MONSTROUS QUESTION- WHAT’S WRONG WITH WEREWOLVES? – ANSWER # 4 – MICHAEL ARRUDA
(MONSROUS QUESTIONS provided by Michael Arruda)
What’s wrong with the werewolf as a movie monster? Why hasn’t he ever been as popular as other monsters, such as vampires and zombies?
FROM MICHAEL ARRUDA:
I wish there wasn’t anything wrong with the werewolf as a movie monster, because I’ve always found them to be the scariest of the classic monsters, scarier than Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, for instance.
So, what’s the problem? Why aren’t werewolves the smashing success its monster cousins are?
I think there are multiple reasons here as to why werewolves aren’t as popular. Let’s seek out these reasons by looking at what makes the other monsters popular.
Take vampires, for instance, probably the most popular movie monster in history. They’re popular for many reasons, but the one I seem to hear the most, is that vampires— for whatever reason— are sexy. They’re sexy because they’re sensual. They attack by biting victims on the neck, and most of the time before the bite on the neck there’s some kissing involved, and since kissing is sensual, so are vampires.
Werewolves are not sensual. They kill by tearing out the throats of their victims and ripping them apart. Yep, I can see how that would be less appealing than making out with a handsome or voluptuous vampire.
Vampires in the movies also tend to be good looking. Women loved Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee as Dracula, and today, as much as I hate to mention his name, girls do go ga-ga over Edward in the TWILIGHT movies.
Werewolves are not good looking. They’re furry with very sharp teeth. They’re frightening as hell to look at.
Movie vampires also tend to be evil. For some reason, people love evil characters in the movies. It’s why villains are so popular. We don’t want “evil” for a neighbor, but we love him on the big screen.
Werewolves aren’t evil. They’re just ferocious, like the vicious dog down the street that’s going to bite your ass off if he gets out of that fenced in yard.
Let’s move on to the Frankenstein Monster. Usually, the Frankenstein Monster is sympathetic. You feel bad for him. It’s not his fault he’s a monster. It’s Dr. Frankenstein’s fault for stitching his body together from other bodies and then giving him life. As scary as the Monster is, we feel bad for him.
Werewolves are sympathetic too. Who doesn’t feel bad for Larry Talbot? So, mark this down as a plus for werewolves.
But the Frankenstein Monster is also unstoppable. He can’t be killed, which certainly makes him incredibly scary.
Werewolves are not unstoppable. You only have to shoot them with a silver bullet.
But what about zombies? They’re not evil, nor sensuous, and they’re certainly not good-looking. They’re also neither sympathetic nor unstoppable. You only have to put a bullet in their heads, yet they’re much more popular than werewolves. Aah, but zombies attack in immense numbers. They’re an infestation like roaches, and when they appear, it’s an epidemic as entire armies of zombies cover the countryside.
Werewolves don’t attack in immense numbers. They’re usually just one or two per movie, not counting the shirtless buff boys from TWILIGHT.
So, what’s wrong with werewolves?
They don’t resonate with audiences because they’re not sensual, they’re not evil, they’re not unstoppable, and they’re not terrorizing the countryside in massive numbers. Yes, they’re frightening, and they’re sympathetic, but sympathy isn’t always the best trait to have when you’re trying to be a successful movie monster.
If I had to choose a main reason why werewolves aren’t as popular, I’d have to say, it’s the “evil” factor. Werewolves just aren’t that evil. I think it’s time we had an evil movie werewolf. I want to see a werewolf that everybody loves to hate, a real genuine evil bastard, a villain for the ages, the antithesis of likable Larry Talbot. In short, the scariest creature you can imagine, and when he comes out at night, he’s going to do some awful things to people, things we’re not likely to forget.
Anyway, here’s hoping that there are plenty of werewolf movies in our future, and that the best are still ahead.