May 20, 2008

Gods and Monsters

Once upon a time, my straight brother and I were driving through one of those tidy middle-class neighborhoods of the American Dream made manifest (the kind Audrey dreams of in Little Shop of Horrors), when we saw a teenager mowing his lawn. “Jeezuz, do ya think he works out?” asked my brother, and I caught the quickest glimpse of a muscular titan mowing his lawn in nothing but his shorts as we drove past. That moment may have lasted only a few seconds for my eyeballs, but my imagination has turned that anonymous lawnmower stud into a thousand fantasies: the groundskeeper, the poolboy, the gardener, Adam.

James Whale was a British born film director and troubled homosexual (we’re always troubled, aren’t we?) who’s credits include Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man - all huge blockbusters of their day. Frankenstein = the Creation = the Monster = Adam. As the director, Whale also gets to play God, and his name syncs up nicely there. I imagine James seething with jealousy during the scenes with Elsa Lanchester (Eve), because he secretly desired Adam for himself!

Baptized in the name of the son...

Gods and Monsters (1998) stars Ian McKellen as James Whale in later life, after his career has faded. His housekeeper hires a new gardener, who turns out to be major beefcake Clay (Earth, Adam) Boone played by Brendan Fraser.

Brendan is a sync hole all on his own, which Jake Kotze is currently documenting at The Blob: K2 and the 2012 Maya Maga Ritual. Odd, that.

If I happened home one day to find Brendan Fraser mowing the lawn in a sweaty wife-beater, I would either pass out or desperately invite him in for lemonade. James manages considerably better than that, and soon has Brendan posing shirtless for a drawing. Much drama ensues when the groundskeeper realizes the homosexual intentions of the older man, and it got me to thinking...

Maybe Adam is a vision of masculine perfection who doesn’t even understand why he was hired. He was told it was to tend the Garden, but the REAL reason is because the Owner of the Garden delights in his every move, from the sun glistening off his sweat dappled brow to the powerful thrust of his arms and legs as he pushes the lawnmower across the lawn.

Which is just a roundabout way of saying that maybe the Creation really DOES revolve around Man. If we let it.

Dad (Abba) is hopelessly in love/lust with his son/twin, and wouldn’t it be typical if the greatest taboo on earth ends up being the greatest joy in heaven?


Ian McKellen (his slight frame notwithstanding), is a major sync heavyweight, with LOTR, X-Men, The Da Vinci Code and The Golden Compass under his belt. In a way, Ian has been playing the same role over and over - the Grail Quester - and in Gods and Monsters, he comes perilously close to realizing his goal.


Jake Kotze said...

Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett in their book "Small Gods" point out that God must have known the score when he made the garden and told Adam and Eve to leave the fruit be. Its like writing 'wet paint' on a red door in a kinder garden, you know whats going to happen...

God wanted us to eat the fruit.

Ralph Ellis believes Adam and Eve are Akhenaton and Nefertiti, kicked out of Egypt, the garden of the Nile. I don't know about that, but it does occur to me now that Rachel Weisz is Evelyn (Fraser always calls her Eve) and Nefertiri (Nefertiti) in "The Mummy Returns"...

kevin said...

Hey I really like your blog and your fluid thoughts on God and man and all his creatures below... takes be back to my youth and ever searching quest for truth on God.

Michael said...

Yea, like putting DO NOT PUSH on a big red shiny button (Ren & Stympy episode).

A lot of Christian teaching says that now that Adam and Eve screwed up, God had to send in Jesus (Plan B) to save our sorry asses. Which is a strange way to think of an all knowing, all powerful God. There IS no Plan B. We're still following some strange script, as f*cked up as it may seem to us.

Great Eve sync Jake, thanks.

Christopher Loring Knowles said...

Frankenstein is essentially a Golem and when researching Our Gods Wear Spandex i read an essay by queer theorist Harry Benshoff claiming that the Golem is a gay procreation fantasy. So Whale's interest in the meme is entirely appropriate. It kind of reminds me of Frank N Furter.

Michael said...

Christopher, well put. It reminds a LOT of Tim Curry as Frank N Furter. Where was he from? I think he had a TARDIS/spaceship cloaked to look like a haunted house.

BTW, I remember being profoundly disappointed by that movie, because I'd been lead to believe that Rocky was this major bodybuilder fantasy, and well, all I can say is that Frank N Furter had a limited imagination. ;-)

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