Universal Classic Monsters — S&A138

UMonsterFrankenstein. Dracula. Wolfman. The Creature. The Mummy. Classic monsters.

In this episode, after a few weeks of technical troubles, the S&A guys are back together to talk about monsters. Using the Universal monsters as their guide, they explore some of the cultural and thematic ideas found in these creatures.







4 responses to “Universal Classic Monsters — S&A138”

  1. rhoetus Avatar

    Oh, guys, you don’t do service to werewolves at all! What about ‘An American Werewolf in London’, and ‘An American Werewolf in Paris’? I get chills every time I hear “Blue Moon”.
    Or, if you want something completely different, how about ‘Ladyhawk’?
    Plus… as to where werewolves come from: in Nordic tradition you had berserkir, or “bear-shirts” and ulfheldnar which were the wolf equivalent. Both were said to undergo hammask or shape-change in entering into their trance-like mindless rage state.
    This is supposed to be a good thing (at least for those fighting along-side them), as opposed to Jekyl and Hyde, which I understand is about a guy losing his humanity to a drug…probably alcohol…which makes him turn from a pretty decent fellow to a deranged monster.

    1. Ben Avatar

      You’re absolutely right about American Werewolf in London. I meant to mention it.

      But Paris? I’ll just have to agree to disagree about that one. That one belongs squarely in my condemnation of MOST werewolf movies.

      Ladyhawk, though? You just made me go watch that again. That is SUCH a great movie! 80’s fantasy is another topic that needs to be addressed! And yes, a GREAT example of a very different type of werewolf.

  2. rhoetus Avatar

    Okay, so ‘Paris’ is …only really valuable as an homage or continuation of ‘London’, but I think that more modern sfx could have made it more palatable.

  3. Michael Poteet Avatar

    Great discussion, guys! I really appreciate how you lift up the psychological resonances of each creature/monster, especially for the werewolf. I’ve not seen “Teen Wolf” in any of its iterations but, wow, why have I never connected the werewolf as a metaphor for puberty and adolescence before? (Well, maybe it’s because I’ve never been living with a teen in my house until now…!) I also found the discussion of the development (devolution?) of the cross in vampire stories interesting.

    I’ve not seen all of these, but, of the ones I’ve seen, my favorite is “Bride of Frankenstein.” (Shameless plug alert for a Halloween post I wrote on “Bride” for the SFC a few years back: http://thescifichristian.com/2011/10/doing-theology-with-the-bride-of-frankenstein/)

    The reason you can never outrun the Mummy in mummy movies is that no one can outrun death. I didn’t realize this until this year’s Doctor Who episode “Mummy on the Orient Express,” where it is more or less stated explicitly. I felt like, “Oh, duh!” Death shambles toward us all, sooner or later…

    Not only do the Remans in “Nemesis” look like Nosferatu, but that film as a whole is Bram Stoker’s original Dracula novel transposed into the Star Trek universe (the telepathic attack on Troi is like Dracula’s attack on Lucy… there are other parallels, they escape me at the moment, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it).

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