Chronic Dissatisfaction And The Strigoi Of Europe

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Among Europe’s most popular legends are the Strigoi, known as the tortured souls that rise from the dead with the ability to transform themselves into animals, drain energy from their victims and make themselves invisible. Some scholars argue that they can be living beings with supernatural instincts instilled with the power to move objects, control the passage of time and possess special insight to foretell the future.

There are many stories about what lurks in the forests of Europe where the Strigoi dwell as human sized predatory creatures with unusual speed. A ripe subject for literature, cinema and television. They tell the common tale of chronic dissatisfaction with life, cursed while trapped within a fear of change. The only other way to attain immortality is by seeing though the illusion of life’s addiction and ascend, aware only of movement since direction is subjective. But even to do that, one still has to suffer as does the tortured souls most feared in myths in an ironic twist of fate.

woody-allen-20040413-392Although he never refers to the undead, Woody Allen has included some witty dialogue about chronic dissatisfaction in his 2008 film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, “Life is short, life is dull and full of pain and this is a chance for something special.” Some of the directors words also seem to explain why love stories between humans and the Strigoi are so compelling, “Only unfulfilled love can be romantic,”  as images of Edward and Bella, Angel and Buffy are evoked.

Most of the claims about the Strigoi have been dismissed as hallucinations, fables usually attributed to a curse using breadcrumbs to lure an audience as a common ploy of witches who live in candy houses somewhere in the woods of the Carpathian mountains where beasts prey upon lost souls who only know what they don’t want, effectively becoming yet another victim of chronic dissatisfaction.

Sixty years earlier the film Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) took a comical mv5bmja5mdm1ntiwnl5bml5banbnxkftztywnjqxmtu2_v1_sx450_sy356_look at the undead. A respected horror film that is considered by the American Film Institute (AFI) among the top 100 films of American cinema. The plot is set in Florida and surrounds four different kind of Strigoi as Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster are smuggled out of eastern Europe as wax dummies pursued by the man who turns into the werewolf while the invisible man makes a cameo appearance at the end of the film. Even though he cannot be seen a voice is heard, “allow me to introduce myself, I’m the invisible man.”

Although none of them appear in a Woody Allen film, all of them were effected by chronic dissatisfaction and madness.