mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

  • Mood:
  • Music:

The Destroyer & The Frog.

I was thinking about werewolves this morning, & whatever happened to them. I mean, vampires are still alive & to speak. The urban setting of the modern world opens up new possibilities for vampires, & people are still dying & having sex. Their psychological & mythological roots are secure. Werewolves, on the other hand...they just seem like an "et cetra" after vampires. Classic monsters lacking any actual oomph. Oh, there are a few good stories, there is life in the old trope yet, but it is waning. Fading. The better werewolf stories are set in the past, or in fantasy settings-- Red Riding Hood wasn't a good movie but was a decent werewolf yarn-- but generally I find them...flat. Twilight deals with them by trading on...insulting assumptions about Native Americans. Okay, at least playing on racial tension is a thing that is valid in the modern world. There are race & class divides, that is a real thing. Underworld makes them monsters-- & in both film series, they are very much also-rans. They are there to fill the other half of the vampire equation. The problem is that humans don't really suffer predation anymore...not even really at the fringes. There isn't a frontier, there isn't a wilderness. When "wolf" meant "animals from the wild," the werewolf-as-monster had kick to it, but civilization has marched on. America was tamed-- the American West was a great breeding ground for monster, & the popularity of the Weird West stands testament to that. Africa & Southeast Asia were colonialist frontiers, but those were hastily abandoned by the West, & besides, the arrogance of the departing colonialist powers was sort of their defining characteristic.

I guess my thesis here is that there are werewolf stories now; we just call them aliens. That is the big unknown, the big Outside-- Space. The, if you'll pardon me for saying it, final frontier. & Here There Be Dragons, you know what I mean? Hell...there is even the body horror element of it. Alien & Aliens aren't far from being werewolf stories. It isn't "I was bit by a wolf & now I turn into one" but "I was attacked by a facehugger & then I hatched a monster" is just a smidgen removed. The element of the invasion, of the enemy among you, that is a hallmark of the alien story & the werewolf story. Much as "alien abduction" has taken over for stories of being taken to the otherworld of the fey, I think the stories of pod people & alien infection are the new werewolves. I think about other ways to have werewolves, & I think that-- well, I think that the direction George R.R. Martin goes with it is pretty good. First, let me address Werewolf: the Forsaken. There are...well, there is just too much stuff going on. I like that Werewolf addresses the shamanic roots of the werewolf myth (as does A Song of Ice & Fire) but the "wolf" aspect is too jumbled. I've never liked the fact that you can choose between man, wolf-man, wolf-monster, dire wolf & wolf. Just clutter. In there, though, is the thing that I think is genius-- the dire wolf. Yeah, actually...let's take that over the top. Not just dire wolf but monster, just pure apex predator. An apex predator of a supernatural world, of a spiritual place. Turn "wolf" up to eleven. Sabertooth fangs & opposable claws & just monster. The Dream of the Wolf. The Fear of the Dark.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.