So what can I say about Frankenstein that hasn’t been said? I of course watched the movie first, and loved it:
Shelley started writing Frankenstein when she was 18, with it being published when she was 20, in 1818- the same year as Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. And it is a mix between gothic fiction and science fiction.
The book starts off with a Captain Walton who is on an Arctic trip and writing to his sister. Every time I read the book I find myself connecting more and more to him than any other character.
“But I have one want which I have never yet been able to satisfy, and the absence of the object of which I now feel as a most severe evil, I have no friend, Margaret: when I am glowing with the enthusiasm of success, there will be none to participate my joy; if I am assailed by disappointment, no one will endeavour to sustain me in dejection. I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathise with me, whose eyes would reply to mine. You may deem me romantic, my dear sister, but I bitterly feel the want of a friend. I have no one near me, gentle yet courageous, possessed of a cultivated as well as of a capacious mind, whose tastes are like my own, to approve or amend my plans.”
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Who doesn’t feel that lonely at times, especially as the older you get it’s harder to connect with old friends and make new ones..
Captain Walton finds Dr. Victor Frankenstein and learns of Dr. Frankenstein’s quest to hunt down his creature. We learn about how Victor was born into a wealthy family and had a desire to understand the world and create, like what the great alchemists have before him. But instead of trying to turn lead into gold, he wanted to capture life!
This is when things go downhill for Frankenstein. First he decides to create life without thinking about how he will train the creature or what type of morality he should instill in it. Or what it means to have a life breathing person. It’s as if he wanted to make a baby only for the science of it and then when the baby is born abandons it.
Victor also makes the Creature gigantic, about 8 feet in height. You have to remember not only is that really tall, but in 1818 it’s humongous as the average height of men were about 5.5. Compare 8 feet to 5.5
Victor goes to the trouble of trying to make the creature beautiful, but it’s several body parts from different people and is frightening with watery white eyes and yellow skin.
Once everything is completed Frankenstein realizes his mistake, but is unable to destroy it. Instead he just abandons it, adopting that mentality it is “future self’s problem). Frankenstein’s creature escapes from Frankenstein and tries to find acceptance, only to be rejected. He then acts on his emotions and wants; killing or hurting everyone that Frankenstein holds dear to get back at him after Frankenstein refuses to make the creature a female.
There are a lot of different analysis of the book, but to me I always felt that one of the points Shelley was making was the necessity of guidance and a code of morals to live by. You may argue between whether that is a higher power, the law, etc.; but there must be some kind of code of ethics or else chaos reigns. If everyone only went after what made them feel good and what they want terrible things can happen.
I also think it is reminiscent of her father not really guiding his daughter in her life where she was younger, but then trying to be a parent after she was almost an adult and already set in her ways/at an age when she didn’t feel she needed to listen to him. Frankenstein does the same when he abandons the creature, only to later try and have him adhere to Frankenstein’s moral code.
Either way I recommend it for all gothic fiction fans.
Wolf, the way you’re carrying on, if I were a policeman, I’d be suspicious myself. You would? Yes, I would! Mysterious things have happened. A murder in the village, our own dear Benson disappears for no reason. They probably think you, like your father, have created another monster…
When I was making up my list of films to review I had originally planned to do The Hound of Baskervilles, but then I thought I needed more traditional horror films in the 2022 lineup. As I was looking at all the different drafts I have started I decided on reviewing The Son of Frankenstein. Since I had a review earlier this month on Frankenstein (1994), I thought I would balance it out with a hopefully better Frankenstein film. I mean it has Boris Karloff so the bar is high.
Frankenstein’s son, Wolf Frankenstein (Basil Rathbone), is coming to the ancestral village to claim his inheritance and all the townspeople are in a tizzy afraid that he might be just like his father.
Wolf is married to an American, Elsa (Josephine Hutchins), and they are both happy to be out of the college and to start a new life. As they talk about the home Frankenstein and never been to they imagine a gothic castle and it’s super cute how the two of them talk about it. It makes me think of Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney when they travel to Northanger Abbey.
Frankenstein is angry abut the legacy of his father and how he is remembered for making a murderous monster instead of his accomplishments bringing the dead to life. He blames the assistant Igor (Bela Lugosi).
