The Gozer Dilemma

The Gozer Dilemma

While I greatly dislike the notion of pigeon-holing myself to a particular genre as a writer, horror above all else has always drawn me. Something about the ability to instil immediate and lingering fear into the reader is simply an intoxicating idea, away from this however, I find the most enjoyable aspect of writing horror to be the very first hurdle, Gozer's Dilemma.

The Gozer Dilemma was originally faced by Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis & Ernie Hudson while shooting 1984's Ghostbusters,

the scene in question sees Gozer The Gozerian, a Sumerian figure of idolatry return to the 20th century on a mission to reshape the world in his/her twisted image, & Gozer wastes little time in this task, commanding the Ghostbusters near immediately to choose a destroyer, a being of their choice summoned forth to end them.

As is now common knowledge the Ghostbusters settled on The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, more horrifying than frightening I'm sure you'll agree. Writers have & are faced with very much the same predicament at the birth of every tale of horror, man and monster alike, what will terrify the audience best? What a wonderful choice to have to make.

I grin at the fact that almost certainly Bram Stoker winced a little when writing of Dracula's taste for those of young blood, much in the same way John Carpenter and his special effects crew must have during the creation of The Thing. Even the more human monster possesses the power to terrifying disgust. Thomas Harris' Buffalo Bill springs to mind, as does Norman Bates.

The Gozer Dilemma not only unites writers of horror universally, it too unites the audience as it is often the monsters themselves that compel us to open a book or journey to the theatre.

Perhaps The Gozer Dilemma is the most enjoyable dilemma any of us will ever face, I certainly look forward to coming up against it when next I begin another tale of horror.

C. J. McDonagh.