I have a deep, dark confession to make.
I am a straight, married, horror movie loving, old school Goth and...I love musicals.
I always have. It's something my mother introduced to me as a child and - to this day - I still love musicals.
Of course, being Doctor Zombie, I would be remiss if I didn't also explain that I tend to see the darker side of the entire genre. There is nothing so tragic as what the studio system did to the beautiful and phenomenally talented Judy Garland. Drugs and alcohol made a shambles of her later life, but her voice remained angelic until the end. And how fucking creepy is the end of My Fair Lady when the wispy, fairy-like, gorgeous Audrey Hepburn is embraced and kissed by the old and wrinkled Rex Harrison? I can't watch it without feeling like I'm watching a pedephile move in on the teenage babysitter.
"I'm Chris Hanson with MSNBC. Why don't you have a seat over there. Are you 'firstname.lastname@example.org?"
I think part of what appeals most to me is the sense that musicals were a glimpse into a simpler time. I love musicals in the way that I love Big Band music. They are a slice of American pop culture that date themselves as surely as if one had run a test with carbon-14. And there have been damn few modern musicals that have been done since the golden age that hold a candle to the originals.
But that brings me to why I wrote this post. I love Oklahoma. I love My Fair Lady. I love West Side Story. I love Rogers and Hammerstein. I love all of them... but the composer I love above all others is Stephen Sondheim. And his greatest masterpiece - and my favorite musical - is without a doubt Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Imagine my joy when, on our honeymoon, Mrs. Zombie and I found ourselves staying in a hotel in the West End of London on... motherfucking Fleet Street. And imagine the dread Mrs. Zombie must have felt when I explained that my favorite musical was a grisly story of revenge, murder, and cannibalism. And that I was delighted in my dark geekish way at having actually scored a one week stay where my favorite homicidal barber is reputed to have lived.
And - best of all - Sweeney Todd is coming to the big screen. Let's just do a quick geek chic review...
Tim Burton - CHECK!
Johnny Depp - CHECK!
Still a musical - DOUBLE CHECK!
Dear dark Pagan gods - this movie is going to so rock!
Check here for the official site and a deliciously morbid trailer showing Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in all of their malevolent glory.
I occasionally have moments of deep introspection where I look within myself, shake my own head, and say, "What the fuck is wrong with you?!?"
But then the moment passes, and I head down to my lab in the basement of the Midnight Theater of Terror. A little bit of world domination, evil science, and random torture of zombie minions always sets my shit straight.
Unpleasant dreams, dear reader!