Category Archives: Frankenstein Films
Directed by Mel Brooks
Screen story and Screenplay by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder
I’m not going to make this a long, drawn out review. Looking back, this is probably the first time I have ever reviewed a comedy so I’m not really even sure if I’m doing this right. It’s easy to talk about a funny movie when you’re with your friends. You can act out scenes from the film and quote your favorite quotes; but putting all that down on paper and getting that humor across to your readers is another thing altogether. So, the next paragraph will be me doing my best to review a film that has become a comedic classic. I hope I got it right. If not, then be gentle with me.
When “Young Frankenstein” made its debut Mary Shelley rolled over in her grave…from laughter. The ghost of James Whale did a spit take. Somewhere, the spirits of Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive and Dwight Frye sat eating popcorn, sipping Pepsi’s and giggling their asses off. “Young Frankenstein” is a classic of the comedy genre. As Doctor Frederick Frankenstein, Gene Wilder leads one of the most talented and hilarious casts through a riot of a film that will leave your sides splitting with laughter. Marty Feldman, Teri Garr and Cloris Leachman all take their turns in stealing the spotlight. Peter Boyle as the monster is nothing short of casting genius. As for Madeline Kahn as Elizabeth, all I can say is that she was one of the funniest women to ever walk the face of this earth. With a nod of her head or a blink of her eye she could make you laugh harder than some comedians can in an entire stand-up routine.
Okay, so I said one paragraph. But let me close with this; with “Young Frankenstein”, Mel Brooks did to the horror genre the same thing he did with “Blazing Saddles” and the western genre earlier that same year. He made a hilarious parody without once being disrespectful of the original source.
- The Bride of Frankenstein (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Mel Brooks: funny moments and facts (telegraph.co.uk)
- AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Mysteries, Thrillers & Suspense. Also, today only: The Mel Brooks Coll… (pjmedia.com)
- The Mel Brooks Collection: $29 (ritholtz.com)
- The Curse of Frankenstein (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- Happy 86th birthday, Mel Brooks; it’s good to be the King – Vote for your favorite Mel movie (timesunion.com)
- Blu-ray Geek Deal: Mel Brooks Collection for Only $28.99, The Usual Suspects for Only $7.99 (slashfilm.com)
- Blazing Saddles [retro review] (mutantreviewers.wordpress.com)
- Promo Video, New Poster, and Image Gallery for Phil Nichols’ Frankenstein Stage Play (dreadcentral.com)
- West Seattle Outdoor Movie lineup is set to flicker into life July 20 (westseattleherald.com)
THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN-United States-1935
Directed by James Whale
Screenplay by William Hurlbut
Suggested by the original story written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Adapted by William Hurlbut and John Balderston
Just when Doctor Frankenstein thought that he was out, Doctor Pretorius pulls him back in. You’ll have to forgive the reference to “The Godfather Part III“, but I just couldn’t help myself; we’re talking sequels here. While we’re on the subject of sequels, how many of you can name the ones that were equally as good as or even better than their predecessors? I’ll give you a hint: “The Godfather Part II” is one of them. So is “Aliens” and “The Dark Knight”. But wait, there is one more; “The Bride of Frankenstein”. Here is a film that is equal parts horror, tragedy and comedy and there is never one moment where one overshadows the other. James Whales’ continuation of the events of the original film is of the simplest of plots. The monster escapes the fiery blaze of the earlier film and terrorizes the countryside once again. Meeting a blind hermit (and providing some of the most humorous moments in the film), the monster realizes that it is not good to be alone. In his own way, he convinces his creator Henry Frankenstein to make him a mate. But will she accept him for what he is; or is there more than one bitch in those body parts?
Running at a very brief 75 minutes, there is more told in “The Bride of Frankenstein” than many films tell in 2 hours. Boris Karloff is amazing as the monster, adding new depth to a character that seemingly would have no depth at all. Ernest Thesiger steals the film as the fiendish (and effeminate) Doctor Pretorius. As for the final moments when the monster meets its new ‘bride’; it is the reason the word ‘classic’ was created.
Not long before filming began, Colin Clive broke a leg in a horse riding accident. Consequently, most of Dr. Frankenstein’s scenes were shot with him sitting.
Editing after previews resulted in the loss of a subplot in which Karl imitates the Monster’s murderous modus operandi to eliminate his miserly aunt and uncle and direct the blame away from himself.
Valerie Hobson, who plays Dr. Frankenstein’s fiancé/bride in the film, was only 17 years old when she appeared in the film (Colin Clive, who portrayed Dr. Frankenstein, was 35.)
“The Bride”, the most obscure of Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters, is on screen for less than five minutes and is the only “Classic Monster” never to have killed anyone.
2007: The movie’s line “We belong dead” was voted as the #63 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere magazine.
