3/6: The Face of Void – The Mummy!
As a kid of the 1960s, I loved Universal Studios and their fantastic monsters. Readers of my blog, books, and Void already know that, so this is no surprise. But while my favorites were Bela Lugosi’s Dracula and Chaney Jr’s Wolf Man and Karloff’s Frankenstein was a cultural icon, I was not a big fan of The Mummy as a kid still learning to read. My, how things change!
While Dracula has been the subject of more films than any other character (fictional or non-fictional) and the Universal “look” of Frankenstein is still instantly recognizable each Halloween, the Mummy has reaped huge box office success over the last decade with three major films starring names like Brendan Fraser, Arnold Vosloo and Jet Li. So what does this have to do with Void? Glad you asked!
The primary reason I was not enthralled with the Mummy as a kid was that the bandaged, tattered face looked old … dusty … ancient. It just did not scare me very much. Ironically, that’s EXACTLY what scares me about him today. Those old, dirty bandages look like death to me, and if he looks that spooky with them on, I began to wonder … what would he look like if he took them off? I don’t even want to know! I don’t think that’s a shaving cut he’s covering there!
Hammer Films released a newer, sleeker, more violent and sexually charged version starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in 1959. And as much as I love the film, Lee and Hammer in general, nothing can beat the decayed, rotting, aging look of Karloff as the eternal spurned lover, Im-Ho-Tep. It’s no coincidence that, when first picturing the look of Deacon Void in my mind, the image I kept seeing was the mummy … wearing a trenchcoat … with a fedora pulled low. And while you’ll see Void depicted in different ways from time to time with different masks, always know that beneath the mask lies those pesky bandages. And beneath those bandages? That’s a story for another day!
Excuse me… I dislike being touched… an Eastern prejudice.
Im-Ho-Tep (Boris Karloff) from Universal Studios’ The Mummy (1932)
(Doesn’t that statement remind you of a man named … VOID? Hmmmmm)
Coming 20 September 2011: Return to … the VOID!
Coming 22 September, 2011: The Unknown Soldier!