Leviathen

Mr. Molasses stepped out onto the stage. He was standing alone at the very altar Baron Frankenstein had used to create his huge but hideous and nameless monster. Mr. Molasses, who had his own monster and who thought it compared pretty well to the Boris Karloff version, looked lovingly over at his at the manikin he called Kong. If he played his cards right, he would have time to get Kong outside and up on the roof before the predicted storm broke; he should be able to get some great shots of lightening striking his rod.
But first he had to wait for James Whale. He wanted some input from him concerning the proscenium stage. This was to be the set for ‘The Merchant of Vengeance’, the first production of Cumberbatch, Sweetness, & Molasses. As Mr. Molasses envisioned it, they would circle around the Shakespeare play; it would be the slow cinema version. Ever since he had discovered the slowness in his own body, he had been interested in the slow, repetitive movements that build the earth. This was his first chance to show the world what he knew.
So, while it was going to ultimately be a film about the Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice, he wanted to focus in on the vengeance; surely it was of the most repetitive actions that mankind ever precipitated. In this film, they weren’t going to start with the Shakespeare play, not at all; it was Mr. Molasses’ idea to start the film with a little nod in the direction of the great leviathan in the horror movie world. They were going to start with Frankenstein., the film version of Mary Shelly’s1 book, the one directed by James Whale. And don’t you go telling him how much better the Mary Shelly book is than the film. He knows that. But the James Whale reinterpretation of the book has a certain charm that is just not in the novel. And it was already a film.
Let’s compare it to the Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles. The fog and mist, how it spread across the meadows and bogs of Baskerville when Sherlock Holmes was on the case. In the story, Sherlock searches for something he only half believes in, the titular hound. It’s why Mr. Molasses needed a deer stalker cap, and a real one, not some cheap plastic wrap like Mrs. Molasses wore in the rain. Besides he needed to get control of the Sherlock that was living in part of Mr. Molasses’ brain. He could be a pain about that damned cap. ,
And the proscenium stage? Why would you need a performance space that Shakespeare knew nothing about? The Globe was not a proscenium stage; the globe was the world; it was more like a theater in the round.
Think back to the movie Frankenstein. The movie starts with a figure slipping through the curtain to talk to the audience. He is warning the crowd that this is going to be one scary movie. This is straight out of vaudeville. Take for instance the movie Yankee Doodle Dandy starring Jimmy Cagney; the early part of the movie takes place on the vaudeville stage. When George M. Cohan comes out at the end of his stage performance—and boy, couldn’t the young Jimmy Cagney dance—to thank the audience, he steps, as it were—through an invisible barrier, made visible by the curtain:
My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sisters thank you and I thank you.
Mr. Molasses’ reverie was interrupted by the arrival of the legendary James Whale. As Mr. Whale moved out onto the stage, one of his people announced, James Whale is “in the house”, (Mr. Molasses loved that phrase). Everyone grew silent. Mr. Molasses almost backed into the freezer bag and turned it over. This was what he had used to carry his brain around with him. Mr. Molasses didn’t know why James Whale wanted a fresh brain, but he was ready to film it.
James Whale had single handedly invented the modern monster movie, as we know it: go see The Night of the Living Dead; go see The Silence of the Lambs; go see The Blair Witch Project and you can see Frankenstein living in the ice below, frozen, and as meancing as you would ever hope to find. Go even to see,the great Nosferatu and search for the Golems that lived in the shtetls throughout eastern Europe; that came out of a haunted Poland—and you can see how Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein have altered your perceptions. Evil lives in a trancedental Transylvania, as it were
No matter. James Whale was in the house, and he’d finally spotted Mr. Molasses. As he ambled over, a huge smile dancing on his face, Mr. Molasses got a chance to study him carefully. Dressed in an impecably tailored white gabardine suit, he carried a riding crop. It was as if he expected a pony, fully caparisoned, to fall from the sky. Mr. Molasses hadn’t realized how old James Whale was. Why, he must be near 100.
But he was all business. After the formalities and introductions were concluded, after the niceties were discussed as to whom was filming whom and who was directing who, he brought up the brain. He reminded Mr. Molasses that it was the brain that got ‘Victor’ into trouble. ‘Victor’ was what James Whale called Baron Frankenstein, no one knew why. James Whale was also something of a Nietzsche acolyte. Not a philosopher by any means, he had latched on to a few key ideas, like amor fati. (a love of one’s fate.) It was a deep concept, one that could only be practiced in past perfect tense.
In the past prefect. Whew!
Mr. Molasses noticed something strange about James Whale. He seemed to be continuously disappearing and contagiously reappearing at the fringes of his existence. It was as if his life was slowly devouring him, and his self was biting back—as if in his life he had lived in a separate ocean.
James Whale did not mince words. He wanted his brain and he wanted it now. Mr. Molasses was reminded of Dracula. He was surprised. What had Vlad the Impaler to do with The Merchant of Venice? Still, he motioned to his camera crew to move in; he wanted a good close up of James Whale’s face as he looked in on the electrical patterns generated by the human brain.
The Leviathan stirred. He sang. He growled.

Published by extrasimile

define: extra: excess, more than is needed, required or desired; something additional of the same kind. define: simile: a simile is a type of figurative language, language that does not mean exactly what it says, that makes a comparison between two otherwise unalike objects or ideas by connecting them with the words “like” or “as.” The reader can see a similar connection with the verbs resemble, compare and liken. Similes allow an author to emphasize a certain characteristic of an object by comparing that object to an unrelated object that is an example of that characteristic. define: extra: an minor actor in a crowd scene

One thought on “Leviathen

  1. Hi Jim. I hope things are going well. Ive read this latest chapter with my customary enthusiasm – your imagination is astonishing! Whatever is going on in your brain, and I guess there are many things, the fertility of your imagination is the tops. It all makes perfect sense in a Lewis Carroll kind of way. Very best wishes to you, John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: