Author Topic: Did you like the movie or the monster first?  (Read 637 times)

fearliath

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Did you like the movie or the monster first?
« on: March 12, 2019, 10:41:15 PM »
My two favorite Universal Monsters by far are the Wolfman and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (I like them all a lot but these two the most). In a separate but completely related note, these are also my two favorite UM films. As I reflected on why these are my favorites I stumbled upon a question Iím not sure I can answer. I can answer it as it relates to The Mole People. I like the monster because of the movie. I was not previously drawn to the monster at all (although I was familiar with it). Then I saw the movie and the mole people grew on me like an underground edible fungus that requires no sunlight.

So I ask you, as it relates to Universal or other classic monsters, do you like the movie because of the monster or the monster because of the movie? Which drew you to the other?

Monsters For Sale

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Re: Did you like the movie or the monster first?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 02:57:51 AM »
I was aware of the monster names Dracula, Frankenstein and the idea of werewolves before I ever saw the movies.

I read Dracula and Frankenstein quite young.  When I finally saw the movies, I was glad the monster was mute, but disappointed that his eyes where not yellow.  I was also disappointed that Dracula did not climb the castle wall upside down like a fly, with his cape hanging down over his head.  But it was the film versions that I liked best.

Werewolves I encountered first in the 1940 Chaney film.  All of the other monsters were loves strictly born from the movies for me.

So...  Film, in all cases.  (Except War of the Worlds.  I loved the book even more.)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 10:19:39 AM by Monsters For Sale »
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ChristineBCW

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Re: Did you like the movie or the monster first?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2019, 10:31:26 AM »
I think I saw photos of the monsters before any film, and those made me want to see the movie.  So I suspect "I liked the monster first" on Looks Alone.  Some of the movies (the dirge-slow DRACULA, for example) nearly poisoned my attitude for that character, but that film's pace made me understand film-maker weaknesses.  (And reading that book... good grief.  What a bore for a 10-12 year old, especially after the three HG Wells' books.)

I am trying to recall movies that I'd never see 'its monster' before photos, or at least trailers.  FIRST MEN IN THE MOON with insectoid Selenites - those were unexpected when I first saw that film (age 6).  RODAN opens with a series of creatures bubbling up from the mines - I still prefer that whole opening series to the finale of the Rodans melting into the volcano.

Since I think I've seen most monsters first, it's hard to argue that the movie attracted me.  The Movies could make me want to re-watch them, though.  Kong has a great rewatching appeal because the Movie KONG has a pretty excellent story.  I hardly ever watch FRANKENSTEIN without also watching BRIDE OF quickly - so while the Monster is appealing, I'd say "Movie is the hook that draws me back, not Karloff in makeup."

CREATURE FROM BL is an excellent concept and costume,  The film is pretty outstanding - I've come to enjoy Nestor Paiva in dozens of other flims because of his roley-poley boat-captain who turns quite stout and ominous when he needs to.  A small character, but pretty effective.

One element of your question makes me think, "Why do I keep watching some monsters but not others?"  I'll see most every werewolf film, but vampires alone are not a draw for me.  I think I look for some creative excellence in the Transformation Sequence, something interesting... AMERICAN WW IN LONDON, for example - that's as much as a transformation from Human into WW as I've ever seen.  DOG SOLDERS and THE HOWLINGs don't match that one.  But I'll keep watching WW films.  Not MUMMY films, necessarily - Universals, yes, I'll rewatch those but not Hammmers and certainly not the modern ones.

Harryhausen/Willis OBrien films are an interesting lot... I saw photos,  undoubtedly, of the creatures but no still phone ever does the awakening of TELOS justice.  It never could.  Battles with Gorgons, also - no still-photos were effective in conveying the agony that the human battlers' endured when they "looked".  THE REPTILE, on the other hand, was virtually a still photo monster.  There were no prolonged chases and no transformation sequences. 

What about the Harryhausen cyclops films, too - the Seventh & Golden Voyages of Sinbad?   I certainly saw the films only for the monsters, which were poster-material or still photos first.  And in the movie, they were even better. 

I suspect I'd end up with about half-n-half "Love the Monster from Photos first" and "Loved the Movie then the Monster".

Rex fury

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Re: Did you like the movie or the monster first?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2019, 11:39:10 AM »
When I was very young a ship was wrecked on a sandbar in Ocean Shores, WA. Astonishingly my parents let us explore the wreck, the Catala, with (literally) no holds barred. Crawling around inside the remains of that ship would forever link me with a fascination for the sea. So when I first encountered Creature From The Black Lagoon I was enthralled with the monster, the underwater setting and the idea that the underwater world was a frontier waiting to be explored. Over the years Iíve spent considerable time doing just that, thanks to the Catala and the Creature.
The Catala has quiet a fascinating history for those interested in shipwrecks and the messages about environment and conservation in CFTBL still resonate very well today. While I can no longer visit the Catala (the last remnants were removed a few years back) I still enjoy all things creature. Iím hoping to travel to Silver Springs next September for the 65th anniversary of the film and of course a dive or two in the springs.
RF

Hepcat

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Re: Did you like the movie or the monster first?
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 09:42:54 PM »
So I ask you, as it relates to Universal or other classic monsters, do you like the movie because of the monster or the monster because of the movie? Which drew you to the other?

For me in just about every case the monster came first, whether through bubble gum cards, the Aurora model kits or pictures in some magazine. Often I was never even aware of the movie.

 cl:)
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geezer butler

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Re: Did you like the movie or the monster first?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2019, 04:23:51 AM »
Totally monsters first. I used to check out books about monster movies from my school library. That was my first exposure. My dad used to watch horror movies (mostly AIP, Hammer, Toho) so I was def exposed to those films from an early stage, but I didn't really appreciate the actual individual UM characters till I started reading those movie books in elementary school.