Here it is, almost Halloween, my current FAVORITE holiday, and I’m worrying over my reaction to monsters, Dracula, werewolves and so many others. I doubt that I’ve ever seen a Dracula movie all the way through. I’ve never been one to seek them out. I’ve never really been drawn to such films and/or plays. Yet, last week, as my husband and I went to the fall season of Cedar City’s Shakespeare Festival. They were doing a presentation of “Dracula” plus one Shakespeare “comedy” (meaning: no one died in the end), and an old English farce, “Charlie’s Aunt.” All were exceptionally well done. But I found myself waffling between my admiration for and creeped‑out feelings about the Dracula presentation.
Fortunately, for me and many other members of the audience ‑‑‑ many of whom met the following morning to discuss the plays of the previous day ‑‑‑ Herb had read the original book from which all the later versions are derived to a greater or lesser degree. It was good to learn that the slightly choppy production was true to the book: it’s all told in first person, but through many of the characters, one after another. They share letters, incidents, feelings and reactions one, always in first person. That explained a lot about the production to me and to various other audience members who asked several questions about the original book.
Still, “‘T’is the Season,” which celebrates werewolves, zombies, the Undead, the REALLY dead, Frankenstein. Where can I hide? (And I DON’T mean from the Monsters ‑‑‑ it’s the FANS ! ! !)
All right, Brenda, but you DO have some fascination with a close relative to all the above: Witches. Yes, witches. I love stories that have witches, like the villainous old lady who pushes Hansel and Gretel into the oven, like Mab of the fairy kingdom (she’s good in SOME iterations, but deliciously wicked in others). Like the Wicked Witch to end all Wicked Witches in The Wizard of Oz. I can remember her horrible green face in the crystal globe when she threatens Dorothy when I was about 8 years old. Gloriosky! What a fright THAT was! Haunted me for YEARS . . . yet I watched that movie over and over for many, many years. Then took up an interest in The Wiz. And Wicked (though I felt the musical was more engaging than the book).
If you’d like another viewpoint on monsters and bad boys, look up The Fictorians’ post of Oct. 11, 2015: “Sexy Monsters,” by Colette Black. (OF COURSE, her last name is “Black”.) I “get” her fascination . . . I just have never aligned myself with it, unless . . . of course . . . we can include Witches!
What’s YOUR preference? And how could you write a piece or two for YOUR audience (at whatever age ‑‑‑ think the “Goosebumps” books for really young). Share your particular favorite memes with the rest of us. Maybe I’ll finally “get it” for myself.