Friday, 16 July 2010
Frankenstein, from then to now.
Ah yeas Frankenstein.
The man who created a monster out of corpses and thereby defied the laws of nature, which he came to pay for pretty dearly.
All though, how dearly depends on the adaptation you're watching.
The original book was written by female author Mary Shelley when she was only 19 years old, on a dark stormy night all the way back in 1818.
I really love this book, and I never get tired of reading it as I always discover something new even though it's not a heavy large book, it's not even half as long as Dracula but have so much more going on for it, and it doesn't drag me down, as old classic novels often does, I really can't believe it was written in 1818, almost two hundred years ago. that is just incredible.
lots of stage plays were based on the book through the 1800 century, and there have even been made more than one silent movie, one of them is legally free to watch on youtube, which is just a very odd little ten minute long movie, if you wanna put ten minutes aside go ahead, but its really campy old, low in production and just all around weird.
the 1931 Frankenstein movie with Boris Karloff is probably the one most people are thinking about when talking Frankenstein, even though few people have seen it. This movie just created all the mental imprints we have. the look of the lab with all the sparkly light thingies all around, the castle on a hill with lighting in the back ground, the graveyard which just looks so bare, the hunchbacked assistant, the creator yelling "It's alive", villagers charging the castle with hay forks and touches, and of cause the look of the monster.
All of these things is in the movie. Now its important to remember, non of this stuff had ever appeared in a movie before this, this movie doesn't use old clichés. it created them from scratch. And the movie is well checking out for any horror fan of any horror genre, because this is the movie where it all really began. its a cool movie.
The sequel "Bride of Frankenstein" from 1935 is a stunning experience. it doesn't have so many things in it that would eventually become clichés, but it is actually a better movie.
It is just so beautiful, well acted and preformed, well written and all that stuff. it's really a sequel worth its title and time, taking what the first movie brought and taking it a step further, just as any sequel in reality should. one cliché this movie created however was the blind old man with the violin, and the scenes he is in is just so filled with emotion that it's unbelievable, you wouldn't quite believe it, but that's how it is. a really cool and beautiful movie, and this is my personally favourite movie of all the universal classics.
five other sequels have been made, but they are not nearly as good nor influential as these two first movies, and is really only worth checking out for hardcore fans.
In 1957 the british horror company Hammer Productions made their first major horror, which was Frankenstein. through time there were made 7 Hammer Frankenstein films all in all, all with Peter Cushing as Viktor Frankenstein.
These movies are awesome, instead of having the same monster appear again and again like in the universals movies, Frankenstein was the one to reaccure, each time with a growing insanity as his obsession of creating a monster that works grows which each movie, really making Peter Cushings performance the highlight of each movie and the entire film series, non of the monsters have ever hardly anything to do. they are kind of camped and not always visually stunning, but the horror and the mood are always very much present which is what makes these movies so great.
in 1974, Parody maker Mel Brooks made his master piece in both comedy and spoof movies. "Young Frankenstein" this movie is both beautiful to look at, have class, is daring and vulgar and is funny as hell. Both Gene Wilder as Frankenstein and Marty Feldman as Igor, both comedians known for plenty of other stuff delivers the performance of their life, and the performance fans would continued widely claim to be the best they ever gave.
The movie is a love letter to the old universal Frankenstein movies of the 30's as the style is completely replicated and the movie shows nothing but respect towards its origins. its well worth checking out.
in 1990 Tim Burton made the movie "Edward Scissor hands" which is quite a different kind of Frankenstein tale, where the maker is not involved in other but few flash backs scenes, though the themes is very much the same themes as is often used regarding the monster in the classic Frankenstein movies.
I really love this movie, it's one of the movies out of my childhood, and I just love everything about it. It really have an all around fairy tale fell about it, and its just so cute and funny though at the same time developing a serious dark undertone towards the end.
Personally, I believe this movie paints what Tim Burton was all about in his pride, and sadly he have kind of forgotten with his last few movies, though this glimpse of the past is well worth checking into. one thing is for sure, even November as the first snow falls outside of my window, this movie will be popped into my DVD machine.
In 1994 Kenneth Bragath made his version of the Frankenstein "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" and put himself in the main role as Frankenstein. Already as production had hardly started he claimed this to be the definitive version of Frankenstein.
sigh... I can't stand film makers that have the arrogance to call their version of something "The definitive" especially with something with such a big legacy, as pr usual I havn't hardly touched all that that have been going on in this franchise, it's legacy is just huge.
Is it definitive then? well, its a lot more faithful to the original novel than any of the above mentioned films, but that doesn't make it entirely faithful, and I just don't find it that exciting either. It's a bit to pretentious and a bit to bland to me and really trips over itself in the story telling and becomes muddled as it tries to much, all though it really tries, and of cause over ambitious is always better than under ambitious, I just don't fancy this movie that much.
If you want to see a version that rocks that is incredible faithful to the novel watch the two parter television movie with John Huston as the monster from 2006, it's awesome! and unbelievable faithful to the original novel.
And this year 2010 we had "Splice"
I did not exspect to get a Frankenstein film delivered, but that is kind of what it is.. well of for nothing else than.. awesome to go and see a Frankenstien film in cinema! though... really disgusting and disturbing Frankenstein... YUK!
though, how often do I say yuk of a recent horror film? not to often I have to admit, so yeah, applaud.
It really is Frankenstein, the main characters are even called "Clive and Elsa" which is obviously named after Colin Clive, who played Viktor Frankenstein in the 1931 movie, and Elsa Lanchester who played the bride in the 1935 sequel. awesome!
now this isn't a perfect film, but for a horror fan who likes campy, cheap shock evil dead effect horror over things that doesn't even try an be all smart with itself. its a treat, and I throughout enjoyed it. despite a couple of "huh" moments, I was never bored and that counts a lot for me in recent horrors as most horrors bores me to dead.
well, awesome. I went to cinema and expected a new kind of boring Matrix but got a kind of fun Frankenstein, this franchise is just to good to ever really die.