Feb 102017

Last year I made mention of two short phrases that for as long as I can remember have always stirred uncomfortableness in me… “come and see” and “come with me now.” Neither is inherently a statement that should cause unease, but they nevertheless do in me. There is another such phrase, one I’d long forgotten. In the 1935 movie “Bride of Frankenstein, the new character of Dr. Pretorious convinces Dr. Frankenstein – who had sworn off his life-creation experiments as a blasphemous and bad idea – to get back on the job. Dr. Pretorious at one point offers a toast to their project… “Here’s to a new world of gods and monsters.”

A modified version of that line, “Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters,” has been used in some of the promotional material for the forthcoming “Universal Monster Cinematic Universe,” which is to kick off with this summers “The Mummy.” (It was apparently supposed to have kicked off with “Dracula Untold” a few years ago, but since it kinda bombed…)

Anyway, “a new world of gods and monsters” is a phrase that, like “come and see,” kinda sets my teeth on edge. What’s interesting: I hadn’t thought of “a new world of gods and monsters” in *years* until I saw it revived for “The Mummy.” And yet, now that I am well into a series of interlinked stories set in the universe of “Mass Disappearance” and “Going to Gimli,” being perhaps halfway through what might be a full-up novel, “Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters” would be a fantastic tagline. And while I doubt that the makers of “Bride of Frankenstein” had H.P. Lovecraft in mind when they wrote that line, it fits well into his Cthulhu mythos as well.

My stories, without intending it, would actually almost seem to bridge the Frankenstein and Lovecraft worlds. The world is something that Lovecraft would have recognized, apart from the technology; but the gods and monsters are, unlike HPL’s incomprehensibly powerful beings from Beyond, largely the results of mankinds own efforts, intentional and otherwise.

I have no doubt that there are other such small phrases that have similar impacts upon my tiny little mind. There are some that have virtually the opposite… rather than inspiring vague nameless dread, “ashes of our fathers” inspires pride. Of course, for that to happen, one has to know the fuller context of the phrase, and even then it may well be that emotional links depend on a wide range of circumstances. Had I not seen “Bride of Frankenstein” until five years ago, or never heard of “Come and see” until it was used in season one of “Sleepy Hollow,” they might have no more impact on me than “Yes We Can” or “I Like Ike” or “Make America Great Again.”

So: what have y’all got? What little snippet of religious text, literature, lyrics, poetry, etc. can you hear and immediately feel  a sense of dread that seems excessive to the small little phrase?



There’s also always “BWOOP BWOOP Pull. Up. BWOOP BWOOP Pull. Up.” Hearing that in a movie never fails to give me the willies.

 Posted by at 3:23 am
  • B-Sabre

    “Good afternoon, I’m from the IRS….”

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    • publiusr

      There are lines which stick in my head. I seem to remember something from television:

      “…it’s been chewed” but I think it was a cable harness or something..

      A Bible verse that was used as the title of a Lovecraft pastiche:

      “Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock”

      Then there is the Ciardi translation of Canto III of “The Inferno”


      The Book of Acts 5:9
      “… the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.”

      The Old Testament is even worse.

      One nightmare story might be to have a fundie geneticist actually make entities from the Revelation Bestiary: https://xenlogic.wordpress.com/2010/11/21/a-skeptics-guide-to-bible-prophecy/

      Imagine the way whales were depicted in old woodcuts.

      You are on a boat–and you see those exact same things now–for real.
      Then the things begin to speak…

      My own little piece:
      Benthic Blues

      There is very little else but mud in the anoxic depths of the world ocean. That much was apparent to Vasily as he scanned the muck for the fallen cosmonaut–who made a ballistic descent into the Indian Ocean on a Zond like lunar return trajectory that failed in making the skip needed to bleed off speed.

      Before long, Vasily found the capsule that had traded one type of blackness for another.

      The hatch was open.There were footsteps in the mud.

      Vasily followed them to a corpse that was working alive with eels and lamprey.

      There was no blood–and the flesh of all parties concerned was bleached white–the slime of the hagfish, the rot of the corpse–and the look of fear on Vasily’s face as he saw his comrade begin to rise.

      The out-sized hagfish raced from the undead figure as it rose, only to attach themselves–remora-like–to the bubble of the submersible

      Vasily’s own mouth began to match their jawless gape, as he began to hear the sound of glass scratching…cracking.

      The figure placed a bony finger on the very front of the bubble. cracks surged from the finger–curving up in an asterisk type pattern. The curved shards began to push inward–but slowly–the shards looking like teeth seconds before imploding inward.

      As the lights began to flicker and die, the figure and it’s attending parasites entered what was left and began to feast.

      I was in the steel diver’s lock-out behind the sphere of this Russian replacement of the old Johnson’s Sea Link.

      After being lifted to the deck of the Academic Keldysh, I was told that I had a nightmare due to the accident. That I had imagined the whole thing. (That was before the video recovery.)

      But it wasn’t as if no one believed me–not when something like a gulper eel was brought on board with Vasilys head inside, his one remaining eye leering out from the semi-transparent innards.

      Don’t get me started on what we found inside the capsule itself, before the capsule itself became a type of cuttlefish shell for the thing

      “NO STEP.” Hah.

      The Giger-esque deep-sea fish are along the surface now–some evolving limbs as we speak.

    • Peter Hanely

      “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

  • thingytest 3

    Of this, it has been said: ‘that which has been long divided must unite; that which has been long united must disintegrate.’ (opening line, Romance of the Three Kingdoms)
    (the statement greatly understates the suffering (and millions to tens of millions of deaths) incurred when states break apart)

    • Bruce

      The USSR, or no?

  • Jonpage Risque

    on the other end of the phone I heard “Are you sitting down?” Then I was t
    old my good friend drowned in a lake…

    gf “We need to talk”

  • se jones

    GF: “We need to talk” translation: I need to talk, you need to listen as I tell you we should just be friends “we should just be friends” translation: I’m doing it with some other guy, but because you have a truck I’m keeping you on retainer in case I need you to help me move at the end of the semester.

    • Michael the Somewhat Civilized

      Both quite familiar for the same reasons..

  • CaptainNed

    Another toy that helped destroy the elder race of Man.

    My uncle has a country place that no one knows about. He says it used to be a farm before the Motor Laws.

  • Jonpage Risque

    “Do you have insurance?”

  • Jonpage Risque

    “You don’t know where that fingers been”

  • Herp McDerp

    If you’re a male person of a certain age, you’ll recognize this one …


    “We need to talk.” Yeah, that’s a scary one.

    “What happens if I push this button?”

    “Hey, Bubba! Hold my beer and watch this!

    And although I have no personal experience with this one — thank goodness! — I’ve always found this sentence to be quite evocative:

    “Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

  • Jonpage Risque

    “On the Eight Day machince just got upset..”

  • Michael the Somewhat Civilized

    One I heard, as a student, recently was “I don’t think anyone has explained some things to you.” And then there’s the one I heard from women: “You may have misunderstood some things I have said and done over the last year or two.”