Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Deconstruction: Night of the Living Dead Christian 11

The furry-ous showdown...

Welcome to the detailed (and, unfortunately, spoiler-rich) review of Night of the Living Dead Christian. For a briefer review that doesn't give anything away, read the main review. If you're curious, here's a discussion of why I'm doing this.

This is a rather long bit of reaction, so I'm breaking it up into sections. Hopefully that will allow for more bite-sized discussions. So, now that you've all been fairly warned, we'll pick up the deconstruction after the jump:

To recap: as part of his ongoing quest to cure his lycanthropy, Luther has gone to see a psychologist. She has convinced him that he needs to embrace his wolf-side, and train it not to be violent. Luther feels that he has accomplished this - at least, he seems to, since he has invited his estranged wife Clarissa to come and see the new, improved Luther.

This brings us to the confrontation between Luther and Clarissa. Clarissa has had the intelligence and foresight to bring along a revolver loaded with silver bullets, and to leave behind their daughter (whom Luther had asked her to bring). Narrator-Matt is there also; both Luther and Clarissa ask him to stay so he can help keep Luther in line.

Luther, of course, finds it almost impossible to maintain control while talking to his wife - especially when he learns that Clarissa has been talking with a minister about their problems. And when Matt tries to intervene, Luther clocks him. At which point Luther finds himself in a werewolf rage, but looking down the barrel of Clarissa's gun while she explains that she left their daughter with Luther's father, the Lutheran minister, whom Luther hates. (I'll note again that against all logic and probability, there only appear to be two churches available to the characters in this story.) Luther flips out, Narrator-Matt restrains him, and Clarissa points out - rightly - that Luther hasn't changed at all. She adds, "Here's the cure. But you're not man enough to take it," then leaves her gun full of silver bullets on the table and walks out.

Narrator-Matt gets clawed up a bit in the ensuing scuffle, which seems noteworthy mainly because we haven't much discussed how someone becomes a werewolf. Presumably it isn't simply from being bitten or clawed by a werewolf, since Luther indicates that he's been one for as long as he can remember. More likely Luther is a werewolf for the same reason that Eustace became a dragon in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: he'd given in to his baser impulses so much that his physical persona changed to reflect them. But if so, this marks a pretty serious difference in the way lycanthropy and vampirism work within this particular story; Lara says pretty clearly that you have to have had your blood drunk in order to become a vampire. (Later note: this won’t be the only difference we find, either.)

Meanwhile, Narrator-Matt goes back home, Clarissa (Luther’s wife) is gone again, and Luther seems to be hitting what the Twelve Step Programs refer to as "rock bottom."

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