We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

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“We’re mad scientists. We’re monsters.”

So I know many of you see this film on this list and are probably thinking to yourself:

Whattheheck

Why would I put an action/adventure, superhero film on my list of horror films? Well I’m including it because of this reason: 1) You have two, not one, TWO scientists who create two, not one, but TWO creatures.

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So I’m sure you all who have been following me know how much I liked The Avengers film that came out two years ago.

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Not me, that’s for sure.

I loved this film and thought it was the best superhero film. It covers a team, but each character was given their own moment to shine. It had great dialogue, amazing scenes, and was just altogether fantastic.

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Now as for the sequel? How did I feel about it.

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I thought it was horrible!!!!!

EW!

And it sucks because I was jazzed about this film. James Spader? Love him in everything! Our dream team, the Avengers? Awesome! Having some X-Men characters finally in it and teasing with a full on cross over? YES!

excited

But then is sucked.

You ruined it!!!!

You ruined it!!!!

And believe me, my opinions based on this film isn’t just from one viewing. I saw it at the midnight showing, I saw it in 3-D the Sunday after with my nephew, and then my friend and I went and saw in June after seeing Jurassic World. Each time I saw it, the more I thought it was just done poorly, 2015’s Godzilla (which strangely, the same actors who were husband and wife in that movie are the Maximoff twins in this one.)

So this is going to be a slightly different review, I will give a brief synopsis and then go on to list why I didn’t like this film.

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So the film starts with the Avengers taking down what they believe is the last cell of HYDRA out in a small Eastern European country. They are also after the scepter Loki had in the first film. They believe they have accomplished it when they run into two “enhanced creatures” or whatever they call them, Wanda/Scarlet Witch and Pietro/Quicksilver Maximoff. Wanda has the power to manipulate reality, while Pietro can run at super fast speeds.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) Ph: Jay Maidment ©Marvel 2015

Wanda uses her powers to cloud each Avengers mind and mess with their ability to think, espechially Tony Stark. After the defeat, of everyone, (except the Maximoff twins), the team returns home to the tower in New York to have a party and celebrate the end of the Avengers.

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Tony convinces Thor to allow him to study the scepter, believing he can use it to create a robot that will be able to save humanity and keep it safe. He convinces Bruce Banner to assist him. See here is where we have the Frankenstein parallels.

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In Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein believed that his work could save humanity: it could bring about immortality, he could save people who’s limbs were lost reanimating dead limbs; etc. Instead he creates a creature, that immediately tries to destroy him. It also has a goal in mind and tries to force Frankenstein into playing his games and doing what he wants. Frankenstein realizes his mistake in trying to take God’s place and create something he has no control over, but it is too late. His creature has decided to destroy not only him, but everything he loves.

With Tony, he believed that his work could save humanity: it would protect them from aliens and any threat too large for humans to handle. Instead he creates a creature, Ultron, that immediately tries to destroy him. It also has a goal in mind and tries to force Tony into playing his games and doing what he wants. Tony realizes his mistake, but it is too late. His creature has decided to destroy not only him, but everything he loves.

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The team has discord and seems to be falling apart, when after a brief pastoral retreat they come back in the game and go after Ultron. They steal the machine he was going to use to create the perfect body, with Tony comes up with a second idea. Use Ultron’s plan, but instead of Ultron, input his best friend/butler, J.A.R.V.I.S.

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So here we have The Bride of Frankenstein parallels.

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In the Bride of Frankenstein, Frankenstein has realized his mistake. Never again will he ever make another creature, but instead be satisfied with what he has already accomplished. Then an old friend, ), comes around and convinces him to make another creature, to be the opposite and balance out the first. Now while Frankenstein knows it is wrong, and has seen how out of control things could get with his first creation, he decides to do it again creating a bride for the creature.

So in this Bruce Banner has realized his mistake in assiting in creating Ultron. Never again will he ever make another creature, but instead be satisfied with what he has already accomplished. But then Tony starts wheedling him, insisting and convincing him to make another creature, to be the opposite and balance out the first. Now while Bruce knows it is wrong, and has seen how out of control things could get with his first creation, he decides to do it again creating a yin to Ultron’s yang, Vision.

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So after the create Vision, they go after Ultron, ending back where the film started; but this time with Vision, Scarlet Witch, & Quicksilver (Wanda and Pietro both choosing to go with the Avengers than Ultron).

The fight to save the world, losing an avenger in the process. Back in New York, the old has gone it’s own way and a new Avenger team is born.

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Now on to the issues.