When Frankenstein arrives at the village he is met by the burgemeister, the villagers, and the village council who are not happy at that he is there. They do not give him a cheery welcoming, but deposit his papers and items and leave.
They get to the house and Elsa Frankenstein does not seem at all pleased at the gloomy demeanor and the way they were greeted. She has second thoughts about being there and wants them to take their son and go “home”.
It is a good thing that the Frankensteins brought some of their servants as none of the local people will serve them or interact with them.
The family makes their way home and the castle is really interesting. It is more German Expressionism and something you would see out ofThe Cabinet ofDr. Caligari then an old castle.
Frankenstein never met his father and has always felt something missing. He has tried his best to connect with him, becoming a scientists as well. He hopes he is someone his father would be proud of and like him. He goes to visit the library and unlocks a box of papers given to him by the council and in it finds a letter written to him with information about how his father brought rhe creature to life.
Basil Rathbone was a really good choice to play Frankenstein in this as he’s a very likable character, he almost has got wanting him to try his father’s experiments…almost.
That evening the inspector comes calling and warns Frankenstein against trying to do what his father did and to return to England before he is infected with the “poison of discovery”. Frankenstein doesn’t take him seriously at all and asks if the inspector has even seen anything of the creature as he feels the stories were exaggerated. The inspector has seen the monster, as it turns out when he was a boy the creature tore one of his arms off. He says the monster stories are not exaggerated.
Also leading to the high tension in the area are six murders since the monster was “destroyed”; all were killed by hearts rupturing, a bruise at the base of their brains were discovered, and all were prominent men…very suspicious. The inspector cautions Frankenstein again and tells him that he will be there for the Frankensteins fmaily when they will, will not if, need him and leaves.
Like his father, Frankenstein is a doctor and he loves lightning. The longer he stays in his ancestral home, the more he desires to follow in his father’s footsteps as he his in awe of what his father was able to accomplish.
Frankenstein decides to check out his father’s old lab, which is a mess and in pieces as it was destroyed in Bride of Frankenstein
While out there Frankenstein runs into Igor (Bella Lugosi). Originally Lugosi only had a small part in the film, but the scriptwriter felt bad about the way he was treated and extended the character for him. The script changed from day to day so no one knew what was to come, so making the part bigger was an easy feat. Igor was hung for the assisting the senior Frankenstein, and when they tried to kill him he didn’t die but it broke his neck and left it broken. It appears that the senior Frankenstein did some experimenting to give him that ability.
Igor takes Frankenstein to the family crypt where he sees the coffins for his father and grandfather; along with the monster who is not dead but still alive!
I miss Fritz as Igor is super creepy. Igor sees the creature as “his friend” who he “does things” for him. Hmm I wonder Igor and the monster are behind all the murders the inspector was talking about. Right now the creature has been wounded and is in a coma-like state as he was electrocuted. Igor insists that as senior Frankenstein made him too, the creature is Wolf Frankenstein’s brother and begs him to bring him back.
At first Frankenstein isn’t interested, but it doesn’t take long to convince him as he wants to be like his dad and protect hush legacy. He agrees and scurries away to the library to get tools and info.
Frankenstein tries to get Benson to help them but Igor tosses him out. Igor doesn’t want anyone else involved in bringing the monster back to life. Uh Frankenstein, do you notice that Igor is acting very, very odd? You definitely shouldn’t do anything he’s involved in.
I really enjoy this film as it definitely feels like a callback to the original movie.The way the scenes are cut, the music, etc.
The heads of the council try to get Igor to sly on Frankenstein and threaten hangin him if he doesn’t help them. Seriously guys? You tried to have him die by hanging and he survived. Why would he help any of you? Igor acts suspicious as he tells them he will not be hunted and killed, and also points out that out of the 8 that condemned him to death only a few remain. Hmmm….??? Why has no one put together the “killing ghost” is Igor getting revenge.
Meanwhile, Frankenstein is having a fight within himself. He wants to destroy the creature as he knows bringing him out of the coma is wrong, but as a scientists he just can’t stop himself. It makes me think of the scientists in The Thing From Another World.
