Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Weird Attraction



"What is he talking about?" you ask.  Dr. Frankentstein and The Monster.  Oh, by the way, The Monster didn't have a name.  His name wasn't "Frankenstein", that was the name of the doctor that created him.  A little tidbit to add to the Useless Trivia section of your brain.

The first time I saw the movie "Frankenstein" was in 1951 at the Roosevelt Theater in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  I paid 20 cents to see this movie, that literally left me so traumatized with fear that I was afraid to leave the movie theater after the movie was over.  I was petrified.  I couldn't move from my seat.  


Roosevelt Movie Theater - Downingtown, Pennsylvania

The lights may have went on in the movie theater but it was dark outside and I had a long walk home . . . . in the dark.  I was paralyzed with fear, afraid that The Monster would be hiding behind a building and grab me when I walked home.


Interior - Roosevelt movie theater - "Negroes" sat in the balcony - I always wanted to sit in the balcony but wasn't allowed because I was white - this was the Fifties

For many years thereafter, I was always afraid to walk dark and lonely roads at night.  For a couple of years I worked at the Farmers' Market in Downingtown, getting off at 11 PM on a Friday and Saturday night and I had a several mile walk home, through the countryside.  I was sure Frankenstein's monster was lurking somewhere in the darks shadows of the cornfields, just waiting to pounce on me and tear me to pieces.  To tell you the truth, I still have a little bit of that fear.


"Grrrwl! I'm waiting for you Ron!"


But I also experienced something else for the first time watching that first Frankenstein movie.  I was sort of attracted to Dr. Frankenstein, the actor Colin Clive.  "Sort of?" Oh okay, I was majorly attracted to him.  



There was just "something" about him.  Of course his physical appearance, small of frame. I've always been attracted to slightly built guys - 145 lbs, 5'9" range.  Smaller guys? Not so much and definitely not big guys.  And of course his physical features, masculine yet vulnerable.  


Then I experienced another new emotion at violent, climatic end of the movie,where Dr. Frankenstein confronts the Monster that he was created in the old windmill.  Is there a person on this planet who hasn't seen that scene?  What a perfect metaphor for us, we who have created a monster and now that monster turns on us.  Not only was I scared to death by that scene of confrontation but I notice a new and strange and "interesting" feeling when the Monster got hold of Dr. Frankenstein and flung him off the windmill, only to have Dr. Frankenstein's body momentarily caught on the windmill before falling to the ground below.  

Yes folks, I wanted to rescue Dr. Frankenstein and comfort him and explore this strange new feeling I was experiencing for the first time. It wasn't until many years later that I recognized this feeling.  Not for me the blonde surfer boys or the macho action stars of the movies.  


Troy Donahue - may be good-looking but does absolutely nothing for me - sorry blondie

Admit it, we all have our weird and offbeat fantasies.  This was/is mine.  As for The Monster, has there ever been a better makeup job to scare the bejesus out of you? To this day folks, I remember the first time I saw the undead look in The Monster's face.  This definitely DOES NOT turn me on. But I do know what turns me on and that autumn day sixty-three years ago was the first time I had THAT feeling.  And folks, it's been good ever since.  And oh yes, The Monster still scares the bejesus out of me.



8 comments:

  1. Oddly enough, I don't remember too many fears like that. I also don't have many memories of watching scary movies. Maybe mom and dad sheltered me or something. I do remember seeing "Carrie" in 1975, sitting in the first or second row, and being scared as crap - this at 17 years old! The final scene almost made me wet my pants! You will not catch me anywhere near the burned remnants of a house!
    Peace <3
    Jay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jay,
      I really liked "Carrie" but it didn't scare me. Neither did the wolf man or Dracula movies scare me but Frankenstein . . . . oh yes. Even the comedies of "Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein" . . . . they scared me. What a pussy I was at ten years old.
      Ron

      Delete
  2. Anonymous7:54 PM

    Hi, Ron,

    The Bride of Frankenstein's hair is iconic! Often referred to as a "sperm perm", I loved seeing it in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" on Magenta in the final scenes.

    Yes, you are right, what we consider "Frankenstein" is really Frankenstein's monster. Frankenstein was the mad(?) scientist who created him, per literature.

    You might like the series "Penny Dreadful" on Shotime.

    Happy Halloween!

    ~~~ NB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NB,
      Thanks for the tip to watch "Penny Dreadful" on Showtime. I'll check it out.
      Ron

      Delete
  3. Ron

    Frankenstein wasn't a huge scare for me - altho when I was young all monsters would unnerve me. The scariest thing I remember is Lon Chaney transforming into the wolf man and the giant cyclop coming out of a cave in the 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

    BTW great trasformation of me into Frankenstein.

    Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat,
      "Frankenstein" was THE huge scare for me. None of the other horror movies even came close. Well, maybe "Halloween" with Jamie Lee Curtis. The rest are comedies. I never took them seriously but I did "Frankenstein."
      Ron

      Delete
  4. Ron,

    I commended yesterday, but something went funny and I assume you didn't get the comment. Anyway, I said I also had an attraction, but to the Bride of Frankenstein. I found the young Elsa Lanchester very appealing. I remember being scared walking the length of Washington Avenue going home in the dark after some of those films, especially "The Wolfman". I pulled a stunt on Stuart during the transformation scene in that film. It was winter and my gloves had sheep lining. I turned them inside out and at that scene I grabbed Stuart;s neck. he screamed and dropped under the seat. At bedtime, if I thought about these films I had this defense. I lived in the center of town. If a monster came it would be full by the time it reached me and I would be safe. Of course, you were doomed living out on Boot Road at the edge of civilization. Happy Halloween!

    Lar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lar,
      I remember you telling me about your attraction for Elsa Lanchester as the bride of Frankenstein. I too found her strangely attractive but perhaps not in the same way as you did. Oh you were right about me living in the danger area on Boot Road. I had to walk that long road back home IN THE DARK after seeing "Frankenstein". I was sure the Monster was lurking out in one of those corn fields just waiting to attack me. I was young then and pretty sure I could out run him and hid in the crawl space of my attic. Still, I had nightmares about the Monster wrecking havoc in our second floor apartment then come to look for me . . . . in the attic. Occasionally I still have those dreams. They just don't make horror movies like "Frankenstein" anymore. That was the classic.
      Ron

      Delete