OHC Day whatever – Frankenpost

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Since my movie watching for the month has gone from hardcore dedicated eight-movies-a-day to eh a movie here and there, I’ve decided to stop numbering the posts by day and just give them mediocre titles. So you get to look forward to that for the rest of the month. Horray. Since I’ve thrown abandon to the wind and title these posts whatever the hell I want, I give you a post that’s all about Frankenstein movies.

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[20 October]

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Directed by James Whale

This sequel to Frankenstein (1931) is set immediately after the events of that first film, beginning with a prologue that consists of Mary Shelley continuing the moral story of Frankenstein and his creation to Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, who were both infatuated with her disturbing tale. Bride of Frankenstein picks up where the last one left off, with the burning collapse of the windmill where Victor Frankenstein’s accursed creation is presumably killed…except he wasn’t. The film then splits into two storylines: one where Victor is visited by his old mentor, Dr. Pretorius, who lures Victor into creating a mate for the monster; and one where the monster roams the countryside on something of an existential quest to find a meaning in his life by the mere act of connecting with other people. He finds what he’s looking for in a blind hermit, in a sequence that is both touching and humorous, but this harmony is broken when two hunters come across the hermit’s cabin and see the monster, who accidentally burns down his new friend’s home.

Friend…good!

Meanwhile, Victor and Dr. Pretorius are at work, building a friend for the creature. When they finally succeed at bringing her to life and introducing her to the creature, she is just as horrified by him as most everyone else is, and his heartbreak leads him to kill not only himself and her, but also Pretorius. While Bride of Frankenstein has a sly wit and is sometimes considered more of a comedic sequel to Frankenstein, there are genuine moments of sadness and emotion that are still effective decades later. In fact, I almost prefer Bride of Frankenstein over the original.

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Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
Directed by Roy William Neill

Having only watched the first two Frankenstein films, I can’t be completely sure on this, but it sure seems like this movie retcons the Frankenstein story wholesale. Frankenstein’s monster does indeed meet the Wolf Man, but this film a) is more of a sequel to The Wolf Man (1941) than anything to do with Frankenstein, and b) seems to be a blatant excuse to get these two monsters onscreen so they can beat the hell out of each other in the final reel (which does happen, so if that’s your thing, you’ll be pleased). This isn’t exactly a bad movie, but it isn’t great either, and really is only watchable for those who are fans of Lon Chaney Jr. (which would be me).

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[21 October]

Frankenweenie (1984, 2012) – FTV
Directed by Tim Burton

Since the original Frankenweenie short film runs less than 50 minutes, I cannot count it toward the Challenge. However, I would be remiss in not watching it in conjunction with the new animated remake, to get a better feel for all the differences and similarities between the two. As a huge fan of the short film, I was a little concerned with a feature-length remake, but when I saw it would be stop-motion animated and in black and white, I felt better. Overall, the remake does a wonderful job of expanding on the original story, as well as adding touches that will appeal to horror fans of all ages. The story is essentially the same between the two: young Victor Frankenstein loses his beloved dog Sparky in an unfortunate car accident, and based on a unintentional suggestion from his science teacher, he decides to reanimate his pet.

Younger Frankenstein

The movie adds to this a science fair rivalry subplot (in fact, the movie is quite in love with science and reason and experimenting, and there’s a nice pro-science monologue near the end), and populates the cast with characters who are all based on either classic horror movie actors or characters – the science teacher looks like Vincent Price, and Victor’s classmates resemble Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre. There’s loads of references to classic horror films like Godzilla and The Mummy, and even a little nod to Hammer’s Horror of Dracula, as well as to previous Burton projects; I couldn’t get over how Sparky looked like The Family Dog. This would be the perfect kind of film to show to kids if you want to introduce them to the genre, and it’s also a perfect little treat for us terminal horror junkies.

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Views so far:
24 FTVs
14 repeat views
38 total

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