking, suave, seductive and romantic beings. Yes they kill people, but only because they had such a rough time of it. They weren’t evil, just misguided in their actions. No one wanted to present them simply as predators preying on the human race. Thank God for 30 Days of Night which gave us a more accurate representation of the vampire(At least in it’s actions). Unfortunately it has all been wiped out with this Twilight garbage. Vampires sparkle? Really. Those aren’t vampires, they are a bunch of fairies in need of a good orthodontist!
Let’s leave the monsters as what they are, monstrous. Let’s credit the right monsters and stop pinning things on the wrong ones. How about a little knowledge of what you are dealing with instead of changing things for greed. The monsters would be much happier and so would fans who have some knowledge of the actual lore. We want horror, not Hollywood BS!
I’m sharing one of my online hangouts today, Outer Limits. I get tired of internet trolls so I helped develop this social network for fans of Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy and the Paranormal. There is absolutely no trolling or flaming allowed here.
It’s a small network so new faces are always welcome. It’s a great place to discuss anything related to the genres, whether it’s new or classic. Members can create groups to focus on particular topics. We already have groups dedicated to Dr Who, Lexx, The Walking Dead and Comic book Superheroes.
If you are a fan of any of the genres or your have a curiosity about the supernatural. I invite you to join us and take part in a great little network.
I am a lifelong hardcore horror fan. Movies, books it doesn’t matter. I love a good horror film. I also love a good black comedy. Very few horror films creep me out most are just funny. The last movie that I can honestly say gave me the creeps was “Ju-on”, the original Japanese version of “The Grudge”. So now when I want creep me out horror I look east the to Asian horror film industry. But I want to talk about a little anthology series that I just started watching on Netlix called Masters of Horror.
I sat and watched 3 episodes back to back and with the first two episodes I wasn’t thinking masters of horror, I was thinking original kings of comedy. The first one “Family” starring George Wendt, was side splitting funny and by the plot you could tell that it was meant to be a black comedy. I like black comedy when it is done right, meaning it’s a black comedy because it was meant to be, not because a horror film simply turned out funny.
The second one “Jennifer” starring Steven Weber, was even funnier. I admit it was by Dario Argento, I was expecting a lot. After all “Susperia” is one of my favorite horror movies. Although I suspect it was intended to be serious all I could do was laugh at the complete lack of intelligence shown by Steven Weber’s character in the film. Sorry but there is really fine line between horror movie victim stupidity and complete moron. Weber came off as a complete moron, I couldn’t even grant this one the kindness of black comedy it was just a mess.
Well thank goodness I had seen Family first or I would have missed a true horror offering “Cigarette Burns.” Brownie points to this for the casting, two of my favorite actors, Norman Reedus and Udo Keir. I have loved Udo ever since I saw Mark of the Devil. But I have to say that this was truly horror. It’s a bit intense for some because it is truly a dark piece and it remains dark through the somewhat predictable ending. But somehow John Carpenter managed to refrain from adding those elements of stupidity that would have made the film funny.
The characters aren’t stupid, they are driven by an outside force. In fact the character of Kirby is even pretty smart (a rarity in horror movies); he opts to do the smart thing but is pressured into doing the stupid thing. The one point in the film where things could hove gotten humorous was Udo’s final scene. Instead of funny it came off as twisted, thanks to Udo’s skill.
I will be watching more of this series. While I think I’m going to find a lot more unintentional black comedy, I’m really hoping to find more gems like Cigarette Burns and Family.