The Many Faces of Hannibal Lecter

imageI’ve said a few times that I’m a big fan of the NBC adaptation of Hannibal and think this new portrayal of Hannibal is intriguing and suspenseful. I’ve never been that big of a fan of the original movies though- and by original movies I mean Silence of the Lambs. I saw it years ago and didn’t think very highly of it. I seem to be in the minority in that respect since the vast majority of people think it’s an amazing movie and Anthony Hopkins put in an award winning performance. I thought the movie was quite boring and found Hopkins to be annoying and almost comical as Hannibal Lector. This seems a direct conflict to the Hannibal we see in the TV series. So I thought it was time to go back and watch the movies over again and how it all blends together. When taken all together we now have an "active" Hannibal who works alongside the FBI and is quite adept at carrying out his crimes. We have young Hannibal who gets thrown an incredibly dark path due to horrific events involving his sister. And then we have the jailed Hannibal who works to put other serial killers away. Finally, we have an escaped Hannibal with a bounty on his head. How do all of these flow together if in fact they do flow together?

Red Dragon – The movie that should (or perhaps was if you take into account Manhunter) have been released first. Since we were thrown into Silence of the Lamb, the character of Hannibal never made sense to me. In this introduction to Hannibal all the characters are presented and to be honest they all come across as incredibly flat. We see that Will just barely escapes with his life after Hannibal attacks him, but the reasons for that never really show themselves. We’re supposed to fear Hannibal but we never really see why. All we know is that he’s a cannibal and a brilliant psychologist, but I never really felt a fear of Hannibal. He acts foolish and juvenile and doesn’t strike me as someone who could hide an Easter Egg let alone be responsible for all the crimes leveled against him. He doesn’t come across as being smart enough to get away with anything.

Silence of the Lambs – A very slow and boring movie. Even after all these years and all these rave reviews of Anthony Hopkins, I still don’t like this movie. Even when Hannibal kills his guards and wears a face he carved off he doesn’t instill fear or panic. His mannerisms up to that point just make him seem on the verge of shaking his head and foaming at the mouth like you expect to see from Charles Manson. He doesn’t seem sophisticated, he doesn’t come across as calculating, he doesn’t give an air of cool planning or reserved danger. He just comes across as a lunatic who’s no more capable of controlling his emotions and behaviors than a 5 year old on the playground. This was supposed to be award winning performances and I struggled to get through.

Hannibal – A movie with a plot and storyline that made no sense whatsoever. Everything about this movie felt forced and pointless. All the sequences with Mason Verger as Hannibal’s nemesis didn’t strike a chord with me. Someone is going to take the time and spend the money to do away with Hannibal using feral pigs? Oh for heaven’s sake. Talk about an overly elaborate and easily escapable plan. None of the over the top violence made sense either. Fine you can have Hannibal twisting open someone head like a can of beer to expose their brain, but that really doesn’t do much for the character. Yeah, it was gross, like a lot of other scenes, but this doesn’t make Hannibal sinister or foreboding. Since he has nothing else it’s just a shock factor.

Hannibal Rising – A movie that seems universally disliked, but a movie I like quite a bit. While I don’t fully buy into the origin story I do like and understand this Hannibal. He is cold, calculated, plotting, reserved and always thinking ahead. The misdeeds against his sister have thrown him out of whack and his heart and mind burn for revenge. This explains his initial motivation, but is that really enough to sustain his serial killer desires?

Hannibal the Series – Here we see a tormented Will Graham and a sophisticated and lurking Hannibal. Will is being worn down by the atrocities he has to face on a daily basis. Hannibal steps in to watch and feed off that downward spiral. I think in this series we see all the characters that were lacking from the movies. Hannibal is calculating and sophisticated and a master of misdirection and suggestion. He points the FBI away from him at every turn. He’s twisted and manipulated Will so no one will believe the wild stories he tells. His calm and sophisticated exterior make you like him, but the staging of his victims make you fear him. And you always have it in the back of your mind as to whether or not Hannibal is responsible for the crimes. We see him commit some, but he’s able to throw enough clues and suspicion on others that we can’t be sure of some things. I think Mads Mikkelsen is a far superior version of Hannibal Lector. He has a smooth and comfortable presence that draws you in. By comparison I felt Hopkins wasimage abrasive.

