Some horror movies are scary, and some serve as some kind of a dark and twisted mirror for our lives, for our culture. Flesh for Frankenstein is one of those movies, yet it is so campy that I almost missed that; it is so gory that I almost threw the DVD out of the window (which is bad, 'cause it's a library copy). Yet, it does have certain merits to it, if (yet again) you look hard enough.
It is yet another strange spin on the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his unnamed creation, but it is taken to an almost Rocky Horror's extreme: The Baron creates the monster to join his earlier creation, "a female zombie", in order to create "a new human race". It adds to that a lot of very dark humor, much gore and sex. It also has the infamous line: " To know death, Otto, you have to fuck life... in the gall bladder!" Yeah, that's the movie we're talking about.
But still, there is something to learn from this movie, right? Rrrrrrright…
It's quite hard to find something in there, you know, social commentary, gore and sex aside. But we can learn from it something, though, or I wouldn't be writing this piece. And what I've learned is that one of the greatest ways to surprise the audience is to build a story on something that they know quite well, and then to twist and spin it until it is *almost* unrecognizable.
The almost is the most important part- if it is too similar, we won't be surprising anyone as we don't have enough playing space. Too different, though, and it will feel completely new and thus we won't be able to utilize the prior knowledge.
When one treats a story this way, the audience gets to feel a unique kind of experience: the surprise to see how different the events turned out to be change, with the anticipation to see those changes. That's the power of the Campaign Comics, for example, and utilizing it to our games can prove this much successful also.
Think about the possibilities of having an evil Snow White and a good Queen Regina, think about the character of the prince who climbed to wake the sleeping beauty- he's a necrophilia character, to a certain respect, and by utilizing it we get the whole relationship that our culture has with those characters.
And that's it for this movie, at least from me. How about you? What did you learn from this movie? Or did you use a twisted twist like this in one of your games? How did it go?