Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dollhouse Is Feminist (Part 5: 1x03 "Stage Fright")


(see the video here)

The third Dollhouse episode, “Stage Fright,” is about the friendship between Echo and Sierra and how that carries beyond the Tabula Rasa state and into quite different imprints. There’s this singer, Rayna, who is essentially Britney Spears, and Echo is assigned to be her bodyguard after a creepy stalker fanboy makes attempts on her life. In order to draw him out, Sierra is imprinted to be Rayna’s biggest fan, and things are arranged so that she spends the day with her as part of a contest prize.

Dollhouse Is Feminist (Part 4: 1x01 "Ghost")

(see the video here)

So, the first Dollhouse episode “Ghost” is the intro to the series and as such serves primarily to introduce the basic elements that make up the show. The Dollhouse is particularly gross with its sexualizing the Actives, but I feel that is a way to show what it is in the most overt way. Even though this sexualizing takes place, there are many cues that show that the Dollhouse is villainous. This includes Boyd implying that it isn’t good and later arguing with Topher about how they’re not humanitarians. Then there’s the work done on Sierra, which is depicted in a horrific manner. Our protagonist Echo sees that “she hurts” even in her tabula rasa state, so already she’s picking up that things aren’t as they should be. Then there’s our faux white knight Ballard, who gives us the low-down on why the Dollhouse is no good, that it’s exploiting girls in trafficking and such, that it deals in sexual slavery. Echo is trapped in the Dollhouse and she continues to be trapped, giving us the basis for the whole series, excepting the Epitaph episodes.

Buffy vs. Nosferatu

(see the video here)

After making the “Buffy vs. Dracula” post/video, I felt compelled to talk about the Master. The Master is the main villain of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 1, and somewhat similar to Dracula in the way he evokes the traditional vampire image. The Master is actually based off of Count Orlock from Nosferatu, a 1922 silent film that was an unauthorized adaptation of Dracula and some would say better than the official one. While Bela Lugosi made Dracula a sexy bad boy, Max Schreck made Orlock a grotesque and nightmarish embodiment of the Black Death.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Buffy vs. Dracula

(See the video version here)

Count Dracula: classic movie monster. He ruled with tyranny over the Romanian people for centuries before making his move on England. With dark sex appeal, his power over characters Lucy and Mina fueled women’s rape fantasies for over a century.

Buffy Summers: symbol of girl power. Her superhuman strength and excellent fashion sense enables her to effectively protect the denizens of Sunnydale from the vampire menace with style. With wit and attitude, her subversion of classic damsel-in-distress imagery provides a feminist twist to the horror genre.

What would happen were these two characters to meet and interact?

Dracula: “I am Dracula.”
Buffy: (starstruck) “Get out!”

The first episode of the fifth season “Buffy vs. Dracula” allows for a contrast between the classic vampire fiction of Dracula and the modern ‘90s’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While generally looked down upon for having absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the season, I think it’s an entertaining standalone episode offering a contemplative look at the implications of the series and how it relates to vampire fiction overall. The title is simply a reference to the goofy crossovers common to horror movies, but it can also be thought of as Buffy, the series vs. Dracula, the general story.