Saturday, October 1, 2011

Frankenstein my #1 Favorite Monster

This October all month I am going to be showcasing my favorite monster`s of all time. Today I decided to go with my favorite monster Frankenstein, to me Frankenstein has been a icon to me since before I can even remember; I have read the outstanding novel by Mary Shelly twice and have seen almost all the movie adaptations. Naturally my favorite is the 30s version with Boris Karloff and directed by James Whale. Which brings to mind a conversation I had earlier this month with a friend of mine; we were both came to the conclusion that without James Whale and his phenomenal movie adaptation, Frankenstein simply would`t be what he is today. Whales movie definitely strayed  from the novel quite drastically in many areas and is almost completely its own thing but yet its still the perfect Frankenstein movie. As well as Karloff being the perfect Frankenstein monster, even though the way he looks in the movie is quite different from how the novel describes him, he is still the immortal image of Frankenstein. Universal then made some squeals to this movie starting with Bride Of Frankenstein which some people have argued to being better then the first, for me i`m not to sure if I completely agree with that, but I do agree its a timeless classic and is a movie that has so much to offer. Son Of Frankenstein was the first Frankenstein movie that didn't have James Whale as director and was the last appearance of Boris Karloff as the monster. On the other hand this movie is just as awesome the first two, you have an all star cast of Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone, and Lionel Atwill all at there best; as well as the introduction of some of the best and most well known Frankenstein characters like Ygor and Krogh the crazy police chief with the fake arm. This movie was also the longest of the series at 1hr 40mins.
          Ghost Of Frankenstein on the other hand has a great cast and some good ideas but just can`t even come close enough for me to being as good as the first three movies. Lon Chaney jr was good a Frankenstein and Cedric Hardwicke is at one of his best performances here, yet this movie sadly falls short of my expectations for some reason. Now on the other hand House Of Frankenstein is simply amazing! I am welling say I like even better then Son Of Frankenstein, and ever time I watch this movie it gets better and better. Its ultimate monster mash, you have Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the mad scientist (played by Boris Karloff) and of course his evil hunchbacked assistant Daniel. The best word to describe this movie would be EPIC! Its got almost ever Horror star form that era minus Lugosi unfortunately, instead John Carradine plays Dracula. Which despite all the crap people give about him being Dracula I think he was great, of course he was not as good as Lugosi or as evil as Christopher Lee; but he has his place. Alright enough about Dracula for now, back to Frankenstein. He comes back one last time in the disappointing squeal House Of Dracula, were hes supposedly killed for good. Oh I haven't forgot Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man I saved it for last because its sort of a blend of both movies and is sort of more of a squeal to the Wolf Man then Frankenstein because it picks up right from the events of the Wolf Man. Anyways in this one Lugosi plays Frankenstein and pretty darn good if you ask me. Though originally he was supposed to speak but in the final cut the monster remains incapable of speech.

       The monster pretty much remained dormant after House Of Dracula, with the exception of a couple low budget takes such as I Was A Teenage Frankenstein and Frankenstein 1970. Well for me I love Frankenstein 1970, you have Boris Karloff himself in the role of Victor Frankenstein`s grandson who`s disfigured from being tortured by Nazi`s and absolutely insane and the films climax and ending was a respectful nod at the original Universal movies. I will say the monster doesn't look all that great but you could probably blame that on the budget.
          But once you get to 1957 you get Hammers absolutely amazing adaptation of the novel, Curse Of Frankenstein. This is nothing like the Universal movie at all, for instance it focus more on the scientist Victor Frankenstein rather then on the monster, Its also a lot more bloody then universals, and in the way the monster looked was much more in the style of the novel. I`ve heard it argued that its closer to the novel the Universal version, all I have to say is maybe thats true; but this strays pretty far from the novel to (not that i`m complaining). Peter Cushing is awesome as the Victor Frankenstein unlike Colin Clive, Cushing is super evil and won't let anyone stand in his way but you know what oddly he`s still a very sympathetic character. Then Christopher Lee is great as the monster he looks much more like how Mary Shelly would have imagined him.
         Curse was almost admittedly followed up by a very good sequel Revenge Of Frankenstein, which I have noticed ever time I watch it I appreciate it more. Its got such a good scenario and has unique atmosphere to it. Now I have to admit I haven't seen The Evil Of Frankenstein yet.Though from what i`ve heard it doesn't really fit in with the series and is sort of its own thing. I have on the other hand seen Frankenstein Created Women which I did not have much expectations for but after I finished watching it was completely blown away by it. Its just so good in the way it delivers itself, and Cushing gives his character a larger then life fell to him. Created  Women is probably Hammers closes thing to Bride Of Frankenstein but that`s of course debatable.
          The follow up to Created Women was Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. This follow-up is described by many including its director Terrance Fisher to be the best of the series. I personal don`t agree with that but hey this movies still great. Its probably one of the darker Frankenstein movies but since i`ve only seen it once I can`t really say to much on it, other then its pretty good of course and that I wasn't too big of a fan in the monster this time. Finally you have Hammers conclusion to there series Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell, unfortunately I still haven't seen this one but believe me I really want to! One thing I have heard about it though is the monster looks like a shaved gorilla. Also i`m pretty sure its the only one in the series that's actually rated R, which that alone makes me very curious to check it out.

         Altogether Frankenstein is my favorite monster, despite all the many adaptions and film  appearance`s he`s still a icon that will never get old for me. he`s been in some amazing movies and he`s had some not so amazing movies such as Kenneth Branagh`s 1994 Mary Shelly`s Frankenstein which boasts as being the most true to the book, that may be true but hell it still strays from the book quite a bit and has some really stupid additions and is an altogether weak and forgettable movie. Despite all that it never even taints the Frankenstein name and he remains the king of all Monsters.

Now as usual I just have to add a picture from a cartoon I grew up on .

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