With Halloween around the corner it’s likely many of you are lining up your favorite movies to get yourselves creeped out for the main event on October 31. With that in mind, we wanted to talk about popular villains associated with this time of year in our Who Spooks YOU? episode. And while most people know the big, BIG names of cinematic villain history, there’s really an entire universe out there from multiple genres to fill anyone’s needs. There are the classic villains like Dracula, Wolfman, the Blob and the Mummy. There’s the horror route with Freddy, Jason, Michael and Carrie. And let’s not forget Voldemort who actually made Harry Potter an orphan on Halloween night (please pause while Kris raises her wand in a moment of silence). For less horror and more wholesome-ish humor, Disney’s Sanderson Sisters, Kalabar, or Cruella de Vil are on tap (ummmm…did we say wholesome?). With so many to choose from we decided rather than talk a little bit about a whole bunch, we would instead delve deep into the dark closets of just two big time bad guys. Without knowing what the other one chose, we came up with two characters who couldn’t be more opposite in scope. Today we dig up the skeletons of none other than The Invisible Man and Oogie Boogie! So if you haven’t listened yet, head on over to your favorite podcast app and give it a go. Hopefully it will get you primed for your upcoming Netflix and chills.
Kris kicks off the episode discussing the classic H.G. Wells science fiction masterpiece The Invisible Man, written in 1897. Let that sink in. If you’ve seen the latest redux of the story in 2020 (Leigh Whanell’s The Invisible Man) you may be shocked the original story was written over 100 years ago. Or maybe it isn’t that shocking since horror greats such as Dracula and Frankenstein were also published in the 19th century (1897 and 1817 respectively). Thirty-six years after Wells’ book was published, the 1933 film starring Claude Rains was released to wild enthusiasm and became a part of the monster universe that had already found its way onto the early cinema screens with the 1913 silent film The Wolfman and Dracula in 1931 starring Bela Lugosi. If you’re interested in reading Wells’ original publication, you can do so with this Project Gutenberg eBook.
Kym’s choice should surprise no one as it is one of Disney’s most iconic spooky villains of all time—the day-glo, bug-filled, zaftig, gamblin’ burlap sack Oogie Boogie! Kym delivers every line describing OB’s horrible character from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) with relish. Although Oogie was the most difficult to…um…flesh out (?) as a character, they hit vocal gold with Ken Page’s fantastic voiceover. Seriously. Can you imagine OB sounding like anyone else? No. No you cannot. Nightmare Before Christmas is the only movie we can think of that wholly encapsulates the HallowThanksMas holiday season, bridging the gap between what we believe are the two greatest holidays of the year…uh…Halloween and Christmas…DUHHHH. (That’s just our opinion and it’s totally ok if you disagree). It even has a passing nod to Thanksgiving in the forest portal to the holiday towns with a turkey carved into the door of the Thanksgiving town tree. As passholders, Kym and her family eagerly await the annual spooktacular overlay Disney does every year at the resorts, especially the “jacking up” of the Haunted Mansion with all the writhing, glowing Burtonesque deliciousness that is Nightmare. Best of all, it is infused throughout with Oogie’s particular brand of odious greatness.
It should not be a shocker that in our conversation about these two characters we had a whole slew of unanswered questions crop up! So to answer what seems to be more questions than we usually have, here are the links to the articles we cited in our discussion and links with answers to all the head-scratchers:
- Kris got help listing all (or at least most) of the films where the Invisible Man character either stars or, ah, makes an “appearance” in using screenrant.com’s article 10 Movies Based On H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, Ranked by Melody Macready, and also from Wikipedia. (Note from Editor Kris: this is just a horribly written sentence, and I apologize but…toooooo tired to care).
- For more details about the groundbreaking special effects that were achieved in the 1933 film The Invisible Man, please read screenrant.com’s article How Invisible Man (1933) Did Amazing Effects Decades Before CGI by Sarah Bea Milner.
- Kym’s Oogie facts came from the horse’s mouth, sort of, at disney.fandom.com.
- Kris’ quick facts about the history of Oogie and The Nightmare Before Christmas came from insider.com’s article 18 things you probably didn’t know about ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ by Marilyn La Jeunesse.
Things We Didn’t Know But Now We Do Thanks to the Interwebs
- Oh THAT’S His Name. Sorry Mark STRONG. Kris unbelievably forgot your name and is forever shamed because Stardust is one of her favorite movies and you make drowned zombie Septimus a thing of wonder. Also, it’s John the Valet, not John the Butler in Cruella de Vil.
