They’re everywhere apparently. On TCM, just yesterday, they showed a host of monster movies and they sound nothing if not fascinating.
Over in Copenhagen, there is Reptillicus, a prehistoric beast that has regenerated itself from a recently discovered tail segment. (Ewwww.)
In The Beast of Hollow Mountain, a Mexican cattleman’s conflict with a rancher is settled by an allosaurus from the local swamp. (What’s with reptiles representing our deepest fears? Satan, you snake.)
Another beast, this one The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, was revived by a North Pole atomic blast. This submerged dinosaur swims to New York and goes to Coney Island. (I wanna know, does he ride The Wonder Wheel, play skeeball, enjoy one of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs?)
The Creature From the Black Lagoon, in the Amazon, is a really unfortunate looking amphibian-man creature, with gills on the side of his head and big red fish lips that look like the wax lips we enjoyed as children. This movie was filmed in 3D, and audiences originally wore those whacky viewers with the gray polarizing filters to view it. In Revenge of the Creature, Florida aquarium workers communicate by cattle prod (of course!) with this same captured creature from the Black Lagoon.
I’m not too scared of any of these freaks. How ’bout you? But there are lots of monsters I am afraid of. Take illness, say. Take disease. Take the lung cancer that killed my dad, the stroke that hurt one of my dearest friends, the cancer that one of my beautiful, talented cousins has right now. Take the delicate little gray bird that just flew up to my window and just as quickly flew away (truly).
Wait! What? What does that little bird have to do with illness and disease? I’m trying to write an entry about horror, about reptilian deformity and madness. About monsters and death. Just because it’s a gorgeous sunny day after a slew of cold, grey days doesn’t mean I should suddenly be unafraid. Just because there exists unimaginable beauty on the earth and we get to be here, for however long, to experience it, to see it, doesn’t negate the grief in life. Just because we get to know love in ways that amaze us, envelope us, and turn us inside out… just because we get to create and experience art and culture, because we have voices to protest and sing, because we have irreverent comedy to let us know that the stupid things we do are the stupid things we all do… just because we have governments who keep getting it wrong, but sometimes get little things right… because we get to travel and eat chocolate and drink wine, because we get to read books, because we get to share our lives with domesticated animals who lay quietly at our feet or in our arms after a stressful day…
Just because of all that should we sometimes forget about the monsters? Should we turn our eyes toward art and little birds? Should we take our cattle prods and communicate to the monsters that they need to step the hell back?