Of course you have to watch the movies in a completely different order than they were released. Silence of the Lambs was a confusing mess and Hannibal Rising feels like a forced origin story. I still think the movies are terrible and don’t understand or agree with the draw people have to them. The movie portrayal of Hannibal is cliché and lacking. The TV portrayal of Hannibal feels dark and menacing. In the TV series, Hannibal feels like more like Jack the Ripper – a ghost of a killer that no one can catch, that disappears into the night after leaving behind a wake of devastation and fear. He’s the gentleman killer that will cozy up to you and you’ll never know until it’s too late. None of that comes across from the movies.

I’ve read about the direction the TV series want to go and I would love to see Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal re-written using these characters and personalities. I think it will make for a far superior story and will far eclipse anything the movies have to offer.

Other Articles of Interest:

Ghost Adventures – Fort McArthur Museum – S09E07

image For this episode, the intrepid trio heads out to San Pedro California to the Fort McArthur Museum that was established in 1914 at the start of World War I. As with anything associated with the military during war time, this Fort has it’s share of accidents and deaths, but there are a couple of events that stand out. First, there is the recent event where a man walked up from his car with a shotgun in his hand just to kill himself inside the walls of the fort. Secondly, this is the location of the Battle of Los Angeles, which occurred in 1942. Without warning, the command was given to open fire on what the troops thought was an enemy air attack. Thousands of shells were launched, but no aircraft of any kind were shot down. In fact, no wreckage about the enemy was discovered at all. The troops were literally shooting at nothing. Some believe they were shooting at weather balloons, while others believe they were shooting at UFOs. No confirmation either way has ever been given.

As they tour the facility they speak with a couple different people who claim to have seen figures walking around. One claims to see a man in a small brimmed hat, while another claims to see men disappearing into some dark portal in the middle of a solid brick wall. We have another guest appearance from Marti and Mike Parry who also believe there is some portal to the other side and Marti tries to walk down the darkened corridor before realizing it’s solid. Mike believes he makes contact with two different men, one of which tells him to go to the supply room where the military uniforms are kept. This is clearly mysterious because no one knows this part of the tour exists, except of course Zak and now everyone else who watched the episode. Since tour guides never take people back there, clearly it’s a hush hush secret. And of course talking about men with small brimmed hats and in uniform is quite unusual when visiting a military barracks. You pretty much have a 50-50 shot of getting that right. They also believe they have made contact with an Ashley Radcliffe who was enlisted as a private in the apparently easily obtained service man list.

So with the investigation underway they believe they make contact with one of the spirits, Jason. He only gives his first name then disappears until the very end when they think they hear the same voice say, "Lisa". During the course of the night they hear quite a few noises, bangs and dragging sounds – perhaps even the sound of someone coughing. Zak reveals that he’s been told a lot of things "off camera" so there is no way the psychics or other guests would know the history of the fort so it confirms all the events they’re experiencing.

Not much evidence is coming through so Zak fires up the full spectrum camera and believes he captures a full bodied apparition. Once he zooms in all the way and moves the point of view around he believes he can make out the head, shoulders, torso and even the legs of a soldier at the very far end of the hall. Shockingly, it’s not in the next photo. He feels this is compelling evidence of confirmation that one of the spirits manifested itself. I suppose that’s one answer, or it could be matrixing and the sincere desire to capture something down there. But I wasn’t there so who knows.

For the last few minutes of the investigation, Zak once again works with the spirit box to try and talk to the man who committed suicide there in 2009. He gets the words "pain" and then what he thinks is "quiero" – Spanish for want. Interesting replies, but I’m not sure how that ties in with anything.

When all is said and done I think Fort McArthur is more interesting because of the events in 1942 where thousands of rounds were shot into the sky in an attempt to hit an oncoming enemy, yet when the sun came up, they didn’t hit a damn thing. People can say there is some sort of dark portal to the other side down in the basement of the fort, but considering the extremely low level of evidence, I think we should just take this as a regular war museum and just pay tribute to the men and women who have served and sacrificed for protecting this country.

