Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This Perfect Day

Tapping into primal fears, Ira Levin (1929-2007) gave the world stark glimpses of evil. His works, many of them adapted into movies, leave a particularly creepy impression. And they're scarily entertaining. In Levin's tales, there's usually something sinister going on beneath the surface, and often the protagonist has to scramble to figure out what the hell is really going on. Consider Rosemary's Baby (1967), not exactly a rosy Summer of Love story. The protagonist begins to believe she's carrying the Devil's son. . . . . Is she crazy or right on?

This Perfect Day (1970). Dystopian future. Jonestown gone global and well-refined before the actual Jonestown.

The Stepford Wives (1972). Novella -- woman slowly comes to discover the truth about Stepford. Title enters the parlance of our times.

Veronica's Room (1974). A play in two acts. If the title feels sinister, that's because it is.

Coincidentally, it's Veronica Lake's birthday (1922-1973). Married four times, she died tragically at fifty. Blondes don't always have more fun.

Ira Levin's The Boys From Brazil (1976) -- just in time for the US Bicentennial. Creepy tale of Nazis in South America who've cloned Hitler and are planning a comeback. Added creep factor: Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi "Angel of Death" who enjoyed experimenting with and torturing twins during WWII, plays a major role. In real life, Mengele (1911-1979) was never caught and died in Brazil a free man. Creepola.

On a happier note, it's Edyta Górniak's birthday (b. 1972). Here, the Polish singer inexplicably poses in a bamboo hut. Better than a stick in the eye, I guess!

Today's Rune: Protection.


Beth said...

My mother read Rosemary's Baby when it first came out. She had no idea what it was about, and freaked when the story revealed itself. Still one of the freakiest movies I've ever seen.

Charles Gramlich said...

"The Boys from Brazil" is the only major Levin book I haven't read. He did some good work. I always like his stuff and can see why it's been filmed. It has a very "film" feel to it.