I’m no expert in movie monsters but I have put words into the mouths of a few.
Over the course of my Hollywood writing-producing career, I’ve worked with a few name brand movie monsters: Freddy Krueger, He Who Walks Behind The Rows (The “Children Of The Corn” franchise) and especially the Crypt Keeper from HBO’s “Tales From The Crypt”.
In order to write for each monster, I’ve had to get inside them. What makes them a monster to begin with? In that sense, I know movie monsters. And the entire Republican Party officially qualifies as movie-grade monsters.
But, even movie monsters have limits beyond which they stop being believable. No screen or TV writer I know – no novelist or journalist – no poet – no greeting card writer – could write a character like the current Republican Party and get away with it. They’re simply too off-the-charts evil. FFS, even Bond Villains have their limits – and the GOP keeps blasting past them!
Movie Monsters I Have Known
While I didn’t invent any of the horror franchises I worked on, I was entrusted with developing them from what they were into what they became – especially where the Crypt Keeper is concerned. The question I asked when I went aboard “Crypt” as a writer-producer was: What does the Crypt Keeper do when he’s not being “the Crypt Keeper”? What does he do after he punches the clock and goes home for the night? Who are his friends? Does he have any hobbies? How does he have fun?
Durable monsters have lots of character detail and nuance. Down deep, something inside us empathizes with them! That’s why they endure!
In the Freddy Krueger mythology, Freddy’s mom was a nurse in an insane asylum. When she gets locked inside the asylum one night, the inmates attack and rape her. That made Freddy “the son of a hundred homicidal maniacs”. That’s some simple but potent mythology. Over subsequent installments, Freddy’s backstory humanized Freddy and made his extreme villainy understandable and – within the context of its own world – entirely believable.
He’s no less a villain for being “relatable” unlike, say, Republicans…
Republican “Movie Monsters”
Let’s pluck a Republican from the crowd – Wayne LaPierre, say!
Wayne LaPierre is Evil (with a capital “E”) personified. Not only does he run the despicable NRA like a Banana Republic dictator, he does it while being entirely bananas! And a dick. No writer could imagine a character so chillingly cold that he gets even louder, more obnoxious and more determined to hold onto his guns every time a mass shooting breaks the news.
I once had a show in development at Syfy Channel about the devil being actively engaged in a town’s politics (in the “Witches Of Eastwick” vein but with tentacles reaching far beyond the town). I couldn’t make the freakin’ Devil as evil as Wayne LaPierre and get away with it!
But then, put into perspective, Wayne LaPierre is really just your garden variety Republican creating garden variety Republican evil. Boy, are Republicans like movie monsters!
A Murderer’s Row Of Republican Monsters
The entire GOP leadership knew that Donald Trump would pose a grave national security threat if he ever became president. How do we know this? Because they said so – OUT LOUD – in a meeting that was recorded. On June 25, 2016, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy left a meeting about Putin’s pressure campaign in Ukraine (back when it started). Entering a subsequent meeting of GOP leaders, Kevin said: “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!”
Think about this. A high-ranking Republican hears information in one meeting that makes him think his party’s about-to-be nominee for POTUS has been financially compromised by a hostile foreign leader. Then he walks into a second meeting and expresses that concern. But no one in the second meeting – the GOP leadership – expresses the least shock at Kevin’s jaw-dropping assertion! No one replies, “Whaaaaat? Kevin – dude – are you sure about that? FFS, why would you even think such a thing about the person we’re about to nominate to be OUR presidential candidate?”
No one says, “Maybe we should get the FBI on the phone!”
No one says “boo”.
Instead then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan took over. “Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: ‘No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here’.” A REAL family… a real MAFIA family. Or a very real family of monsters.
Lauren Boebert couldn’t pass a background check to be your babysitter. Jim Jordan looked the other way while teenage wrestlers he was coaching were molested. Marge Greene, less than a month into the job, begged for a pardon.
The Only “Good Republican”…
Even the “good Republicans” are good only in the context of Republicans. Mitt Romney may have been one of the few Republicans to vote for Trump’s (second!) impeachment, but he’s been with Trump the entire rest of the “but-I-like-his-economic-policies” way.
And, of course, Mitt did pose for this picture —
It’s great that Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger chose to stand on the right side of history and justice in response to Donald Trump’s planned and played insurrection attempt. But how many of their votes prior to that day helped contribute to the delusion that fed Trump’s belief that he could get away with this? Thanks for helping clean up this mess on aisles six, seven, eight, nine and ten, but you helped make this damned mess!
Libertarians are like every bad version of “Frankenstein” ever made. They’re a slapdash of poorly fitting parts all bent on justifying their greed and emotional immaturity. Libertarians think freedom is a ten year old boy howling “you’re not the boss of me!” across a schoolyard. They want every last benefit freedom can provide but want nothing to do with the awesome responsibilities those freedoms demand. And freedom isn’t “free”. It can’t be.
Mitch McConnell – Treason Turtle
If ya set out to invent a Southern Gothic villain, sweaty with Evil, one couldn’t create a character as debased and deplorable, as soulless, as hyper-hypocritical, as bigoted and racist, as comic book obvious as Mitch McConnell.
I bet, as Mitch drones on in the well of the Senate, he cackles to himself as Treason Turtles do. Oh, what he’s gotten away with! What he’s still getting away with! How happy that makes him! If he wasn’t so afraid of being found out for the corrupt Treason Turtle he is, Mitch would sing a happy song out loud!
Mitch is a movie monster squared, cubed and raised to a power of a thousand.
The Boss Monster(s)
Back when Obama was POTUS, Charles and David Koch anointed Mitch as their “bitch in DC”, tasked with capturing the judiciary and turning it from a co-equal branch of government into a Republican fiefdom. The Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper used the word “generous” to describe the flow of Koch Dollars to Mitch back then (and it came through a surprising number of Koch-related sources – like it knew it had to disburse the money just “so” to stay within the letter of the law while violating the crap out of the law’s spirit).
Now it’s just David Koch sitting atop Koch Industries like Dr. No in his undersea lair. Anarcho-capitalist… Libertarian… Greedy sonofabitch. David Koch is downright “Kochian”. It’s his money – his Koch Dollars in West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s pocket that stands between Joe Biden and the Democrats getting this country fully over the hump. Joe Manchin says he’s worried about inflation and budget deficits. That’s horse shit. More to the point – that’s the Koch Dollars in Joe Manchin’s pocket talking.
Joe Manchin may wear a “D”, but he’s as much a Republican monster as any Republican monster – and all Republican monsters bow down to Koch Dollars.
Movie Monsters Count On Having Sequels
Even crap movie monsters get sequels. Movie monsters all count on it. So do Republicans.
What makes Republicans far, far worse than movie monsters is their quiet insidiousness. They are the “systemic” in “systemic racism”. They’re the racists, too. The “systemicization” is their reproductive process. It guarantees they’ll live “forever” like any half decent movie monster. If anything, Republican monstrousness is virus-like. That’s how they spread – on the downlow – infecting your cells so as to turn you into them.
Fighting a movie monster that’s chasing you is bad enough. Dealing with one that’s inside you? Like a Republican? And has plans?