Friday, May 12, 2023

Blood Of The Vines - Flying Monsters

Pairing‌ ‌wine‌ ‌with‌ ‌movies!‌  ‌See‌ ‌the‌ ‌trailers‌ ‌and‌ ‌hear‌ ‌the‌ ‌fascinating‌ ‌commentary‌ ‌for‌ ‌these‌ ‌movies‌ ‌and‌ ‌many‌ ‌more‌ ‌at‌ ‌Trailers‌ ‌From‌ ‌Hell.‌ This week, we examine three films which feature some winged wonders of horror - Flying Monsters - with an appropriate wine pairing for each.

The Flying Serpent took off in 1946 as the living embodiment of the Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl. Ol' Quetzy was one of four main deities of the Aztecs, and the other three had equally hard-to-pronounce names. In fact, the producers of a 1982 remake gave up on trying to educate the public on how to say it and simply called their version Q - see below. 

In this feature, the flying serpent guards an Aztec treasure and really hates it when psycho archaeologists pluck his feathers from him. In fact, that is what sends the killer lizard into a rage, not a threat to the treasure it is supposed to be standing guard over. The lunatic scientist uses that weakness in the monster as a means of manipulating him to kill. "Here, hold this feather, willya?" Then he turns and runs.

Those who pick apart old movies for a living point out that the story was basically lifted from The Devil Bat - also see below - and that ol' Quetzy looks about as scary as a stuffed animal you might win at a county fair.

There was a wine which zeroed in on this movie perfectly, Quetzalcoatl, a limited release from a graphic designer named Efraim Franco. The bottle design seems to be the thing here. Or, you could just do tequila shots.

Q the Winged Serpent is the 1982 remake of the previous film. Director and TFH guru Larry Cohen has the flying dragon-god living in the Chrysler Building in New York City, quite a step up from that cave in who-knows-where, Mexico. NYC has been center stage for other movie monsters through the years - King Kong, Rosemary's Baby, Gordon Gecko, etc.

There is a nest and an egg in this one, providing the viewer with the prospect of more Quetzalcoatl sightings while taking in the Big Apple on the tourist bus. 

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is more of a thing than I could have imagined. It is a deity based on noodles and charged with being the word and the light for the lighthearted religion known as Pastafarianism. The wine seems to be out of stock - wouldn’t you know it - but you could order a Chrysler Building bottle stopper from any number of NYC gift shops and use it with whatever wine you want for your viewing party. I mean, really.

The Devil Bat provided the source material for the aforementioned The Flying Serpent. That film got a lot of heat for its similarity to The Devil Bat, even though they had turned the bat into a birdlike reptile. That sort of script-robbing is the stuff that Babylon was made from last year.

Bela Lugosi plays a scientist driven off his bean by a bad business decision. He gets his revenge by developing jumbo-sized bats - the mammals - to attack and kill his perceived enemies. He also devises a special after shave and trains the bats to go after it. Then, he manages to get his targets to wear the scent. Jesus, I'm tired already. Agatha Christie could have called it The Aqua Velva Murders.  

For a Bela Lugosi movie, you have to be ready for a Bela Lugosi wine. His family makes vino and sells it under Bela's name - despite Dracula's insistence that "I don't drink … wine." I'll bet he'd go for a blood-red Malbec, though, with Bela Lugosi's name on the label.

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