The inspector comes over for the dinner he was invited to, but the only one there is Elsa Frankenstein as Frankenstein is too busy working on his project. It’s entirely normal to her as he has often done this when he is concentrating on a scientific problem, however, the inspector is very interested a he wants to make sure that Frankenstein isn’t working on trying to resurrect the creature.
Frankenstein finally comes to dinner and they are joined by Frankenstein Jr. Frankenstein Jr. starts about a giant being in the house. Elsa thinks it is just his imagination but the inspector and Frankenstein share looks. Could Frankenstein have woken up the creature?
Frankenstein questions Frankenstein jr and when he hears the description, he is in shock. He thought his resurrection experiments has failed, did it actually work? He goes running to the lab and when he gets there, there is no one to be found.
Frankenstein feels something on his shoulder and discovers the creature awake and lumbering about.
The creature doesn’t look so big in this one as Boris Karloff as Frankenstein was 6’6 and Basil is 6’2. They should when chosen a smaller actor for Frankenstein.
Igor is pleased but now that the creature isn’t a scientific question, Frankenstein is worried that people might find out what he did and not give him or his father the accolades he thought they would. Igor reassures him he won’t tell anyone and will protect their secret (totally leaving the butler out of the circle of trust). I 100% think he has killed or will kill the butler benson.
Frankenstein wants to examine and test the monster, but Igor won’t let him touch the creature and the creature only listens to Igor. I wonder why he listens to Igor. In the other films the creature wouldn’t even listen to Frankenstein, why does he trust Igor?
Igor controls the monster and use him to continue killing off the men who had sentenced him to death. I knew it, I knew he was behind the murders!
That night Frankenstein is surprised by the inspector who comes for dinner. Strangely the butler is missing (I told you! Igor probably killed him to!). Frankenstein tries to hide this from the inspector and says he sent him to the lab, but why is he acting so suspicious? Does he suspect the monster?
Frankenstein questions Igor about Benson and doesn’t get any answers. That evening Elsa questions Frankenstein and again Frankenstein is SUPER suspicious, Benson is totally dead. They have a heart to heart and Elsa admits that she hates living here and is terrified all the time.
So it appears that Igor is controlling the creature with music, his playing gets Frankenstein’s monster to do his bidding .
Meanwhile another man is murdered and the villager start storming the castle as they blame the family and want to destroy the Frankensteins. The inspector forces them to say inside the castle for their “own safety”.
Frankenstein makes it back to the lab and sees Frankenstein sleeping. He knows what the creature has done and tries to kill him, but is stopped by Igor who admits what I knew, Igor was using the creature to get revenge. The two yell at each other and wake up the creature who threatens Frankenstein.
Frankenstein fires Igor and goes home where he is questioned by the inspector. Frankenstein is really is cracking under the pressure and this scene is done very well as t looks insane, especially when he laughs. Just like dead old dad.
The inspector arrests Frankenstein for the murder of Benson, there is noting to really hold him on as their is no proof but they think by arresting him they can appease the crowd. Dr Frankenstein tells them that Igor is the murderer, and the inspector informs him they suspect Igor but cannot arrest him as there is no proof.
There is no proof Frankenstein did anything and you are arresting him!
Frankenstein is let go and heads back to the lab where he finds Igor, fights him, and shoots him in self defense.
Meanwhile the inspector has been searching the house without permission and discovers a secret passage with Benson’s body in it.
Frankenstein comes home and runs into the inspector. The inspector tells him about Benson and Frankenstein reveals he killed Igor. The inspector believes that Frankenstein brought the monster back and demands he admit it and show him the monster, or else he will give him over to the villagers who will hang him and his family. Seriously, that seems like a gross miscarriage of justice. At least let him have a trial first.
Back in the lab the creature has discovered Igor’s dead body and is furious. He destroys the lab and I have to say, that while this film is alright it would have been much better if we had less Igor and more of the creature.
To get revenge, the creature decides to kidnap and kill Frankenstein’s child. He runs to the house through the secret passage and kills the nanny, kidnaps Frankenstein Jr. Frankenstein and the Inspector discover Frankenstein Jr. missing and take off after him. They save him just in time, knocking the creature deep into the sulfur pits. Once again the creature is dead…at least until the next film.
Frankenstein and family decide to leave, returning to England; giving the home, lab, and property to the community.
