Sunday, August 24, 2008

While Working in the Laboratory Late One Night

I received a comment on my photo of Dolores Fuller, who represents my idea of the successful lab assistant-type from such fine films as "Bride of the Monster"; the commenter said that they didn't think I could pull off a facial expression as dumb as Dolores, and suggested Bebe Daniels as a role model instead.

Now, don't get me wrong, I adore Bebe, she was in "42nd Street", a great musical. However, she never played a lab assistant. In my searches, though, I recalled a late, great actress with tons of horror movie cred who played a lab assistant - Fay Wray.

Fay was the woman for whom King Kong braved bullets and planes to try and keep her love (NB how that affair ended - that's why, much as I love Gojira, I would never try to date him; size does matter at a certain point, folks).

Fay also starred in a B movie entitled "The Vampire Bat", which also starred Melvyn Douglas as his urbane, witty, sexy self, and Lionel Atwill as his suave, charming, wicked self.

Fay, of course, is sweet and trusting, but no idiot, even in roles such as this. Lionel Atwill is a mad scientist of the less-than-nice variety, coercing a subordinate into killing villagers for their blood. Melvyn Douglas is the law enforcement official, as much as a village like that is going to have, and is in love with Fay Wray, who is Lionel's lab assistant. Here are a few screen captures from the film:

Left to right: Atwill, Wray, Douglas, all chatting it up like the best of friends. Notice she is wearing PPE in the form of a lab coat.

Here is Atwill menacing poor Fay after she finds out what a crazed loser he is.

Here's a nice composed shot - notice the shadow on the far left, the weird apparatus, and then Fay on the right hand side, elements that draw one's eye somewhere besides the center of the frame...oops, I sound like a film school student. My apologies.

The only problem I see with Fay is that she's a lot less, er, buxom than yours truly, whereas Dolores Fuller is not. So I think I will simply have to strive to bring a Fay Wray sensibility to my Dolores Fuller costume. That will require some work. Also, I'll have to find a Melvyn Douglas character to rescue me from the mad scientist, I guess. Although that might not be the worst thing in the world; after all, the women who stay with the mad scientist often end up dead, or a disembodied head in a baking pan, at the end of the film.

So if any of you know of any Melvyn Douglas-types out there, I'll be taking applications. Hey, a girl's gotta be prepared, just like a boy scout, you know.

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