Saturday, November 05, 2011

She Had a Face Only a Mummy Could Love

The night’s entertainment: the 1964 Hammer film The Gorgon, because cheap horror is never better than when it’s so very British and so very cavalier with its source material.

But I’m a sucker for Medusa and a sudden onset of California winter has me homebound, so whatever. The movie tells the story of the titular monster hiding in an abandoned castle in Germany, allegedly because she fled there after her two sisters were slain. One of the sisters, yes, is named Medusa, so that’s at least right, but this surviving member of the headsnake sisters is named Megaera and the other dead one is Tisiphone. Technically, these latter two are Furies, and the association is strong enough that forms of Megaera’s name mean “shrew” in more than one European language. (The Furies, by the way, are not to be confused with the furries, about which I will not speak, and Megaera is not to be confused with Hercules’s lady love Megara, who in the orginal myth literally gets torn to shreds by him. Let’s just re-write everything while we’re at it?)

The super pressing Gorgon-related question we should be asking, however, is this: If the Gorgon sisters caused whatever they looked at to turn to stone, how the hell did they live together? Careful planning? Deliberate placement of mirrors? Bells around their necks? Was it like Ned and Chuck on Pushing Daisies? Is there possibly a sitcom here? Maybe with Marcia Cross, Jane Leeves and Jami Gertz? Can someone get on this pronto?

My little pet monster, previously:


  1. I'm not sure the other Gorgons could turn anyone to stone. At least, that's what Rick Riordan's newest book indicates. If they could, though, they were probably just immune to each others' ugliness.

  2. I hate to quibble with a knowledgable mythology buff, but unless I'm mistaken, the only different between Stheno and Euryale and Medusa was that the former two were immortal. Right? Personally, I'd like to think that they just wore sleeping masks unless company was expected.

  3. That's generally said to be the case, although I'm sure it varies from one source to another, so Riordan wasn't necessarily wrong. What seems to vary the most, however, is whether the petrifaction effect is caused by a person looking at a Gorgon or a Gorgon looking at a person.

  4. Well, if the Gorgon didn't need eye-to-eye contact to turn someone to stone, it's all the more impressive that Perseus could kill Medusa.