- Saturday Morning Ghouls. The Groovie Goolies was a cool Saturday morning staple from 1970-1971 and even spawned a punk band later down the line. Who knew? We didn’t. But now? We all do.
- Oh THAT’S His Name PART TWO. Sorry Rod TAYLOR who was an AUSTRALIAN actor, not English, and starred as H. George Wells in the 1960 film adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine.
- Wells Welles Well. Orson Welles was NOT related to H.G. Wells (note the difference in spelling as clue 1) BUT, Welles borrowed from Wells and produced one of the most historic radio broadcasts in the…um…history…of…well, of radio broadcasting. (Regrouping, stand by). If you’re not familiar with Orson Welles, you are definitely under the age of 20, dare we say even 30, which is just sad as he was one of the best writers/directors/actors of the golden age of Hollywood who spooked — nope…FREAKED THE EFF OUT — the entire country of the US of A. Yep, America got severely shooketh in 1938 when his “War of the Worlds” radio drama was broadcast as a series of news bulletins about a small town in New Jersey getting invaded by murderous Martians. People all over the country panicked, calling police, calling newspapers, packing their bags and booking tickets for off this planet thinking we were indeed under attack by visitors from outer space. Oh, yes, young millennial…your great grandparents believed in martians if only for one night. By the way, Orson? Only 23 years old when he created the biggest fake news in the history of fake news.
- Read This We Dare You. Ok, so Kris knows NOTHING about refractive air index thingy, as Mr. H. G. Wells described in his book The Invisible Man, but here’s an article that you can read if you really want to be a smarty pants. Please send synopsis of Refractive Air Stuff for Dummies when you’re done. Just…comment down below.
- OH THAT’S HER NAME. Because we needed a token woman in this list, the most lovely Constance Bennett played ghostly wife Marion Kirby to Cary Grant’s (if you don’t know who Cary Grant is…why..who are…wha??) George Kirby in the delightful 1937 movie Topper. Watch it. GO WATCH IT. You. Must. Watch. It. GO! Shooo…And then watch Topper Returns.
- Wait! Don’t Watch it Just Yet, We’re Almost Done. Jenna Elfman is not an Elfman by blood, but by marriage. She is married to Danny Elfman’s nephew Bodhi. We’re not linking to Bodhi. We’re tired of linking things. Go Google him yourself. We’re going to bed.
- But Wait THERE’S MORE. For the love of…well we can’t go to bed til we talk about Amy Bruni, of Ghost Hunters and Kindred Spirits fame, who is now the host of her own podcast called Haunted Road. There are 12 episodes in a season, and season 1 just ended, so don’t be like Kris and think your podcast app is broken because there are no more episodes even when all the other podcasts were updating just fine because NO there can’t not be more episodes AND WHEN IS SEASON TWO COMING OUT???!!??.
- Nope Not Done Yet: Hotel Transylvania. If you want a cute yet hip animated monster fix this Halloween, go watch the Hotel Transylvania movies. The cast is incredible (Adam Sandler, Andy Samburg, Selena Gomez, David Spade, Fran Drescher…the list is vurrrrrry long) the scripts are well written and humorous and the animation is Disney level (Sorry Sony…) The stories are great for the family without being too adorable (but that little ginger baby is actually adorable…just sayin’).
- Finally, We End With Frankenweenie. For information about Tim Burton’s Disney-period stop motion short go here.We think it answers the questions we had. Frankly-nweenie, right now we don’t even know our own names.
Thank you for visiting our blog! Don’t tell us you made it this far without hearing the episode!? Go on…go listen, you’ll not be disappointed! (We hope).
Check out The Mugly Truth Podcast’s episode “Who Spooks YOU?” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Libsyn, Pocket Cast, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or (almost) anywhere you listen to podcasts. Then all you need to do is 1) subscribe 2) download and 3) listen! AND!!! 4) If you enjoy what you hear, please leave a rating and a review (pretty please?). The more subscribers and reviews we get, the more opportunities we get to grow this podcast!
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Intro and outro music, Clever as a Fox by Espresso, Inc. through premiumbeats.com.
Outtake music Big Top by Sir Cubfoot, courtesy YouTube Audio Library.
Featured photo of Ghostly Hand by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com