Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Heroine’s Question (Or: Plot Epistemology)

This is a photograph of a TV screen playing a monster movie (I was too lazy to move the DVD over to my computer and get a screen grab):

In the movie, he’s “The Guy” and she’s “The Girl” and he just woke her up to tell her that there’s a monster in the basement and he’s going to go down and kill it and she has to guard the door to make sure no one else goes down there while he’s taking care of the monster.

(In real life when a man wakes up a woman to tell her there’s “a monster in the basement” he expects her to go down and take care of it. But, you know, Hollywood.)

Anyway, in the movie The Guy kills the monster in the basement (although the monster kills another actor first) and eventually The Guy and The Girl get away from the other monsters and live happily ever after.


It’s the heroine’s question—
What if they all go downstairs
and I’m left alone upstairs
guarding the door by myself?

It’s a low budget gimmick
that never has been explored—
Kill all the other actors
and do a film with The Girl.

A thoughtful woman alone
with monsters and the true shape
of the heroine’s question—
Can The Girl carry a plot?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“The Killer Shrews” at Wikipedia


On Being ‘The Girl’

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