Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A History of... Blue Freaks

X-Men: The Last Stand(X3) opens in just 10 days. Naturally as an early disciple of Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters I'm having trouble thinking about much else. I remain wary of the furry Beast's movie debut, though. The character in the comics is a don't-judge-a-book-by-its-cover treat. He's the brainiest most bookish of all superheroes but he looks like a dangerous animal. A blue one. In my efforts to think of the character and not the actor playing him (ewww), let's look back at other similary hued oddities of (movie) nature.

1900-1966 In the first several decades of the movies many were filmed in boring old black and until Ted Turner rescued us by colorizing all those old movies [/sarcasm]... so we don't really know what color many characters were. But green seems to be the favorite for any freakish character be it The Wicked Witch of the West, Swamp Thing, or any number of aliens or monsters. The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz did have a cool bluish tint, though, which only added to his silver foxiness.

1967 In the second season of Gene Roddenberry's eternal oh god please make it go away! Star Trek series and subsequent media empire, we are introduced to Andorians, stupid looking blue humanoids with antennae. Thankfully they do not become major characters in the films (they only cameo).

1971 In Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, vain chewing gum champ Violet Beauregard gets more than she bargained for with that stick o blueberry gum. 'You are what you eat...'

1981 What screams "the 80s!" quite like The Smurfs? They're right up there with smiley faces and Rubik's Cubes. They were a Saturday morning staple for the entire decade. Strangely Gargamel, Papa, and Smurfette never made it to cinemas (terrible news for Tina Yothers' dreams of movie stardom). For Smurf's sake, even the Care Bears got a movie! What gives?

1984 Frank Herbert's best selling sci-fi series Dune becomes a movie. It was full of visual effects but the thing I remember best is those glowing blue eyes on David Lynch's stand-in Kyle McLachlan and the 80s version of Anne Heche (Sean Young) . They both played 'freemen' which I think was a fictional religious sect whose members ate a lot of some spice known as melange --which made their eyes into crazysexycool peepers. This still does not explain Paul Newman.

1988 In every plushies --or is it furries?-- favorite 80s sex comedy Earth Girls Are Easy Jim Carrey, Damon Wayans, and Jeff Goldblum play furry aliens trying to get laid. Goldblum is the blue one and he gets the best hook-up (Geena Davis in a bikini -huzzah). He also snagged her in real life. Underneath the blue fur he actually looked like this, which also goes to explain the Laura Dern hookup shortly thereafter.

1989 Everyone's favorite modern Disney villainess Ursula (from The Little Mermaid) may not be exactly easy on the eyes but she knew how to work her nearly monochromatic look with all kinds of shades of blues and purples at working. My favorite part is her tribute to the 80s with that ultra blue eyeshadow.

1990 I would probably be remiss to omit the Blue Man Group from this lineup since they're begging for inclusion with their very descriptive name but I just. don't. get. them. They aren't movie folks anyway so damn their ubiquity.

1997 If when thinking over The Fifth Element your mind immediately races to orange (as in Bruce Willis's circuit party ready backless tank top) or white (as in Milla Jovovich's strategically skimpy white tape outfit) you are probably just a healthy heterosexual or homosexual. With the movies I'm all kinds of polysexual so the thing I remember most is that weirdly hypnotic operatic rock star diva who happened to be light blue. God that was a great scene.

2000-present If you discount the return of those glowing blue peepers in the TV series of Dune (and we should --the costume designer commits more atrocities against the color wheel than I have ever seen in any other film or tv show and I don't mean that as a joke at all. Your eyes will bleed) and that rambunctious Disney critter Stitch with a propensity for destruction that would give the Tasmanian devil pause, the color blue has been all but copyrighted in the Aughts by Marvel's merry brand of misfit mutants.

The X-Men movies played the neat trick of revealing the blue freaks in reverse chronological order from their comic book origins. Mystique paved the way onscreen. She's not naked in the comics which only goes to show you that sometimes radical changes from the source material are smart moves. Unfortunately three years later when X2 brought us Alan Cumming as "Nightcrawler" they opted to cover him up. Not to be deterred Alan Cumming made sure everyone saw him naked anyway. Now, Kelsey Grammar will appear as the Beast, one of the founding members of the X-Men way back in 1963. He wasn't blue and furry back then --that particular part of his mutation took root later on --but he was still brainy and beastly. With Kelsey on board, let's pray it's not a blue movie.

Recent Histories...
Tarzan * Missions: Impossible * Dakota Fanning * Bunny Rabbits * Sharon Stone *

tags: television, Star Trek, Smurfs, movies, celebrities, Paul Newman, Dune, Frank Herbert, XMen, Comic Books, X-Men, Marvel, Alan Cumming


Jason Adams said...

Jeff Goldblum: Sexy.
Alan Cumming: NOT sexy.
Papa Smurf: Total DILF.

Javier Aldabalde said...

That scene from the "Fifth Element" is absolute classic. I adore it!

Neel Mehta said...

I still can't believe that the blue opera singer in The Fifth Element isn't Jim Carrey in drag. Identical, I tells ya!


ja -what up with the cumming hate? he's blessedly unique.

neel -good call

Glenn Dunks said...

That scene was indeed the best thing about The Fifth Element. Although it wasn't anything bad it wasn't as good as it could've been.

One of the only sci-fi shows I actually watched (or did until the network here took it off and then put it on at 2 in the morning) was "Farscape" and that had a couple of blue main characters.

I must say though you sorta committed a starling crime of omitting . I don't even like the movie too much but it's considered one of the most influential sci-fi/animated movies ever.

Glenn Dunks said...

er, the HTML sorta screwed up there. I meant to type the title "Fantastic Planet" but it didn't and it linked the text? I dunno.

Jason Adams said...

There's just something about Alan Cumming that makes my skin crawl. Can't quite put my finger on it. Nor would I want to. Ever. Shudder.

But I do like him when he's not trying to act as if there's a chance in this universe that he could EVER be sexy. I liked him as Nightcrawler.

Anonymous said...

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Therin of Andor said...

Hey, I resemble those remarks! Except the "stupid" bit.

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