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1) What an Opening, “What” as in “What is Going On?”

what what'shappeningSupernatural

The first scene was all over the place, in a ton of slow motion, and unrealistically packed with action that I thought they were pulling a Toy Story 2 and it was a video game.

Say What

I mean come on, in that one scene they are practically posing for the camera.

It might have been the drugs I was on for my ear infection, but yeah I legitamitely thought it was some kind of tease, that is how horribly fake looking that beginning is. It didn’t feel like it was happening, but as if you were watching a bad community play. I mean I saw several times where Black Widow should have been shot but “wasn’t”. The fighting in the first one was much better.

Also no context as to what it going on, why are they after Loki’s scepter? Where did it go after the first Avengers film? Now some people might say “if you watch the TV show you’ll know”, but that’s not what a sequel is about. A sequel is created to enhance characters or events from the first film/book, having a progression from the previous to the next. Not suddenly throw everything at you with you like I don’t know what is going on.

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2) Slow Mo needs to Go No Mo’

Stop stop it now!

Honestly Joss Wheedon, the ’90s called, they want their special effects back. But seriously, waaaaaaay tooo much. It looks horrible, it is distracting, and just takes your viewer out of the right state of mind.

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3) Calling Someone Out for Cursing Worth Talking About, But Create an Evil Robot and That’s Just a Moment Thing

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Seriously. This a running joke for everyone, it keeps rearing its ugly head throughout the film. But Tony? They are mad for a nanosecond, and then they move on. Really guys? Really? The Robot is definitely worse and worth discussing.

And he doesn’t make just one thing, but TWO! TWO!!!!!

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4) Enhanced Not Mutated

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) Ph: Jay Maidment ©Marvel 2015

I don’t know who’s idea it was to not make them mutants and the children of Magneto, but that was beyond stupid.

THEY ARE MUTANTS NOT ENHANCED MUTANTS!!!!!! And they are Magneto’s children.

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5) Clintasha or Brutasha?

So I did not like Black Widow and Hulk together. I really wanted it to be Black Widow and Hawkeye.

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Now I might not have minded the whole Brutasha if it weren’t for the fact that it came out of left field. Natasha does go get him in the first Avengers film, but that’s all we see of their interactions. There is nothing to suggest anything romantic, and no chemistry between them,  but yet we are expected they are considering running away together?

Girl Please

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6) Visions…I Guess?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

So what is up with the visions that Scarlet Witch makes. They never really explain her powers in the film so is it magic? Really the future? What?

They also don’t make any sense. For Tony it is his fear, and a bit of the future. Black Widow, a hidden memory, Thor a fear/vision. Captain America? How does what he sees relate to anything?

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7) Tony Pop Culture Allergy?

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So unlike Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, etc. Tony is a HUGE pop culture junkie. Yet when he creates artifical life, he doesn’t even consider how things could go horribly wrong. Wouldn’t he have seen Jurassic Park, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Frankenstein, The Terminator, I Robot, etc? Espechially as three that I just listed involve bad robots? Wouldn’t that make him pause, at least for a moment.

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8) I Leeloo Ultron Robot

The part when Ultron awoke and then starts researching to figure out his purpose and what he’s supposed to do made me think if The Fifth Element.

Ultron’s breakdown around his objective is also very similar to V.I.C.K.I., in I Robot, when she starts killing mankind to save mankind.


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9)Massive Iron Man Vs. Hulk

I feel like someone thought of this and then wrote the script around it. I know everyone thought it was super cool, but I actually thought it was kind of a worthless scene.

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10) Green Acres is the Place to Be

So the whole crew go out to Clint’s farm so that they can regroup and figure out a new plan. To me it seems like a ripoff from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), when they go to upstate New York to heal and refigure out what to do.

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11) Motorcycle Mama Knows NO Bounds of Gravity

When Ultron tosses the ground at Black Widow and she is able to not only stop in time but turn so she isn’t hurt.

Really?

Really?

Impossible and dumb thing to do. Just no, no.

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12) Copying Captain Underpants

So there was this book series in the early 2000s, Captain Underpants, about two kids, George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he is their comic book creation, Captain Underpants.

In the sequel, Attack of the Talking Toilets, George and Harold use the nerdy kid’s  science fair project, a 3D printer, and accidentally bring a giant toilet and his toilet army to life.

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When Captain America isn’t able to stop them, they then create a Giant Robot to battle and destroy the toilets.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is like the same exact plot. Just switch out toilets for Ultron & the robots, and Giant Robot for Vision.

