Sunday, July 05, 2015

James Whale: Closet Case?


Here we see movie director James Whale behind the scenes of his most famous movie, with his most famous character -- Frankenstein's Monster -- as interpreted by Boris Karloff.

Now, there have been a few serious, even grim questions directed to me about this Whale fellow.  What sort of Whale is he?  Why do we never see a photo of him in the water -- even in the movie made about his private life, Gods and Monsters, featuring scene after scene shot by the side of his backyard pool as he reminisces about the good old days he spent there in the drink?  Is he one of the rumored piscophobic converts who accepts delivery of the fish DNA, then fights becoming a fish every step of the way?  If so, why didn't he change his name to Stone, or Toyoda, or ibn Al-Abbad?  If his name is just a coincidence, why did he never get converted to our cause?  What gives?

The short answer, ladies:  I don't know.  But the very fact that I don't know suggests strongly that he is NOT an operative in our glorious Cause, and never was. 

Here's what I was able to find out: 

>> Not one of his films has been piscatorial in theme.  Not one!  Gods and Monsters comes the closest, because of the ever-present swimming pool, which you have to admit isn't much in itself.  And Whale didn't lens that one.  It was meant to be his life story, and we never saw him get wet.

>> None of our Whale operatives has ever heard of him, even the ones who can personally remember the years when he lived and the day he died.  That's remarkable when you consider that his Frankenstein is one of the most-watched films of all time, even by Shaved Monkeys with no interest in horror pictures.

>> This is what really caught my attention.  Remember the scene between the monster and the little girl in Frankenstein?  He's playing with her by the side of the well, and due to his low social skills -- which in human cinema is shorthand for INHUMAN AND DANGEROUS -- he pitches her into the well by mistake.  She drowns!  The horror!  And the villagers get out their torches and pitchforks, seeking revenge.  Astoundingly, in a movie where someone is sewing dead monkeys together and bringing the pieces back to life, it's also possible for death by drowning to be a disaster for a whole village.  The little girl is never reanimated, like the pieces that make up the monster, and she never finds a new destiny in the water, as Sadako did in The Ring.  They just, you know, dropped the ball.  WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU?

So I suspect that in all the excitement surrounding the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918, with all those Naked Apes drowning in their beds and REPORTING STRAIGHT TO US to the tune of 100 million new recruits -- our biggest recruiting coup since Noah's Flood -- Whale was simply overlooked. 

You win some, you lose some, I guess. 

We still got Schmuel Geldfisch, though, right? 



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