A Video Review of “Gods and Monsters”
Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker
Having seen this a few years later than most people I was quite surprised. Gods and Monsters received a lot of critical praise. It was good but that wasn’t what surprised me. It was the stereotypical portrayal of James Whale as a lecherous homosexual only interested in seducing young men that surprised me.
Brendan Fraser is quite good, almost Oscar material; it’s just a shame that none of his good scenes are with Ian McKellan who always turns in an Oscar performance even when he’s in ‘dreadful’ genre crap like X-Men or Lord of the Rings. And I would have liked to have seen more of Lolita Davidovich.
It is a good film with skillful use of flashback and a nice ride down nostalgia lane to the olden days of Hollywood notably the 1930s and the 1960s. The story of director James Whale’s last days as told by him before his apparent suicide makes me wonder how this is all known considering those involved either are dead or don’t want to be identified. I guess this falls in among the numerous Hollywood tales of ‘true events’ to base movies on.
Still the portrayal of Whale as this lecherous creature made me wonder why there wasn’t more outcry about such a stereotype, no matter how true or not, on the screen. Don’t enough misguided people already have malignant views of the homosexual community?
Interesting that the things James Whale is most widely known for; his death and his films Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and Showboat; only his death is played up. His death being an unknown quantity at that. It might have been fun to see more insight behind Whale’s choices of film and his directorial skills.