Other Articles of Interest:

Ghost Adventures – Heritage Junction – S09E06

image For this episodes our intrepid trio is just north of Los Angeles in the Santa Clarita valley at Heritage Junction to investigate claims of the paranormal. It’s town full of preserved buildings from the bygone era of steam railways. When those buildings began to crumble, they were brought here. But apart from being a museum, it’s claimed there are some sinister stories to go with the buildings. First, there is the death of a trainman, who unfortunately was killed when the train he was on top of went into a tunnel. There is also the story of a woman who died in one of the homes when she was shot through the heart. It is believed her husband was behind the shooting. Either way, this is looking like a cold blooded murder or a tragic suicide. But they did unravel the true story of what happened.

As they gather background stories about the place they come across a man who claims to have seen a figure in the window not more than a few hours ago and an investigator who had a negative experience when she was scratched by something. She ventures back into the house and once again feels a negative energy and feels like she’s been scratched. Both she and Zak compare notes to say they felt angry and aggressive after their time in the house.

Additionally, they get in touch with Marti and Michael Parry who have investigated the location previously. For this go round they feel they make contact with spirits that are associated with Nick. They pick up on the name Helen, which Nick believes is Eleanor which is his grandmother’s name. There is also the suggestion that other family members who have recently passed are in this location with them. How strange that they make the jump from Helen to Ellen to Eleanor and that it’s associated with Nick as well as spirit energy just tripping around the country with him.

As they start the investigation they get the usual sounds of bangs, bumps, footsteps and mumbling. That’s pretty consistent across all of their investigations no matter where they end up. Zak feels he hears the sound of a pipe dragging across the floor when he asks for the spirits to make a noise for him. When they leave the spirit box running they feel they get the words, "Please… Aaron… It’s him." It’s also in this same room where they leave the spirit box running after they leave that all sort of voices can be heard, voices they think say "Betty… Stop."

Later on Zak feels he’s pushed by an entity when he tries to walk up the stairs. This is the same force that Billy feels when he walks around the location earlier that same night. I’m sure there is no way it could be an off kilter stair or a staircase that simply leans to one side that throws them off balance.

We also have the old orb in the back of the head trick. Aaron makes a comment about how he feels then grabs the back of his head. Right after there is a ball of light that mysteriously floats up and disappears into his noggin. To be blunt, I’m sick to damn death of these stupid orbs and how they go into the back of people’s head and manipulate them. I just can’t behind that and it such a worn out idea. Is Aaron really puppet for every ball of light that comes dancing along in an old building?

So in the end they have all the sounds you would expect to hear from an old building. There are creaks, bumps and footsteps. However, this one comes with voices that murmur when no one else is around. That is sort of interesting, but seriously, there are plenty of explanations for that sort of thing not the least of which is air, boards settling and animals moving around.

While the stories of this place are neat, it seems that’s all we’ve got, stories. The psychics can draw whatever pictures they want and claim you’re relatives are standing behind you all day long. In the end not a whole lot happens on this investigation and no matter how dramatic Zak tries to act, sometimes and old building is just an old building.

Other Articles of Interest:

Hannibal – Takiawase – S02E04

imageAs we jump into the latest episode of Hannibal we see Will trippin balls and seeing hallucinations or perhaps the realities of what Hannibal has done to him. Did Hannibal induce seizures in Will to cause time loss and gaps in memory? From the "flashback" we see, Hannibal overstimulates Will with drugs and flashing lights. That’s how we get the deformed clock Will drew.

We also have another serial killer on the loose – an acupuncturist gone wrong. She has decided the body would make a fine honeycomb for her bees. This is of course after using the icepick to take their pain away. Don’t try the honey kids!

But the idea that the bee stings hide the acupuncture wounds leads Beverly to recheck the wounds on her previous serial wherein she learns the liver is gone. Will declares Hannibal is behind these deeds, but where are all the bodies? Based on his memories, Will says Hannibal is eating them. That doesn’t go over very well.

Finally, Beverly checks out Hannibals house while he is at the hospital with Jack and his wife after he foils the wife’s failed attempt at a morphine overdose to end her suffering with cancer. Beverly discovers and unlocks a couple of secrets room including one underneath the kitchen. She may have bitten off more than she can shew as this curious Katz is now face to face with Hannibal in his lair. Darkness and gunshots ensue and one of them isn’t getting out of there alive.

Other Articles of Interest:

Recent Comments

Items of Interest