Like I said this film was okay, I mean Basil Rathbone was incredible in his role. However I feel it was lacking to the other films, as we hardly had any creature in it and that’s what I’m here for. As much as I love Bela Lugosi, I would much rather have more Creature/Boris Karloff.
Did you ever consider the consequences of your actions? You made me, and you left me to die. Who am I?
So I really don’t like this movie. I know Kenneth Branagh did a better job following the text of Frankenstein but I really didn’t care for a lot of his decisions.
This also is the film that Kenneth Branagh cheated on his wife Emma Thompson on. He originally wanted her to play opposite of him, but she was already lead in Carrington (1995). So Helena Bonham Carter played the role instead (and more).
But enough about that, let’s get into the reasons I don’t like the actual film.
First Helena Bonham Carter plays Elizabeth Lavenza as if she isn’t really there, just a part of the scenery and her costume and wig choices are circumspect.
Then Robert De Niro as the Monster was another really odd choice. De Niro isn’t a bad actor but as the monster? And why does the monster have an American accent when this takes place in Switzerland? Originally they wanted Gérard Depardieu but the studio felt he wasn’t a strong enough box-office appeal. I think Depardieu would have been better.
I also hated the scene when the monster is “born”, it is really gross and I felt too disturbing. All the fluids…ew. I know he was trying to have it be a birth/come out of the womb but I was not enjoying it.
I was really bored throughout the whole film and I checked out halfway through. I only continued watching because I was doing so with family.
For me I really enjoy the 1930’s version even though it is not accurate, I find it much more entertaining.
Something’s out there and it’s killing people! And if it’s monsters, nobody’s going to do a thing about it except us!
I first saw this film on a Nostalgia Critic review and thought it sounded absolutely hilarious. When I saw that it was on Amazon, I had to watch it. Then I made my mom watch it with me, then my sister, and then my friends.
The film starts off in Europe with Van Helsing trying to seal the monsters into limbo for life, but failing. Instead the spell just makes the monsters pause their hauntings and sleep with all the villagers and Van Helsing being trapped in limbo instead.
Time goes by and we are in a small town in the USA. There we have two boys who are always getting into trouble as instead of paying attention in class they draw monsters. The two kids, (they have names but are never really used so I am going to call them Leader and Sidekick), are in charge of the monster club. The monster club also has their friend who is really young, Baby, and another friend who they call Fat Kid who’s name is actually Horace.
Then there is a new guy who wants to join the club, the Cool guy. He has a leather jacket, smokes cigarettes, has long dark hair. My friend pointed out that he actually looks a lot like Nick from Jimmy Neutron. He doesn’t seem like the type of guy who would be interested in a monster club, but he passes every test. The Leader does not want him to join, but the rest of the team do and he’s on the squad. Cool kid turns out to also be interested in spying on Sidekick’s sister, who lives next door to the clubhouse, and always changes in front of her open, blinds up window. They always do this in movies and it makes zero sense!
Meanwhile, the monsters have arrived. Dracula was having himself and Frankenstein’s monster flown over, but a pilot was too curious and when he realized what they were, he dumped the coffins. Dracula searches for his friend and while doing so wakes up the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Wolf Man.
The Leader’s father is a police officer and he is having issues with his wife. She wants him to be home more, but he has to work. He starts investigating the “stolen” mummy and gets called away with someone claiming they are a werwolf. The Wolf man freaks out and is killed at the police station…or is he? Only silver can kill a werewolf, so he resurrects and transforms, taking off to join his monster club.
The leader’s mom bought a Van Helsing book in German a yard sale for his son. She leaves it for him; along with a note that a Dr. Acula wants to buy the book. The Leader has to write it out a few times like he thinks it is an anagram and I’m like it is SO OBVIOUS! What kind of Monster Squad leader are you?
There is a man who lives down the way that speaks German and all the kids like to say he is a spy or monster. The squad go over to have him read the book and find out what it says and he tells them it is a spell to seal monsters away forever. All you need is a virgin to read out the words. Aw, so that must have been where they went wrong in the beginning.
