Friday, February 17, 2012

The Chills and Tickles of Mannequin Abuse

A thin line separates comedy and horror, both of which provide events that are surprising, audacious and surreal.  In silent films, comedians often managed in their violent abuse of mannequins to dislocate mannequin parts.  They might yank off an arm, tear loose a leg, or pop off a head. Their abuse knew no bounds. They might toss a mannequin out of a window, run it over with a car, or throttle it with all their might. A mannequin is treated no differently in this creepy scene from Luis Buñuel's The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955), a psychological study of a would-be serial killer.

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