Beautiful Baddies Vs. Horrendous Heroes

I have noticed that every form of media representing fictional tales--whether it be print, radio, television, or other--has taken kindly to “mixing it up.” That roughly translates into making monsters misunderstood beings that happen to be drop dead gorgeous heart throbs for teens all over the world--of course, this rule has exceptions, such as The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer--while simultaneously turning all things good and sweet in the world into horrible, distorted creatures of the night with a thirst for blood and claws that would make Freddy Kruger go crying home to his mommy. A perfect example? Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer, which turns a blood sucking fiend hated for generations into a sparkling dream boat. There are many women (and some men) all over the world who would kill somebody if they thought it bought them a chance with the fictional Edward Cullen of Forks, Washington. The key word here is fictional. Some people don’t seem to get that.
But I am not writing to rant about Twilight and vampires (and don’t even get me started on the werewolf thing). I wish to take a moment to explore the other end of the spectrum.
As a little girl on Saint Patrick’s Day, I made it my mission in life to pinch anyone not wearing green. Holidays were my everything, and Saint Patty’s Day was no exception. I even found out that by wearing nothing green to school except for a big hat on that most sacred of holidays that they did not see fit to give us off of school, I would be allowed to keep my hat on throughout the day so I wouldn’t get pinched. It was a beautiful time. In fifth grade, we made what were called “leprechaun traps.” In essence, they were cardboard boxes covered in glitter and green construction paper. But lo and behold, the next day there were little green shillings in there from the leprechauns! They had managed to escape, but they dropped some of their gold on accident! Never mind that the “gold” was green plastic and had “made in China” stamped into the back, or that the little green man had managed to accidentally drop the exact number of gold pieces that there were kids in my class. All the same, we were leprechaun hunters.
It is keeping this fond memory in mind that I am disappointed to report that the film industry has seen fit to make four movies about an evil leprechaun who makes it habit of killing people in gruesome and torturous ways when they take just one gold piece out of his large pot of gold. The cute little Irish man with a red curly beard and a big smile always painted on his face was forgotten when they made the costume. What we see here in these movies (simply entitled Leprechaun 1-4) is a two and a half foot man with ragged green clothes, a tangled beard that looks like it could be matted with blood, and a face with features so twisted it is a wonder he could move any muscle in his face, let alone change his expression.
So you’d say to me, “Just don’t watch movies like that, all right?”
NO. Not all right. This trading of moralities between monsters and “goodies” is not confined solely to Hollywood. A most perfect example would be the new book, Zombies Vs. Unicorns. (Team Zombie all the way!) This is a compilation of several stories, some about zombies, some unicorns, and one or two about both, and features authors such as Scott Westerfield, Dawn Johnson, Meg Cabot, and Garth Nix. Some of the Team Zombie stories portray zombies as being misunderstood and not evil (Love Will Tear Us Apart, and Inoculata.) while others focus on evil, bloodthirsty horses with wicked spikes sprouting from their heads dripping blood (The Care and Feeding of Your Baby Killer Unicorn and Princess Prettypants). (I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in zombies, unicorns, or both.) (I’m still Team Zombie.)
This twist in society has left me waiting for a story featuring a man in a purple dinosaur suit that goes psycho and starts to kill all the little kids that attend his sing a-long shows. Do we really want that to be the world our children grow up in? (Though I personally wouldn’t worry about it too much as applying to myself. I’m not allowed to even date until I’m thirty-six. But is this the kind of world we want your children to grow up in?)
It has come to the point where the unexpected has become expected. I feel that within ten years, a movie will be made about a monster that turns out to actually be--gasp!--evil, and people will exit the theater, their eyes wide, and say, “I never saw that coming! That was incredible!”
So here’s a message to everyone involved with the media out there: You even think about touching Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, I’m going to have to send you a very strongly worded letter. And I might even do the same to anyone who tries to get in my way. Because I’m just that kind of ruthless.





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butterfingers_10 said...
Jul. 4, 2011 at 12:30 am
I absolutley love this article. AWESOME writing! Your sense of humor made me laugh the whole way through :D Keep writing!
 
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