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13) A Death That Didn’t Need to Happen

So people have been complaining that no one really dies in a superhero film, they always come back to life again. This coupled with Joss Wheedon liking to make us cry, meant he was going to kill someone and he killed Pietro.

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That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. The man has SUPER SPEED!!!! You really think he wouldn’t be able to just move around the bullets in time?

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I mean for once Fox did a better job than Disney.

Just so much awesome.

And if they are going to kill him, why not save him in the Stargate cradle thing? Hawkeye used it. And why does he, Cho, and Coulson get to survive?

You know why, because he is just being a pain, like Wes Craven when he killed Randy but let Dewey survive. And you know what Wheedon? Because that was so stupid, I’m going to ignore it.

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Let’s face it, we all know how it should have ended:

So no banner as I couldn’t find a pic that worked right. Instead I’m going to end with those who criticize films best:

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to A Giant Metal Man: The Iron Giant (1995)

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For more on The Avengers, go to Avengers Assemble!

For more evil robots, go to She’s Been Totally Different…Like Stepford: Ted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

For more mad scientists, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

For more Frankenstein, go to It’s Alive, It’s ALIVE!: Frankenstein (1931)

For more on The Bride of Frankenstein, go to I Want Friend Like Me: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

For more on sequels, go to It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?: Scream 2 (1997)

For more How It Should Have Ended, go to I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)

For more CinemaSins, go to Let Them Fight: Godzilla (2014)

 

I Want Friend Like Me: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

“You, make man… like me? No. Woman… friend for you.  Woman… Friend… Wife.”

So this is the sequel to Frankenstein  and I think a much better film.

Yes Mickey you were right

Yes Mickey you were right

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.

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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.

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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.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy!  Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

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

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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to Someone Very Special

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For more on the Bride of Frankenstein, go to A Monster Race

For more on Frankenstein, go to It’s Alive, It’s ALIVE!

For more classic horror films, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more monster movies, go to Grimwood Ghouls’ Gym Teacher

For more films based on books, go to Quite a Horror Story

For more sequels, go to Just Follow the Screams

For more on Frank Peretti, go to Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines

For more of my fav quotes, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper

It’s Alive, it’s ALIVE!: Frankenstein (1931)

Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!

What horror movie countdown would be complete without the film Frankenstein

Frankenstein is an amazing film that tells the story of when one man tries to be more than he is; he tries to be God. It is based on the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (FYI: A much better writer than her husband)

Edward Van Sloan: How do you do? Mr. Carl Laemmle feels it would be a little unkind to present this picture without just a word of friendly warning. We’re about to unfold the story of Frankenstein, a man of science who sought to create a man after his own image without reckoning upon God. It is one of the strangest tales ever told. It deals with the two great mysteries of creation: life and death. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you. So if any of you feel that you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now is your chance to, uh… Well, we’ve warned you. 

I have always loved this film, but I think The Bride of Frankenstein is much better. I will get more into why that is later.

This movie is terrifying as we see a Frankenstein becomes consumed with creating this being. He won’t listen to anyone else and his behavior frightening his friends, family, and fiancé.

Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

Let me just clarify for everyone out there that the name Frankenstein alludes to Victor Frankenstein, the mad doctor who creates the Monster. For some reason they changed his name to Henry in this film. In the film his best friend’s name is Victor, while in the book it is Henry. Go figure. The Monster is never called by a name other than Monster, Creature, or something similar. It’s like  The Creature from the Black Lagoon or The Thing from Another World, no proper names are given.

Anyways, he is helped out by a hunchback named Fritz

Not Igor, FRITZ!

The hunchback named Igor who helps mad scientists isn’t from the original Frankenstein, but comes from one of the sequels, Son of Frankenstein, where his name was Ygor; later translated to Igor.

Anyways, Fritz is the one who makes the mistake of stealing the criminal brain.

My Bad

 

So Frankenstein starts getting ready to bring his monster to life. In the novel, Shelley never tells us how it is done; Frankenstein never wanted to share the details of the experiment for fear that someone would create their own living dead. With nothing to go off of, the writers and directors decided to use lightening, and therefore changeing film culture and film history as this is referenced and parodied in so many films and TV shows.

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“Henry Frankenstein: Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!
Victor Moritz: Henry – In the name of God!
Henry Frankenstein: Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to be God!”

Frankenstein is so intent on proving everyone wrong, so focused on completing everything that he never stops to think whether he should do this. This is an interesting question posed; how far is too far?

So Frankenstein is able to create his monster:

Played by the very amazing Boris Karloff; extraordinary actor. He almost didn’t play this part as they originally offered it to Bela Lugosi who turned it down. I’m glad it was Karloff, because as much as I love Lugosi, no one could have done this better.

