Ever notice that in some of the old monster movies of the fifties, the monsters were often eyeing up the girls? Everyone knows Kong was a sucker for Faye Rae but my favorite was The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954). The story followed a scientific expedition traveling up the Amazon River, looking for fossil evidence of a creature that would provide the missing link from amphibians to humans. Instead they have a few deadly encounters with a live specimen.
To remake or not to remake?
In recent years there have been repeated failed attempts to remake the movie. The SciFi Movie Page has a great article about why this failure is probably a good thing. To sum up, movie makers today don’t get it. But if they did, it would be oh so great.
Nostalgia for Dad’s scary stories?
I grew up on stories of how The Creature From the Black Lagoon was filmed in the same Florida waters I splashed around in as a kid. Jacksonville, Silver Springs, and Green Cove Springs were all filming locations for this classic. My father told me it was based on our very own St. Johns Sea Monster. I suspect this was completely made up to scare me into staying away from the river at night.
A dark fairytale?
But back to the Creature. I always saw the movie as a sad, darker version of The Beauty and The Beast fairytale. You could just see the longing on the gill man’s rubberized face as he watched the beautiful girl swim just out of reach. It seems in these monster versions of the fairytale, the girl is always the creature’s downfall. So what do you think is going on there, hmm? Well, in my stories the monster always gets the girl and he doesn’t turn into a handsome prince either. I was using this ending long before Shrek!
So what are your favorite Monster Classics and why?
6 thoughts on “Classic Horror Flicks: Monsters need love, too!”
I am generally not a monster fan, but one of my all time favorites is THEM about giant ants.
To this day, it still gives me chills when I think of how that little girl screamed. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.
It is hard to love big bugs! I have a scene in one of my book with ants. Not big ones, but my CPs all cringed and complained about it. :0
Modern remakes seem to be more frightening – made for shock value and gore. I loved Frankenstein when I was a kid because, as horrific as the monster was, he seemed to be struggling to find his soul or love or some redeeming part of himself.
You’re right, in the end, the girl was always the monster’s undoing.
Yeah, today’s directors don’t seem to have any sympathy for the monsters. There is a part of most of us that will always identify with the monster – the outcast, the unlovable, the misunderstood.
I had this weird dream, over and over again, when I was a kid. This monster was chasing me and I could never get away. I’d wake with my heart pounding, drenched in sweat. One night, in the dream, I stopped running. I turned around and faced the monster and yelled at him – What do you want from me? He stopped too and he started to cry. He said, “I just want love. I’m the part of you deep inside that needs your love and attention and this was the only way I could get your attention.” Wow. Never had that dream again. I think I was fourteen at the time.
I so relate!
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