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Where Have All the ‘Monsters’ Gone?

I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.

MUSICAL NOTE - - - If you are musically-inclined, then you can sing the words of above headline with the tune of “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” by the great Peter, Paul and Mary. This song is still popular, but has nothing to do with my hub.

Writer’s note - - - let me say that the following film titles and actors, Bela Lugosi and Boris Korloff are not to be thought of to be of a commercial nature. I am not condoning or urging you to rent any CD or film version starring these legendary stars. I am simply using the images to convey an editorial message. Thanks, Kenneth.

One of my favorite horror classics.

One of my favorite horror classics.

Seriously speaking, change is a good thing if experienced gradually, but change that is experienced too swiftly, can cause confusion and replace the solid, sure things to vanish. I hate that. And this piece applies to the two legendary film stars, Boris Korloff and Bela Lugosi, who instantly became icons in the sense of “monsters” in black and white film.

Just as you have that second cup of coffee, it was swift when the fans of these “monsters,” suddenly, and without remorse, fell in love with them and watched them in theaters all across the nation and although they were “killed” in each film, the fans became sad. Almost vengeful to know that their heroes were treated too harshly.

I too, have to join in this confession. I first watched Korloff with his rendition of The Mummy, and loved him as he made havoc of those small Middle-Eastern villages until the day when the crowds with the police and loaded-guns, made their way to his tomb to do away with such a gentle “monster,” well, I hated that. I really did. I would hope today that there are Mummy fan clubs and not other Mummy wannabe’s, because The Mummy did not and cannot be replaced.

The equally iconic, late great Bela Lugosi.

The equally iconic, late great Bela Lugosi.

I said a lot about Boris Korloff and “Frankeinstein,” but another film favorite was Bela Lugosi, Count Dracula. I just couldn’t help it. Love does that when reality starts to reign mortal man. Dracula, to me, was the first playboy-of-a-vampire. He was in every respect. From his slicked-down black hair to his black, silk cape and wardrobe, Dracula, the vampire, not a kid’s breakfast cereal, made the buying of a ticket worth every nickel.

Even with his accent, he could send chills down the spines of may pretty girls’ spines, both in the theater seats, but in the film where he courted them, then bit them in the neck and became one of his followers. Can you beat this for popularity? I cannot think of one horrible creature in modern-day who could compete with Dracula. Not even the vile Freddie Kruger, could come close.

This includes Jason, Michael Myers (the monster, not the actor), and the crew from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I do know that the entire list of monsters, the classics, are not all here. No room. Sorry.

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Korloff in theClassic, Frankenstein.

And now to talk about the true classic, “Frankenstein,” (the creature), then why we, the now-enlightened, intelligent folk of society, just go back and recreate “Frankenstein,” (the monster) and hear that famous scream,”It’s alive! It’s alive!?” Oh, how I long for that hour to approach. And I am sure that I am not by myself in this dream to have (this) creature do away with a few mean and heartless villains who did nothing but hurt innocent people and animals.

In this remake, let’s lobby for the film-makers, directors, producers and writers to NOT change the monster too much by applying modern-day events and folks who really didn’t belong in a classic like “Frankenstein.” You know it and I know it. Please help the film-makers to also know it. We love this monster and would pay to see him again. PS: and not cast Tom Cruise as either “Dr. Frankenstein,”(the creature) or as “Frankenstein,” (the doctor) who brought him to life. What a stroke of genius thinking!

What I have been raving out on my soapbox for awhile, may just be “singing to the choir,” but while I have been blessed (by God) to use my breath, lungs, mind and mouth, I will promote and protect all of the ‘classic monsters’ mentioned in this piece. Yes, I mean every word of it. I had much rather pay $22.00 per ticket to see Boris Korloff in the Mummy or Frankenstein’s monster, and Bela Logusi in Dracula than 90% of the films that are being shown today.

This is not a knock against the actors or those who produce films with the likes of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Sylvester Stallone, Mark Wahlberg, but I honest promote the men, the actors, and the talented creatures that made us so scared, but oh how great that feeling once we began to love them.

I am so thankful to remember a true “monster,” Lon Chaney, Jr, Long live the Wolfman! . . .Jack too.

Who Could Forget The Wonderful Lon Chaney, Jr.?

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© 2022 Kenneth Avery

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