They try to figure out what to do next and where to find a virgin, because even though the spell didn’t say it they assume it has to be a girl, when they are all virgins (maybe not Rudy he is a little older), when the Leader’s sister comes over and wants to join the club again. The boys are all no girls allowed, but then she shows that she has Frankenstein’s monster. They all sit in the treehouse trying to decide what to do next when Frankenstein’s monster acts just as pervy as the boys, looking at sidekick’s sister and takes a picture of her.
The squad finds out that the monsters are hiding out in an old abandoned house, down the street. It turns out that Dracula is there because he is looking for the amulet he needs to have the monsters walk the Earth forever. The squad tries to go in and manage to swipe the amulet, but now the real fight will begin as they have only so much time to complete the spell and seal the monsters away forever.
So the monster experts: the Leader and Sidekick do nothing to try and find a way to stop the monsters. Their only plan of attack is to just talk a lot. The real star of this was the cool guy who makes wooden stakes, melts silver for bullets, steals an archery set from the school to shoot down the vampire brides, etc. He’s really awesome as in the grand battle he takes monsters down left and right.
Horace is also really cool as he has been bullied and hurt, but when push comes to shove he takes out the Creature. It is such a great scene as his previous bullies tell him great job fat kid, and he tells them not to call him that.
E.J.: Hey Fat Kid! Good job.
Horace: My name’s not fat kid. [cocks shotgun] It’s Horace!
After an epic battle, the kids save the day. This is a really fun and great movie that I highly recommend. You should definitely give it a watch.
So you know what that means: Horror TV episodes Tuesday
I know this is a little odd, TV episodes on a Tuesday instead of Friday as I’ve been doing for the past few years?
Well this year October 1st started on a Friday and it just doesn’t seem right for Horrorfest to start with a review of a TV episode.
So instead we will be reviewing TV episodes on Tuesdays, TV Tuesdays.
And we are starting our TV episode pick with a Munster episode!
I used to watch The Munsters all the time on TV Land growing up and it still is one of my favorite shows. Every time I rewatch it I am amazed at how funny it is.
Although, one thing I don’t like was that later on there were some changes to Herman’s character, the writers making him be jealous all the and not so bright, really pretty childish in fact. I didn’t care much for that change.
So the story is of your classic middle class American family living in Southern California (they mention the Dodgers and there are a few other clues), the Munsters. The thing that makes this family different from the others is that the Munsters are monsters.
Herman Munster is a Frankenstein like creation, he was built in a lab and has an evil twin brother. Lily (Dracula) Munster is his wife and is both vampire and werewolf, although predominantly vampire. The two have a son, Eddie, who is also predominantly vampire, but has wolffish tendencies. There’s grandpa, Count Dracula, who is also predominantly vampire, but can also change into a wolf. And rounding out their family is Lily’s niece, who’s been adopted into the family, Marilyn Munster. Marilyn isn’t a classic monster but a beautiful blonde who the family pities because she is “ugly” (i.e. not a monster).
The Count’s son, Lily’s brother, is the wolf man and they also have a cousin Gill (the Creature from the Black Lagoon). But those monsters don’t live with them. We’ve got almost all the Universal Monsters.
This episode is one of my favorite episodes and it is the pilot, which is odd as usually the pilot episode is not as good. I do enjoy other episodes , but this is a fav with all its Munster-y goodness.
So the episode starts off with Marilyn and her boyfriend Tom. She wants him to meet her folks, but he’s not interested-he just wants to make out. He’s super disrespectful and does not take her seriously at all. I’m like dump him and find another.
Tom decided to placate Marilyn and convince his parents to invite her aunt and uncle to their Masquerade party.
I love the Munster house, I wish I lived there.
They also have one of the best themes, many of you will recognize it from “it was Agatha all along” from Wandavision or tiktok but it was cool before then.
It turns out Tom’s parents are super snobs and don’t want to invite the Munsters over at all. Tom pleads with them as he really wants to “get with” Marilyn and knows this is the only way to get her to “move forward” with him. Tom is so rude and just a major jerk. Marilyn deserves better.
Grandpa Dracula is mad that he isn’t invited to the party and refuses to stay home and babysit Eddie. When he threatens to either change into a bat, go anyway, and make a scene; they call Tom’s parents, Agnes and Albert Daly, and ask if he can come too. Tom’s parents agree, but while they are calm and sweet to the Munsters, they talk badly about them behind their back.
