3 awesome depictions of the golem in artS

Halloween is here, and although Frankenstein get all the press, we're going to showcase a lesser known (but no less distinguished) manmade man: the golem! Here are some portrayals of this Hebrew homunculus in film, comics, and music.

There's a certain science fictional appeal to the golem. Although Rossum's Universal Robots author Karel Čapek denied that the golem was an inspiration for his play (which first coined the term "robot"), it's unlikely that the Czech author would be completely oblivious to the folk tales about the golem of Prague, who protected Jews from pogroms in the 16th century.

German director Paul Wegener adapted this story for his 1920 expressionist classic Der Golem, also known as The Golem: How He Came into the World. Wegener made three golem films, and Der Golem was the only film to survive. This depiction of the golem (which is played by Wegener) is brought to life by a symbol on his chest instead of a word written on his forehead. Here's Wegener's film in its entirety from The Internet Archive. Thanks to Discodave for the tip!

Next up, here's a comic book portrayal of the golem. Steve Harper and Neal Adams gave the Prague golem the Seventies horror comic treatment in 1972's Weird War Tales 8. In this comic, the golem activates out of revenge instead of a commanding word. Here's "Thou Shalt Not Kill!" via Diversions of the Groovy Kind.

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Finally, here's a musical tribute to the golem from the avant-garde metal supergroup Fantômas. For their 2001 album The Director's Cut, Fantômas — whose roster included Mike Patton of Faith No More and Buzz Osborne of the Melvins — covered horror and noirish films scores ranging from Rosemary's Baby to Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Fantômas' cover of Karl Ernst Sasse's theme is a sludgy brew of metal guitars and Mike Patton screaming like a banshee (it's catchier than my description, trust me).

All in all, The Director's Cut is really one of the best Halloween albums one could ask for — it doesn't have the pop appeal of "The Monster Mash," but you can't worship ancient Sumerian gods to the "Monster Mash" either.