- Dracula, The Mummy and six other horror classics coming in a Blu-ray set October 2nd (video) (engadget.com)
- Details, Artwork, and a Clip from Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection on Blu-ray (dreadcentral.com)
- Bride of Frankenstein (wingsart.net)
- Frankenstein: a review (peterlabrow.com)
- Day of the dead bride of Frankenstein (greenbeanbaby.typepad.com)
- Freaky Friday Is Back! (nerdygirlshops.wordpress.com)
- The Monster Show (tracikenworth.wordpress.com)
- “How I Became The Bride of Frankenstein” (theeyeoffaith.com)
- Dr. Frankenstein’s Europe, No Easy Greece Exit, Bank Runs (sgtreport.com)
- Constantine Maroulis, Louis Hobson & Rachel Potter Set for Concert Version of Billy Butlers GAY BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN 6/25 (offbroadway.broadwayworld.com)
- The Curse of Frankenstein (jmountswritteninblood.com)
and featuring Lance Henriksen as the voice of God.
Written and directed by Jesse T. Cook
There are two things I love in this world; horror movies and professional wrestling. It was around the age of seven years old that my sister began scaring the crap out of me and leaving a lasting mark by telling me that there was a werewolf in my closet just waiting for the full moon to ravage and devour my tender young body. Wait a minute, stop, hold on, time out. Did I just say ‘my tender young body’? That sounds so…icky. The next thing you know I’ll have NAMBLA following my blog. Back off, you sick pervs!
Cut to three years later and at the age of ten I attended my very first professional wrestling match in 1972. The main event featured “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Johnny Valentine versus “Number One” Paul Jones and “The Eighth Wonder of The World” Andre the Giant. To say that it made an impression on my impressionable young mind would be the most understated of understatements. I am now 50 years old, and even though I know that pro wrestling is about as real as a Paris Hilton orgasm, I still have no intention of giving it up.
Now, for two interests as diverse as ‘rasslin’ and fright flicks you would think that never the two shall meet. But I am here to tell you right now that is as far from the truth as a porn star saying they’ve never done anal. Just look at the cinematic fright world for the match-ups that have taken place over the years. There’s King Kong versus Godzilla, Frankenstein versus The Wolf Man, Aliens versus Predator and on and on and on. Let us not also forget that professional wrestling has had its share of monstrosities. There’s The Undertaker, Kane, Gangrel, “The Monster” Abyss, Vampiro and many, many more creatures of the squared circle. Wrestling and monsters have been strange bedfellows for a number of years.
This brings me to the main event of the evening, ladies and gentlemen. It’s the battle for the ages, the fight of the century between the creatures and the undead. I am talking about the brawl to end it all and the war that will settle the score; the WrestleMania from the crypt and the death match of death matches. “Monster Brawl” is the type of movie that answers the question that we have all wanted to ask and would have done just that if we had just smoked a little more pot; what would happen if the world’s most (in) famous monsters met in the middle of the ring to determine who is the best of the best among the denizens of the darkness? Frankenstein, Werewolf, Lady Vampire, Zombie Man, The Mummy, Swamp Gut, Cyclops and Witch Bitch pound it out in the middle of the ring in this extravaganza of the weird. Lending a hand to the festivities are none other than “Big Daddy Cool” Kevin Nash and the “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. So, if you love wrestling and you love horror movies then you just cannot go wrong with “Monster Brawl.” However, if you’re looking for a movie full of metaphors, subtleties and Academy Award winning performances then I suggest you watch something else. But seriously, if you can’t enjoy a movie like this on the lowest of levels then you really need to get that stick out of your ass. Wooooo!!
P.S. There are actually three things I love in this world. The third and most important thing is my wife. I don’t sleep with monsters and I don’t sleep with pro wrestlers. I do sleep with my wife. So if I want that sleep to be a peaceful one I damn sure better give my baby her props. Hail to the queen of my world!!
