School has been back in session for a little bit now, too early yet to feel the crushing pressure of midterms…. seems the perfect time to ponder the legacy of students pushed too far in the horror/fantasy genre.
Last night before Radio of Horror, Dr. Chris and I were watching the Masters of Horror: Stuart Gordon episode, Dreams in the Witch House, in which Miskatonic University grad student Walter Gilman (played by Ezra Godden- who was also in the HP Lovecraft based Stuart Gordon directed film Dagon) fears he is going insane after he rents a room in an old boarding house which was the residence of a 17th Century witch. He balances helping out a fellow resident, Frances Elwood (played by Chelah Horsdale, recently featured in Cabin in the Woods, the Killing and Arrow- and Supernatural as Bobby’s momma) and her young son, school work… and uh, nightmares about witches and the possibility of an alternate dimension inside his walls.
In another HP Lovecraft/Stuart Gordon film, featuring another Miskatonic student, Re-animator, med students Herbert West and Dan Cain reanimate corpses and fight against the administration that tries to take credit for their “research.”
In the most recent incarnation of Poison Ivy’s origin story, college student Pamela Isley researches and creates her thesis around manipulating emotions with pheromones, she then gets an internship at Wayne Enterprises and Bruce thinks she’s out of her damn mind. She freaks and steals her research, accidentally dosing herself with the pheromones and giving herself the ability to control plant life.
Sliders, the late nineties sci-fi show, starring Jerry O’Connell, follows Quinn Mallory, Professor Arturo and friends as they slide through alternate dimensions after Physics student Quinn’s basement science project opens a portal to other dimensions. Poorly researched, the friends end up lost, screwing up their world and becoming embroiled in an interdimensional war.
What’s your favorite scifi/horror plot involving students driven astray or pushed to the brink of stability by their ambition?