I know I say I don’t like sequels as much as the original, but there are always a few that I think are better.
So this movie almost wasn’t created as director James Whale originally did not want to do a sequel to Frankenstein. Universal considered producing a sequel without Whale’s involvement, but after 4 years of constant badgering, Whale agreed to do the film. And I’m so happy he did, or else we would be without this wonderful masterpiece.
To be honest, this isn’t a true “sequel.” It actually is the second half of the the book Frankenstein, instead of an individual and separate story.
The reason I like this better than the first one is that Frankenstein is creepier, as he is demanding and using his strength and stature to frighten others.
You also have a creepier Henry, as he is fighting with himself on whether or not to create more monsters. We see that he doesn’t wish to populate the world with these creatures-but at the same time he is lured by the thrill of creating more, and showing off his genius.
Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
So the film starts off a little different from the other one. Here we have Elsa Lanchester portraying Mary Shelley and telling the next chapter of the story at a party.
Let me tell you a story
The next chapter picks up exactly where the other film ended.
Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!
The villagers had driven the monster to the windmill and believed they killed him. They take Henry back home where he is nursed to health by his fiancé Elizabeth.
However, we see that the creature has not been killed. He escaped the fire by getting into the water under the mill. He kills some people as he escapes into the wilderness.
Meanwhile, Henry’s old mentor, Doctor Septimus Pretorius, comes to visit him. He brings along his creations to show Henry. Dr. Pretorius had created miniature people: a miniature queen, king, archbishop, devil, ballerina and mermaid. While Henry had vowed to never create another monster again, seeing these creatures spikes his interest.
Meanwhile, the monster has run off into the woods and has tried to find a place to belong. He attempts to befriend a shepherdess and a group of gypsies, but both reject him.
He finally runs into a hermit and has a tender scene with the two becoming “fast friends”.
I love this scene and sometimes say things like “Friend good, such and such bad”, etc in my daily life! 😀 It’s a pretty touching scene. After all:
But even this does not last forever as searchers looking for the monster, come upon the two and chase the creature away. He eventually comes upon Dr. Pretorius who promises him “friendship” and that he will create a mate for him.
“The Monster: You, make man… like me? Dr. Pretorius: No. Woman… friend for you The Monster: Woman… Friend… Wife…”
Dr. Pretorius approaches the newly married Frankensteins and tries to get Henry to help him create a mate for the monster. Henry, having once again realized the horror of his past creation, in no way will ever create another creature. That’s all fine and good, but Dr. Pretorius doesn’t agree. He wants a mate and is determined to force Henry to create one. He gets the creature to kidnap Elizabeth, her being the exact leverage to force Henry to create another monster.
The Monster: I *love* dead… hate living.
Henry seeing that he has no alternative, prepares to create a women from the dead. We see as Henry struggles with his morals, creating a better tension than in the first film. As I stated earlier, he doesn’t want to create another creature as he knows the horrors the other committed along with the fact that the two might mate and reproduce, populating the world with living dead.
But Henry is excited at the same time. Once again he can use his theories and science to create. He will be able to say he “created” life, not once but twice! This is hard for him to turn away from.
Of course nothing goes perfectly according to plan. Henry creates the woman, but can he control it?
Elsa Lanchaster is amazing! I love the way she turns about, almost birdlike. She actually based her performance on swans; saying that, “they’re really very nasty creatures”. She was only 5’4″ but for the role they placed her on stilts so she was 7′ tall. The bandages were placed so tightly on her that she was unable to move and had to be carried about the studio, much like Olivia Newton-John in Grease. Her hair and outfit are amazing, and now such a classic figure in horror film history, just like her predecessor the Monster. Her amazing ‘do was held in place by a wired horsehair cage.
They introduce her to her “mate”, but when has any woman liked it when people pick out their mates?
The monster is furious at this rejection and destroys the lab killing all who are in it. The only people who escape are Elizabeth and Henry. Frankenstein realized what they had and allowed them to leave unharmed.
“The Monster: [Speaking to Frankenstein and Elizabeth] Go you live… [turning to Dr.Pretorius] You stay we belong dead.”
It’s a great movie. I highly recommend it to anyone into the classic horror films.
That’s todays fearsome post! More to come! Only 7 days left ’till Halloween! Who’s excited?
Here’s poster I made for my cover page on facebook in honor of Halloween. Hope ya love it.