THE MONSTER GAZE: a video essay by Kevin Maher

 

 

High-brow or low-brow, a lot of films use the male gaze, where the camera objectifies a woman with a distinctly male view.

 

 

 

But creature-features have their own “monster gaze” and it serves two distinct purposes:

 

 

  1. Add sex appeal to the monster movie.

When the hideous creature notices a woman, the audience gets to leer, too. The viewers enjoy a cheap thrill that’s guilt-free, because they’re not the ones doing the ogling, it’s the pervy creature.

 

 

  1. Humanize the monster.

“Oh the slimy beast enjoys scoping out that lady in a swimsuit. He’s not so bad after all!” Monsters, they’re just like us!

 

 

The male viewer is invited to identify with the monster before he relates to the woman (who sometimes isn’t even given a name). Often the monster is given more character than the women he peeps at.

 

 

Here’s a collection of horny monsters acting as unchecked Ids in a video chronicling THE MONSTER GAZE

 

 

THE MONSTER GAZE – video essay by Kevin Maher from Kevin Maher on Vimeo.

 

 

Note: This video was created as part of KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT FAMOUS MONSTERS, which runs this Thursday night at Brooklyn’s Nitehawk Cinema. Click HERE for details and to see the trailer!

 

Film clips:

CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962)

KING KONG (1933)

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954)

THE FLY (1958)

SATURN 3 (1980)

FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACE MONSTER (1965)

ZOMBIE (1979)

BEACH GIRLS AND THE MONSTER (1965)

JEKYLL & MR. HYDE (1920)

HOLLOW MAN (2000)

THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH (1964)

KING KONG (1976)

LINK (1986)

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1986)

FRANKENSTEIN (1931)

THE MUMMY (1932)

ZOMBIE LAKE (1981)

I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF (1957)

SESAME STREET (1974)

STUDENT BODIES (1981)

Music:

I’M A GIRL WATCHER” by the O’Kaysons

 

 

 

Kevin Maher

Kevin Maher

Kevin Maher is an Emmy-nominated comedy writer and an award-winning filmmaker. He hosted AMC’s THE SCI-FI DEPT and currently hosts the live video-variety show KEVIN GEEKS OUT in Brooklyn. www.KevinGeeksOut.com
Kevin Maher

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