Autopsia De Un Fantasma Critical Thinking




Autorretrato con púas (22 años)


Soy

como los cactus

que cultivo

alto

seco

espinoso

frío

e hiriente

pero

maldición

no puedo

evitar

de vez en cuando
darte

desde mi centro

una flor amarilla

Este poema del laureado Óscar Limache (Viaje a la lengua del puercoespín,Premio Copé 1988) me ha gustado siempre mucho. El poeta parece hablar desde su resguardo de púas, desde su desmesurada ansia y su abrumadora ansiedad. Tal como el poema alegoriza, así es la personalidad evitadora o evitante o evitativa (formalmente llamada Trastorno de Personalidad por Evitación).

El término es relativamente reciente (T. Millon lo introdujo en la década de 1960) aunque el concepto ya existía bajo otros apelativos. Por ejemplo Kurt Schneider distinguía a los 'inseguros de sí mismos' -específicamente con la variable de 'sensitivos'- como sujetos 'con capacidad de impresión aumentada para todas las vivencias y con imposibilidad de descarga'. Para Schneider, a la vez que para Kretschmer, el sensitivo  buscaba en sí, antes que en nada, la culpa de todo acontecimiento y de todo fracaso. Kretschmer redondeaba así la idea de la predisposición actitudinal de estos individuos: 'buscan en todo lo posible evitar y anular toda estimulación procedente del exterior'.

¿Y por qué este temor cerval al mundo exterior al punto de procurar su distancia aún a costa de erizadas protecciones? Estos individuos, los evitadores, son dominados por un temor intenso a la humillación y al rechazo, existe en ellos una tensión intolerable al relacionarse con otras personas y acicalan su soledad como un medio para evitar dicha tensión aunque, en el fondo, anhelan fervientemente ser objeto de aceptación y amor.

Si bien es cierto que los evitativos son vistos como gente tímida, inepta, sumisa, socialmente relegada, temerosa y por tanto aislada, en el fondo aprecian la sociabilidad y querrían formar parte del grupo, pero tal es su miedo al desprecio que muchas veces se protegen con una apariencia de hostilidad y reserva, hasta de desencanto y desapego, como si supiesen de antemano que la fiesta de la vida fuese consuetudinariamente para los otros, aunque finalmente ellos pueden llegar a abrirse y confiar en personas seleccionadas que consiguen ganarse su cercanía, para revelar así su delicada sensibilidad espiritual, esto es, aquella alegórica inflorescencia gualda.

Por ello nada más paradójico e injusto que tildar a los evitadores de 'antisociales' por no frecuentar saraos ni sumarse a cofradías. 'Antisocial' es término que se usa en psiquiatría y psicología para designar al trastorno de personalidad que desconoce las reglas, carece de escrúpulos, no experimenta emociones superiores, es insensible, impulsivo, cruel... esto es, precisamente lo opuesto al evitador.

El evitante reune en sí el ansia del encuentro interpersonal y la ansiedad anticipatoria  ante tal comunión  pero en superlativo grado ambas, en desbordante pero reprimida tensión interior como la fresca pulpa secreta del cactus: de tal erizada, punzante presencia, emerge muy de vez en cuando una flor.

Enlaces:

- Viaje a la lengua del puercoespín, de Óscar Limache (Descargar en pdf).

- Reichborn-Kjennerud T, Czajkowski N, Torgersen S, Neale MC, Ørstavik RE, Tambs K, Kendler KS. The relationship between avoidant personality disorder and social phobia: a population-based twin study. Am J Psychiatry 2007; 164: 1722-8.

- Fogelson DL, Nuechterlein KH, Asarnow RA, Payne DL, Subotnik KL, Jacobson KC, Neale MC, Kendler KS. Avoidant personality disorder is a separable schizophrenia-spectrum personality disorder even when controlling for the presence of paranoid and schizotypal personality disorders The UCLA family study. Schizophr Res 2007; 91: 192-9. 

Autopsy of a Ghost (original title: Autopsia de un Fantasma) is a 1967 (released 1968) Mexican horror-comedy film, directed by Ismael Rodríguez and starring Basil Rathbone (cinema’s most famous Sherlock Holmes), John Carradine (Houses of both Frankenstein and Dracula) and Cameron Mitchell (Blood and Black Lace, The Toolbox Murders). The remaining cast were all Spanish speakers – the film is mostly notable for the final screen role for Rathbone who died in New York City on July 21, 1967, aged seventy-five.

Elizabethan dandy, Canuto Perez (Rathbone), roams the Earth in limbo, having committed suicide 400 years previously, doomed to potter about as a ghost in a lonely castle. For the sake of company, he has his own skeleton, which has managed to separate itself from his person and interacts with him as an individual entity, usually being contrary, and a chuckling tarantula.

Perez’s previous life had seen him carousing with ladies without much thought for their feelings and his suicide came as an escape from the Earthly punishment which faced him. A little overdue, Satan (Carradine) appears and offers him a way out – he has four days to make one of four women fall in love with him to such an extent that they would be willing to die for him. The catch is that he mustn’t venture beyond the four walls of the castle and must rely on the Devil to tempt the unlucky females into his lair. Cue much dressing up, a robot and a child who’s at least 30 years old.

The same year George Romero was re-writing the horror rulebook, Carradine and Rathbone had serious gas bills to pay and lowered themselves to appearing in Mexican farces, the horror, and comedy of which would already have been outdated by their heydays in the 30’s and 40’s. The pair had already disgraced themselves (along with Lon Chaney Jr) in the previous year’s Hillbillys in a Haunted Housebut little could prepare them or the audiences, such as they were, for this jaw-dropping mess.

It actually starts rather entertainingly, the jokes are passable, the sets are well decorated and it’s huge fun to see three such famous faces in such bizarre circumstances. Sadly, the joke wears thin extremely quickly, a particular shame as the running time is gargantuan for what it is – approaching the two-hour mark. Worse still, so excited are the film-makers, they forget to include our heroes for around half the film.

Carradine later asserted that Rathbone’s death, shortly after filming, could be attributed to the high altitude they filmed at. That, or presumably, he got to watch the film. It would seem that Rathbone and Carradine both read their lines in English and were dubbed, rather than learning phonetically; Mitchell, the show-off, spoke his, like the rest of the cast, in Spanish. Though the few supporters of the film would claim that Rathbone is having some fun in his twilight years, his scenes as Cyrano de Bergerac and reading Hamlet rather smack of ridicule at his expense.

Shot in colour on a budget seemingly stratospherically higher than standard Mexican films, the urge to pack as much in as possible makes it absolute torture to watch, a constant parade of ridiculous characters, none of whom are any real fun or offer anything of interest. Rightly buried, this will never see the light of day officially, there simply isn’t an audience that would appreciate it.

Daz Lawrence, Horrorpedia

Big thanks to BasilRathbone.net for some of the pictures.

IMDb


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The Exorcist – BBC radio drama ›


Categories: 1960s, cheesy horror, comedy horror, ghost, gothic, Horrorpedia review, Mexican, old dark house, worst films ever made

Tags: 1967, 1968, Autopsia de un Fantasma, autopsy of a ghost, Basil Rathbone, Cameron Mitchell, castle, comedy, Devil, ghost, horror, John Carradine, Mexican, Mexico, review, robot, Satan, skeleton, Tarantula

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