Scary Silents: “The Monster”
So…I thought it was about time to do another Scary Silents, but because I’m under pretty much the same time constraints as before, I had to pick another short one. Luckily there are a lot of great short horror silents floating around on YouTube, many of them directed by the groundbreaking Georges Méliès, who was responsible for the well-known film A Trip To The Moon, as well as what’s considered the first-ever horror movie, The Haunted Castle from 1896 (which I wrote about here). He’s also the director behind today’s entry, a two-minute-seven-second movie from 1903 called Le Monstre (The Monster, duh), so let’s get right to it! Here’s the link:
We open on a shot of exotic Egypt, or at least a painted backdrop thereof. You know, sand, pyramids, temples, the whole deal. In the foreground is the Sphinx, bearing a hilariously eye-rolling facial expression like he just can’t deal with this shit anymore. A man and woman enter stage right. They’re both wearing long robes, and the guy looks like a sheik and has a huge fuck-off beard. He’s gesturing to the woman as if to say AND ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT, and then he bows to her and she sits on a convenient stack of boxes nearby while he waves his arms grandly, all JUST SIT RIGHT THERE LITTLE LADY, I’M ABOUT TO BLOW YOUR MIND.
He drags a coffin into the center of the frame, because apparently he’s the kind of guy who just has coffins lying about the place. The woman is all OH MY, and then the sheik opens the coffin and pulls out a skeleton. BEHOLD THE BONES OF MINE ENEMIES, I imagine him saying, glancing over at his lady to see whether she’s impressed. She just seems more confused than anything, and who can blame her? Is this a first date? Were they originally just supposed to go to Starbucks and get to know each other? Is the sheik a serial killer she met on Craigslist? Has she made a terrible mistake?
The sheik gingerly lays the skeleton on the ground and drags the coffin back to where it came from. Then he’s all CHECK THIS SHIT OUT and starts waving his arms again. The skeleton has become animated! It starts to rise up into the air! The woman is like OH HELL NO and jumps up from her boxes with her hands over her mouth. After a moment she reconsiders, because I guess she just wants to give this blind date one last chance, even though things are starting to get weird, what with all the necromancy and what not. She sits down again. Then the sheik sits the skeleton on another stack of boxes, and hilarity ensues as the skeleton keeps floating up from the seat and the sheik has to keep shoving him back down. YOU SIT YOUR BONY ASS RIGHT DOWN, MISTER.
Then the sheik brings over some foofy white fabric and places some of it primly in the skeleton’s lap like the skelly is the latest bridezilla on Say Yes to the Dress, and then he puts some around the shoulders and on the skull like a veil. And then HEY PRESTO, the skeleton spontaneously fleshes out into a mummy-looking person with a wedding dress type getup on. Marry Me Mummy stands up at the sheik’s command and then begins to dance around in the spazziest way possible. The sheik is waving his arms again like he’s controlling the mummy’s movements, and then there’s a cool shot where it looks like the mummy is sinking into the ground like the Wicked Witch of the West, but then comes sprouting back out of the sand before it sinks in all the way. Then it floats up into the air a bit and makes like your standard mysterious hand gestures and what not. Then just the neck gets really long and the head dances around, and this actually looks pretty freaky, so good job there. Then the mummy normalizes again and does more of that crazy-ass dancing. The sheik grabs the mummy’s arm and drags it toward the woman, who has been watching this whole situation with astonishment and wonder. The sheik’s all COOL, YEAH? and the woman is like NOOOOO, GET IT AWAAAAAAYYYY and the sheik’s all AW MAN, I THOUGHT YOU’D LOVE THAT, WAIT A SECOND, THERE’S MORE and then he brings another length of white fabric and enshrouds the mummy in it. And then he takes this fabric away and VOILA! There’s another hot Egyptian princess under there! Why the sheik thought his first lady friend would be happy about this development is anyone’s guess, but the lady friend kinda rolls her eyes, probably thinking, OH, I SEE, I’M NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU ANYMORE AND YOU’D BETTER NOT REQUEST THAT THREESOME YOU WANTED AND ALSO SHE HAS A DOUBLE CHIN AND CANKLES, SO FUCK YOU AND YOUR SHEIKY PERVERSIONS, JACK. But then the lady bows and crosses herself (in ancient Egypt? Okay) and kisses the mummy lady’s hand, and I realize that the lady isn’t a lady at all, but a dude! Hey, cut me some slack, everyone’s wearing voluminous robes and long headpieces, so I can’t tell which gender is which. So I guess the whole point of this is that the lady-dude asked the sheik fella to bring his girlfriend back from the dead, which I would have known if I had checked the Wikipedia page before writing this. Also, the sheik is a dervish. So there’s that.
So then the dervish wraps the hot girlfriend in the shroud again and picks her up, and then he’s all HERE, CATCH to the lady-dude, and lady-dude is all I GOT HER, I GOT HER and grabs for her feet, but when he grabs the fabric the girlfriend is gone and just a skeleton falls out! The dervish is all HAHA, SUCKER and takes off with the fabric while the lady-dude is like OMG I JUST PAID THAT GUY SEVENTY CAMELS AND A MAGIC LAMP AND HE FUCKED ME, and then he runs off stage left after the absconding holy man. Dervishes are dicks, is the lesson there. And that’s the end.
Please stay tuned for more fun, same bat time, same bat blog. I’m hoping to get a couple movies watched this weekend to post about next week (Seance on a Wet Afternoon from 1964 and a new indie film called The Sky Has Fallen, which I was sent with a request to review it), so keep reading, and until next time, keep it creepy, my friends. Goddess out.