The night of the party comes and with thunder, lightning, and rain. Eddie loves it and wishes the lighting would hit their house.
But this storm and sudden downpour funny is only happening over the Munster’s home, every where else it is beautiful sunny CA. Aw, I wished I lived in the Munsters house!
Since all the adults are going out, Marilyn has the parent of a friend coming over to babysit. Marilyn dresses as Priscilla Alden (to go with Tom’s John Alden), Herman is King Arthur, Lily as Little Bo Peep (seen as scary to the Munsters), and grandpa is Napoleon. I think it is weird out of all the different things they could have dressed up, Tom wanted them to be two pilgrims from the Mayflower. What a boring costume. That lack of imagian should be a real clue to Marilyn to not get involved with him anymore.
I like how their clock is The Raven. when it tells what the bell rolls, it screams out Nevermore, such a good touch.
Lily warns Herman to be on his best behavior for Marilyn’s sake and he promises to be a gentleman.
Herman: I’m every inch a gentleman…several gentlemen
Over at the Daily’s house, Mr. Daley has decided to go as Frankenstein’s monster. You know what that means, hilarity and possibly mistaken identity!
Mrs. Morton comes over to babysit and is shocked at what she sees. I don’t know why people always act weird, I wouldn’t really think twice about a lot of things they say. For instance, Mrs. Morton thinks it is weird that Lily says not to let Eddie’s pet in as last time it ate the whole sofa, I wouldn’t be surprised but think it was a dog that liked to chew couches.
They get to the party and grandpa almost bites Mrs. Daley, but as she is a terrible person I actually wouldn’t mind if grandpa did it!
Eddie stays upstairs in his room and talks to his babysitter through a radio set. How cool is that? And Eddie is such an easy babysitting job. Although Mrs. Morton isn’t as into the macabre setting as I am. I like it dark and spooky.
Marilyn asks grandpa to dance with Mrs. Daley and he doesn’t want to. I’m with grandpa as Mrs. Daley is annoying. Grandpa brings up his dead wives (over a hundred) and says he still visits them. Mrs. Dailey thinks he’s drunk, but I would think he was exaggerating and just goes to the cemetery a lot. But whatever.
Marilyn tries to get Herman to meet Mr. Dailey but he’s not interested as the host should introduce himself. I’m with Herman, they should have been greeted at the door or Tom should have brought his parents over. Another sign that these Daleys are just rude and terrible people.
Herman meets Mr. Dailey, who is dressed like Herman’s real face. Herman tells Mr. Daley he looks familiar and thinks it is sad he couldn’t get a costume as Herman thinks that is his real face. Haha I love it. My favorite scene!
Back on Mockingbird Lane, Mrs. Morton hears wolf howling noises and gets freaked out, but it’s just Eddie-howling at the moon. We also see that he has a pet dinosaur, Spot.
Tom comes over to Marilyn and just tries to make time with her. She’s not having it as her aunt and uncle are not having a good time.
At the masquerade they are giving out a prizes for the best costume, a “little prize” which is a giant bottle of something. Herman gets nominated and when he takes his helmet off everyone is amazed at his “second costume” and he wins.
All seems great, but Lily decides it is time to go. She heard their comments about his “second costume”, “the mask” he is wearing and says she does not want to spend another minute there. They all storm off along with Marilyn following as she is upset with the Daleys for insulting her family. Good for you girl, family is more important.
Tom follows Marilyn as he doesn’t understand why she is made and doesn’t want to lose the groundwork he spent all night making. understand why she is upset.
Later Lily and Herman are decompressing when Tom and Marilyn arrive. Marilyn is done with him, but Tom won’t take no for an answer. He follows her in the house and unfortunately Marilyn is convinced to hear him out, going to the kitchen to make coffee.
Tom goes into the other room and sees Lily and Herman for what they really look like and gets so scared, his wig stands on end. This show has wonderful special effects, so goofy!
He runs off and Marilyn is sad to have scared another man off, but also a bit glad. I’m glad too, Tom was not for you girl. You deserve better than that.
So rewatching this series the Munsters, Herman, Lily, and Grandpa- make me think a lot of the Bennet family. They are so eager for Marilyn to be married, but at the same time their behaviors scare off a lot of the men and ruin her chances. It’s hilarious.