Fattening Up Monsters

Pepper Mill has discovered a new cable TV station in our lineup – Decades – which runs old TV shows. For Halloween, it’s running a Dark Shadows Marathon, apparently broadcasting every single episode of the 1960s soap opera, in order, all weekend long. She was a BIG fan of the series when it first came out.

Looking at the early episodes with Jonathan Frid as vampire Barnabas Collins, she remarked “He looks so thin!” She says that, as the series went on, he gained weight. You can see it most clearly in his late appearances. It’s part of the phenomenon of Starving Actor Finally Gets Continuing Role, And Can Eat.

The same thing afflicted Boris Karloff. When he first played the Frankenstein Monster in 1931, he was cadaverously thin (something he doubled down on by removing the dental plate in his mouth, giving him a “sunken cheek” appearance). By the time they made Bride of Frankenstein four years later, he had prospered. They changed the makeup in other ways to reflect his ordeal in being burned in the windmill, but they couldn’t cover up his being a fleshier ghoul. Four years after that, he played the monster for the last time in Son of Frankenstein, and he got to wear a wooly vest to cover up.
William Shatner, in his autobiographies, talked about the problems of weight gain during the course of a series, claiming that the velour shirts on Star Trek made weight gain obvious, and forcing hi to diet so the ship wouldn’t be commanded by “Captain Fatty”.

Starving Corpse Finally Gets Metabolism, And Can Eat. If I spent a few years decomposing in a grave and some mad doctor dug me up and brought me back to life, I’d probably pack on a few pounds, too.

That channel is over the air here in Chicago. For me, the best thing on that channel is the Dick Cavett reruns.

I was never a fan of DS. In the original run I only saw a couple of color episodes involving the hand of Count Petofi. Shortly after Decades started, they also ran a DS marathon. I tried watching it but it just didn’t grab me.

Apparently movie and TV sets always have catered buffet tables so the actors and crew can snack when they gets a chance, since everyone gets breaks at different times, and the actors, in particular, don’t want to leave the set in costume and make-up to go out to eat. It lends itself to overeating.

Wait, did you just call James T kirk a monster?

I seem to remember David Boreanez putting on some weight in the last few seasons of Angel. Kind of hard to explain with a vampire, although they did make him keep his shirt on.

Well, according to his co-stars…

Yeah, my sister was a big fan and dialed it up every day after school. I watched, but it creeped me out - not from the horror/ghoulie/monster perspective, but because it was so damned weird, but took itself so seriously… my 9yo mind couldn’t place it in the continuum of reality-v-entertainment.

Heh, my husband happens to run the preeminent Dark Shadows website of our time. I shall ask him if he thinks Jonathan Frid got Kirk-fat in later seasons.

In his opinion, he got more saggy and clothes stopped being so tight. As opposed to Shatner where you can really see the lines from the girdle sometimes.

The 2014 version of Godzilla looked like he(?) had put on a few extra…uh, tons.

Most of all in the middle of the second season, where he wore that wraparound tunic a lot.

In response to this, there’s a button that reads
Real Kaiju Have Curves

I put that in Google and found this: The Wildly Inconsistent Size of Godzilla.

2014 Godzilla reminded me of a tired old boxer, sort of like Rocky in the last Rocky movie.