ITS ALIVE!!! Everyone else kinda sick of that line. Looking at some of the prototypes and the innovators. Maybe a bit of an overlap but oh well. Warning: Graphic content ahead. Now when I say mad scientist what am I talking about. Some of the great heroes in history could be called mad scientists. Louis Pasteur, Nicola Tesla, the whole gang in Silicon Valley. But for now we will look at those whose ideals didn't quite pan out.
Why am I posting all these offbeat things you may ask, and people have asked. Because I am an academic and we gotta find areas that have not been covered by everyone else. I am actually writing texts, articles and readers that I plan to force my students to read at a later date. Give me your feedback on people in these subjects you know of. Give me more obscure films and give me all things insitewise. Time to get to my first list.
Svengali - this is the madman that no one outside of lit class or film school has heard of and yet he is the one who probably has had more influence on villains of today than anyone else of his era. this is the old guy who preys on young girls and uses hypnosis to achieve total control. Victorian sex fantasy..of course. Cool movie with <name>....absolutely. It is from him that many of the stereotypes of the mad scientist come from. Technically he is not a scientist but we will put him in here just to acknowledged his contribution
Metropolis - here is where we get the look and the cool lab. Like before it also come with images of a young woman being controlled by an older creepy dude. Get used to that theme in movies as it appears to be an enduring one. From the look of the scientist to the idea of robotic life imitating humans, this is the one from which clips are stolen so often to show what a mad scientist looks like. And lets be honest, robot Maria's dance is pretty damn sexy.
Eyes without a face: Is this the film that started the whole torture-porn genre. Who cares, its a cool film that brings in a doctor with obsessed ideas of beauty and opinions of his own talent that exceed his sanity. Basically looking at the god complex that doctors are often accused of and why people who watch gory movies often faint when they see real surgery. As the pic above shows, it is unflinching stuff. Not to everyone's taste but i like it.
Men Behind the Sun: And now for something completely twisted. Any film dealing with the atrocities of WWI probably belongs in a category of their own. This one i mention because we seldom hear about this side of the story. That is the terror ravaged upon China by the Japanese 731 units. This is raw stuff and very hard to watch. What makes it even harder is the main baddy, the "man behind the sun" presents himself as a person with good intentions for mankind. It would be easier if the villains in history actually considered themselves to be villains ya know. This is something that could be watched with gory glee had not the subject matter come from events so real.
I was a teenage werewolf/Blood of Dracula: Lets jump back to Svengali for a minute. Here is AIP, if those letters don't make you smile then you are no horror fan my friend IMHO, strutting its low budget stuff and finding some interesting takes. Why mention them together? Cause they are pretty much the exact same movie that's why. Basically you got a couple of young people; a boy in the first one, a girl in the second, who have inner turmoil. Enter evil, over ambitious hypnotist; a boy in the first one and a girl in the second(at least they are consistent). What do you get? Teenage were-beasts ripping up people at their schools. Which makes the 2nd ones title kinda a head scratcher as Dracula never shows up.
Phase 4- now to something a little less repulsive. How bout a semi good guy scientist trying to communicate with super intelligent ants.......no I'm not kidding. To go through the plot of this would take a bit more time than we have. And actually you get two for the price of one on this one as their are two scientists each with different ways of going about things and you could probably throw in the ants on this list as they are doing experiments on the humans in this one as well. Whichever one you choose they are both a bit loopy and humans, as usual, are screwed.
Sssssssssss- now for something silly! Just picking this film for is easy to spell title as it is the stand in for a massive number of movies that involve a scientist, a helpless victim, usually a damsel in distress at some point and some very dubious scientific information. Through in a lizard, bug or any non-human variation and there you have it.. a monster fit for the ages and a minuscule budget. The ending is a nice add for the power of karma.
That is all for this entry. Right now I am off to do more research and try to get my posts coming up at a more regular pace. This is but one of the areas in horror and macabre that i love and will be posting as much as I can. Hugs to you all.