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The green makeup that is such a part of the Frankenstein figure was used because it gave Karloff a deadlike pallor of skin. Now it has become such a strong part of culture, we see the green-skinned, bolted monster every October.

After the Monster is created, we see this innocentlike creature. He is afraid of fire and tries to attack Fritz who brings a torch by him. All bystanders fear for their lives and chain the Creature up in the dungeon. Frankenstein and his friend Victor leave and discuss the best way to euthanize him. Unbeknownst to them Fritz is stupidly taunting the creature with a torch; causing the Monster to reach out and kill him.

When Victor and Frankenstein return; they see Fritz’s dead body on the floor, and have to run away from the Monster as it tries to attack them too. Frankenstein prepares a shot to kill him, and Victor gives it him. With all his problems solved, Frankenstein leaves to prepare for his wedding, and Victor begins to dissect the Creature. Unfortunately, the Monster didn’t die; but was only knocked out. He kills Victor and then escapes, running amuck in the countryside.

He runs into a little girl, who is nice and shows him the flowers she is picking up.

She shows him how flowers float in the river, which Frankenstein ultimately does to the little girl. Thinking that if he tosses the girl in the water she will float; he ends up ultimately drowning her.

Little Maria: See how mine floats.
[the Monster picks her up]
Little Maria: No, you’re hurting me! No!”

The farmer finds his daughter’s floating corpse and goes to pieces. He starts hunting down the monster; searching everywhere to find the fiend.

Frankenstein, happily preapering for his wedding is brought news of Victor’s death. He goes out searching for the monster along with the peasants who have their torches and pitchforks at the ready.

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Eventually Frankenstein tracks the monster down and is prepared to destroy him.

However the Monster knocks him out and carries him off to the windmill where he throws him off. Luckily, Frankenstein is caught by a vane and saved from death. There some peasants carry him home while others destroy the mill and kill the monster. Or do they?

Frankenstein gets home, where we see that he is safe and sound and in the arms of his Elizabeth dear.

After I watched the film a gazillion times, I read the novel and found it to be much more horrifying than the movie. In the book Frankenstein isn’t this bumbling creature, completely innocent and doesn’t understand things; but a criminal mastermind. Having learned to read and talk before he died; he is able to after some time remember how to do this and begins becoming more “human”. The one thing that he never regains is compassion, kindness, etc; all the caring emotions that make us who we are. He has no empathy or sympathy, believing that he was shown nothing but hatred and cruelty so he must show this to all.

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What they take from this and use in the sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein, is his want of a mate; his desire to have one like him to spend his life with. He threatens to destroy everyone that Frankenstein holds dear if he does give in to his demands. Frankenstein goes through a constant struggle with himself; knowing that he cannot risk creating another creature being made and mating along with the first. He realizes his mistakes at creating such a thing far too late. The monster doesn’t like hearing no and kills all Frankenstein loves. There is no sweet guy, accidentally killing someone like Lenny in Of Mice and Men, but this is a true psychopath fully aware of the crimes he is committing. Not only is the creature a serial killer, but he has become so intelligent that he is able to plant evidence so that people think someone else is the murderer. He kills Frankenstein’s brother William, and plants a locket on William’s nanny so that she is also killed. Then he kills Henry, Frankenstein’s friend, planting evidence so Frankenstein is arrested. He also kills Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s wife, making it seem once again that Frankenstein is the killer. With all those that he loves dead, Baron Frankenstein dies as well.   After everything is gone from him; Frankenstein devotes his life to hunting down what he created and destroying it.

It’s a great book, I suggest reading it and watching the film.

There’s a classic terror for your Tuesday! More to come!

I almost forgot to mention this. Unlike The Mummy, Dracula, or The Wolfman; Frankenstein has never had a major motion, globally shown, sent to all theaters, remake. However that is all about to change as Guillermo del Toro is planning one, and hoping that it will be coming out soon. To read more up on it go here. We shall have to wait and see what happens and how it turns out.

Here’s poster I made for my cover page on facebook in honor or Halloween. Hope ya love it.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to When Potatoes Go Bad

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For more on Frankenstein, go to A Monster Race

For more on Boris Karloff, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket

For more films based on books, go to The Only Thing That Matters is the Ending

For more on Jurassic Park, go to Life Finds a Way

For more on the living dead, go to A Tale So Strange It Must Be True

For more on mad scientists, go to A Very Scary Story

For more universal films, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

For more of my fav quotes, go to Insults