Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Under Your Skin

What is it about the image of a face in stark white or light, barely pink or slightly grey, with dark, empty eye sockets that seems to be so universally creepy? They're also really effective for a sudden scare, more so than a regular jump. Does it have staying power for you? A shining and familiar example is the "Ghostface" mask from the Scream Trilogy. The most recent example I came across was in an excellent civil war horror movie called "Dead Birds". Another one that sticks out in my mind is "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" with all those changed faces.

Is it the transposition of life--and near death--with the full on dead and gone image of the skull or is there more to it? If the answer to that is yes, then is the very intensely similar image of the "grey" alien a different matter altogether?

When the whole grey alien thing tipped over big time into the widespread media mind I couldn't help but notice that at a glance, or with a less than focused look, I couldn't help but see a lot of similarities between the aliens and Eddie, the mascot for metal masters, Iron Maiden. Prominent cheeks and very little flesh on the bone, the dark pits for eyes, and the general look of the long dead.

Speaking of skeletons, is it just me or have they lost a lot of their power over the years? No one seems much bothered about running across skeletons lying about on their excursions into places that they maybe shouldn't be roaming around in, in the first place. Occasionally finding just a jaw bone will unnerve someone, particularly if its somewhere it shouldn't be. Is that the problem? People expect the skeletons to be in the cave, but its all good if its literally in the closet. Perhaps it's all these crime shows dulling the generally considered universal uneasiness of seeing a skeleton or corpse, and the feeling that it incurs with regard to our own mortality. Something to consider, maybe.

Mood: elevated.
Music: Detroit Rock City by Kiss and Murders in the Rue Morgue by Iron Maiden.

Kiss: Destroyer
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Iron Maiden: Killers

Someone call the Gendarme!


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