The Men Behind the Monsters

Supposedly all sorts of real-life individuals and situations have been renamed and presented to the world in fictional guise. Science Fiction writer Philip Jose Farmer argued (mostly with tongue in cheek) that Edgar Rice Burroughs based his character Tarzan on a real man. Likewise, fans have searched for the “real” Sherlock Holmes and the “real” Zorro. There was even a real Dr. Frankenstein. Other connections betwixt the mundane real world and the worlds of cinema and literature are less tenable. This list is mostly comprised of identifications belonging to this latter designation.

Robert the Doll, whom I have written about before, wasn’t so much the inspiration for Chucky in CHILD’S PLAY as a case of fans drawing parallels after the fact. The overweight stagehand nicknamed “Gojira” (Godzilla) probably never existed. And while the inspiration for Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray seems obvious, and the disguising of the man Deacon Brodie as the fictional Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde is plausible, claims that the actor Henry Irving inspired Bram Stoker to create Count Dracula are dubious. And the lycanthropic child-killer Gilles de Rais served as the primary inspiration for the fairytale character Bluebeard, but he was most assuredly NOT a direct inspiration for Sauron in THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Now Sauron’s werewolf-like Wargs, on the other hand . . .

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (,, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at


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