Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How Have the Tables Turned?

"For A Change" by Teo Zirinis
I wrote a blog post before called The Monster & the Victim about how monsters and women (the victims) were portrayed in posters for The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Artist Teo Zirinis has this monster shirt design up for vote on Threadless. The words at the bottom say, "The tables have turned!" I took a closer look to see how the horror poster has changed.

Teo Zirinis flips the poses of monster and victim, but is "The Hot Woman" a victor and against who? 

The woman in the monster's pose visually gives her power over him, but did she defeat the monster? Going by old horror posters, she should be a threat to the monster.

The Curse of the Werewolf from 1961
Because she looks docile and dainty, juxtaposition and comedy results in the consideration that she defeated the monster. The artist probably gave her closed eyes to reflect the kidnapped women in horror posters who are usually drawn as having fainted or screaming. She has no signs of harm on her body or clothes so "The Hot Woman" is no longer a victim of violence. However, she also lacks signs of a fighter so she is not a producer of violence either. The poses, but not the roles, have been switched. 

Interestingly, she does not look pleased to be the one still standing and conscious. Her closed eyes make her look sad.  Does she mourn the monster's rampage which is now over or can she not bear to see the monster's defeated body? She is still portrayed as sexy, which leaves room for attraction.

Close-up of  the figures.

The title says she "Carried" the monster not "Defeated," "Destroyed," or "Killed." You cannot defeat someone by carrying them. The worst you could do is injure the person's pride. The act of carrying someone shows strength, compassion, and affection. She looks more like his savior by gently carrying the monster above the sharp trees pointed at his body. With this train of thought, the title reads more as "The Hot Woman Who Loved the Monster." Maybe she had enough of the violence from both sides.

Another way she is no longer the victim is by consenting to be in the monster's presence. She is not there by force or by accident. The monster is unconscious or dead so we cannot tell what he wants. We just assume he is like the usual monster who comes into our society and finds attraction in female humans. Usually in werewolf movies, the cursed man bonds with a woman before he becomes a monster. Most of the time, the woman does not reject the cursed man after his transformation. Okay, now it definitely sounds like Beauty & the Beast!

It is questionable if this horror poster woman has become a victor or hero. We do not know if she "Carried" the monster because she defeated him or saved him after someone else defeated him. On a poster, she has not stepped up to a contributing role yet. In the title she is labeled as sex appeal.

What do you think? Do not forget to vote for the shirt design at Threadless! If the shirt is printed, I hope it leads to conversations over horror poster portrayals.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Lego Movie is Awesome

Hey guys, I enjoyed The Lego Movie this past weekend for plenty of reasons. I hope you found many as well.

Because I work at Legoland California, I was familiar with the sets and movie characters before knowing the story. I had wondered if the movie would feel weird from my familiarity with Lego pieces and working in a Lego gift shop. This question would apply even more to Lego fans though. Instead of feeling weird, I laughed even more from recognizing Lego pieces, their multiple uses, and their limitations. If you are a Mystery Minifigures collector, then you will enjoy appearances from different series.

If you have a chance to visit Legoland California, then check out the special exhibit called The Lego Movie Experience with Lego model scenes from the movie including the dad's workspace. The opening was Feb. 20, but the exhibit is available for a year. The location is next to Studio Store on the left side of the park.

The Lego Movie Experience at Legoland California

The Lego Movie had some humor similar to Muppet humor. It is not so much the literal vs. figurative meaning of words. I have not been able to label it yet. I do not want to list examples of this humor either so you can enjoy the moment. I also cracked-up over the sound effects and use of Lego pieces for special effects such as explosions.
An explosion example of a special effect with Lego pieces.

Those of you who have read my other blog posts know I love Meta and dystopias. Well, The Lego Movie has both aspects! :D

Two of my favorite characters are Metalbeard and Benny the 80s spaceman. Since I saw the Lego set Metalbeard's Duel, I thought Metalbeard looked cool with his many unique pieces. My friends and coworkers know very well that I like puns and cheesy corny jokes. Yesterday at work, I kept pointing out the chest pun in Metalbeard. He is great to watch and hear on the screen.


I wish this "Spaceship!" tee had Benny's whole body.
My family knows I am drawn to funny-voiced characters such as King Candy in Wreck-It Ralph and Shrek the Final Chapter. This fact is one reason why spaceman Benny is a favorite character of mine. Thanks voice actor Charlie Day! ;)

The main reason I like Benny has to do with his attempts to build a spaceship. I will keep an eye out for a good shirt with Benny. By the way, he is based off of the Lego figure Blue Classic Spaceman.
Rumpelstiltskin in

There are more things I enjoyed and laughed over, but one last aspect I'll say is that the story's messages are awesome. :) I recommend watching it. If you have already, who was your favorite character?