Ever wondered what type of creature a Bewilderbeast is? Do you find yourself wanting to ask your closest friends if this creature does indeed shit in the woods? And are you wondering why the annual dust pilgrimage known as Oppikoppi has adopted this fascinatingly strange creature to represent this year’s festival?
Well, so have I but instead of sitting there looking as useful as an erection outside Portia de Rossi’s trailer on the set of Arrested Development, I went out into the great yonder that is the interweb and tried to find out. Okay, I made up some – or a lot – of this shit.
The Urban Dictionary will have you believe that a bewilderbeast is “a person who is in the habit of derailing a conversation (usually somebody else’s) by throwing in an unrelated comment, which at first seems like it may bear some relation to the conversation at hand. Thereby making themselves look stupid, and confusing the living heck out of everyone else”. What a long way of saying a “Dumbass”.
This definition can easily apply to any setting where alcohol and good times are doled out in huge servings. I am not that upset with it – at some point or another during Oppikoppi I will live up to this definition, fully!
There is also the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) that gave me a Swedish short film of the same name, shot by people you’ll never have heard of unless you are one of those people who wear vintage thrift shop clothes (a level above Salvation Army), and scratched-up horn-rimmed glasses like every second stylish person on the hit American television show, Mad Men (by the way, both Teddy Roosevelt and Harold Lloyd want their look back).
This movie, Bewilderbeast, is a 26-minute horror, sci-fi, drama with some sex and annihilation as its selling point; and was released in December 2012. To make a short story even shorter, it’s one of those “boy leaves comfortable existence to join a cult bent on killing everything, while protagonist discovers what he’s made of in the midst of blood and orgasmic fluids” kind of story. Not exactly my preferred style of film – or Bewilderbeast to be honest.
There is also the English born indie musician, Badly Drawn Boy, who has an album called “Hour of the Bewilderbeast” released in 2000 which went on to win the Mercury Prize for that same year. The album was well received by Metacritic amongst others. Not exactly the Bewilderbeast I was hoping for. So that’s enough of that.
And then there is my personal favourite. I have to admit that, when the people at Oppikoppi released the name (and theme), I was hoping this was the Bewilderbeast of which they spoke – Maurice Sendak’s creations from Where The Wild Things Are. Of course Sendak’s creations are not Bewilderbeasts – they are the Wild Things. But it was a toss up between the Wild Things or the frightening Spanish creatures on Pan’s Labyrinth – especially Pale Man, the creature with the eyes in his palms.
It may not matter what I have said here – but please let it matter to some of you, even if a little. Whatever you think and feel a Bewilderbeast to be that is what it should be to you. There are no rules when it comes to this. Way after we have left the red dust clouds of Northam we will still wonder what a Bewilderbeast is.
With all of that said, the countdown has begun so go out there and free your inner Bewilderbeast. Let me here you say, “Oppi-FOKKEN-Koppi!”