- Sheamus and the 20 Greatest Brawlers in WWE History (bleacherreport.com)
- Monster Brawl (2011) (horror-movie-a-day.blogspot.com)
- REVIEW: Monster Brawl (Blu-ray) (kdvr.com)
- War of the Gargantuas (1968) (oldgamereviewer.com)
- New Zaat Movie (seqnfoqm.typepad.com)
- In Defense Of … Billy Corgan’s Foray Into Professional Wrestling (Column) (popmatters.com)
- Buy Zombie Farm Movie Online (acyoavi.typepad.com)
- ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ ‘Ghost Rider’ hit shelves this week (independentmail.com)
- John Ary On MONSTER BRAWL!! (aintitcool.com)
- Stop Blaming Rihanna for the Brawl (theroot.com)
- WWE WrestleMania 28: Could This Be Jericho’s Last WrestleMania? (bleacherreport.com)
- The Undying Monster Movie Dvd (ucvmzqn.typepad.com)
- Drake, Police Questioning: Rapper Refuses to Turn Himself in Following Brawl With Chris Brown (theboombox.com)
- Exclusive Interview: Filmmaker Jesse Thomas Cook Talks Monster Brawl, Ejecta and More (dreadcentral.com)
- WrestleMania 28: Why We Love Professional Wrestling’s Grandest Event (bleacherreport.com)
- New Orleans Ladies Arm Wrestling, Maytime Brawl is Saturday (videos.nola.com)
- Download Superstar Series: Nature Boy Ric Flair Movies (bboeuyd.typepad.com)
- Hardcore band EVA releases video for ‘Pro-Wrestling is Real; People Are Fake’ (charlestoncitypaper.com)
- Frank Mir Open to Pro Wrestling? (asatt6.wordpress.com)
- Chris Brown Will Not Be Charged Over Drake Brawl (noise11.com)
- Brawl at Denny’s in Redlands caught on tape (abclocal.go.com)
- Does Curiosity Always Kill the Cat? An SML Review of “The Uninvited Visitor” (stuffmonsterslike.com)
- Video: The Massive Brawl That Broke Out During a Lacrosse Game Recently Might Just Be the Greatest Sports Brawl of All Time (complex.com)
- Rihanna ‘Disappointed’ in Drake and Company for Nightclub Brawl (celebs.gather.com)
- A$AP Rocky Brawl At London Show (rapradar.com)
- Lance Henriksen Talks TRON: UPRISING and the “Big Push” for a MILLENNIUM Movie (collider.com)
- Tony Parker is hurt in Brown-Drake brawl (espn.go.com)
- Foresight Features: Canada’s unlikely horror film factory (macleans.ca)
THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN-United Kingdom-1957
Directed by Terence Fisher
Screenplay by Jimmy Sangster
Based on the novel by Mary Shelley
Although it was not their first movie together; that would be Lawrence Olivier‘s “Hamlet” in 1948, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee begin with “The Curse of Frankenstein” what would be a pairing that is yet to be matched in the horror genre. Cushing is Victor Frankenstein; a man obsessed with the creation of human life and who will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. Lee is his hideous creation, a creature so foul that the faint of heart would be very wise not to see this film.
Well, maybe I should say the faint of heart in the year 1957, the time of the film’s release. Hammer Films retelling of the Frankenstein could actually be considered quite a gory affair for its day. One scene in particular has blood pouring from the creature’s eye as he shot by rifle at close range. Even more shocking than the gore is Cushing’s portrayal of Victor Frankenstein. Colin Clive’s rendition in the 1931 “Frankenstein” was one that elicited sympathy for his character as he was torn by his desire to create life and his guilt over his monstrous achievement. Here, Cushing portrays Victor as uncaring, lecherous and capable of cold-blooded murder. The creature is merely a hideous reflection of his creator.
This is literally my first time seeing “The Curse of Frankenstein.” It is a film that for one reason or another has eluded me for all these years. I found it to be an incredible addition to the Frankenstein saga and was more than pleased at the pairing of Lee and Cushing in the key roles. Each actor brings strength to their role that comes from years of honing their craft to the level of masters. If you’re looking for an old fashioned film to watch late at night with the lights out and a bowl of popcorn on your lap then you need look no further than “The Curse of Frankenstein.”
For many years this held the distinction of being the most profitable film to be produced in England by a British studio.
The idea originated with Milton Subotsky, who went on to co-found Amicus Films, Hammer’s main rival during the 1960s and early 1970s. The script was revised several times to avoid repeating any elements from the Universal Frankenstein series. As part of this effort, new monster make-up had to be devised especially for this film.
The original concept for this film was a black-and-white feature with Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein monster. Universal threatened a lawsuit if Hammer copied any elements from the classic Universal version. Hammer had Jimmy Sangster completely redo the script and had Jack Asher shoot it in Eastmancolour.
- Ales Hemsky played in the world roller hockey championships (prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com)
- Hammer Glamour And Sartorial Chic by Simon Pritchard (retrochick.co.uk)
- National Theatre Live: Frankenstein (atheahusted.wordpress.com)
- Dr. Frankenstein’s Europe, No Easy Greece Exit, Bank Runs (sgtreport.com)
- Christopher Lee 90th Birthday: 90 Reasons The Horror Icon is Awesome (news.moviefone.com)
- ‘The Horror of Frankenstein’: Rare behind-the-scenes footage from 1970 (dangerousminds.net)
- 5 secrets hidden in Google’s tribute to the first drive-in theater (csmonitor.com)
- Quatermass and the X (moviemorlocks.com)
- What might have been (moviemorlocks.com)
- Dracula, a tribute (onceuponascreen.wordpress.com)
- Returning from a two-month break (milestobake.wordpress.com)
- ArtsBeat: ‘Frankenstein’ Comes Alive in the App Store (artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Looking at the Mad Scientist: Frankenstein Online (anniecardi.com)
- Frankenstein (integrated4.wordpress.com)
- Cloud Rhapsody (throughthehealinglens.com)
- The Curse of the Werewolf (jmountswritteninblood.com)
- ‘Prometheus’ unbound in theaters, both the ‘Alien’ and the stitched-together-from-dead-bodies-by-a-mad-scientist-where-lightning-and-neck-bolts-may-or-may-not-be-involved kind (timesunion.com)