Frankenstein, as most people know it, was a monster movie released in 1931 that was (loosely) based on the 1818 book by Mary Shelley. The former is a good ol' example of American directors fucking up the visions of authors.


Just The Facts

  1. Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" (also known as "The Modern Prometheus") was a wag of the finger to the Industrial Revolution in 19th century England.
  2. The "Frankenstien" in question is far too often mistaken as the monster, rather than its creator.
  3. When the 1931 movie released, there were paramedics on standby for those who were so frightened by the movie, they'd go into cardiac arrest.

The 1818 Story (spared the boring stuff)

Shelley's story was an outcry to the dangers of "playing God" associated with many of the scientific breakthroughs the century brought forth. The monster (known as such), was in fact an intelligent being who could read, speak and love in his own, albeit menacing, manner. His overall outlook on life after death was drastically swayed after he reads John Milton's Paradise Lost.

There is a method to his madness that was brilliantly captured, sparking a great deal of Gothic horror novels and even science fiction precursors. This is because the monster was a symbolic representation of pure terror.Pictured, a symbolic representation of pure terror.

The 1931 film adaptation

Shelley's work was a difficult nut to crack, but director James Whale was up to the task. So how did he present such a complicated piece? By dumbing it down... a lot! The monster was eschewed materials of corpses dug up, rather than one single reanimated being. He was also unintelligible, and prone to violence early, and often with little provocation. In fact, he sets the stage for one of the very first on screen death in a film when he strangles an innocent man. This meant there had to be a real life, one minute monologue, disclaimer warning the audience of the horrors to come.

Boris Karloff, the man behind the monster, was never credited in the film, and was instead referred to as "?", you know, in case anybody believed this shit was real. This is rather puzzling, since he had one of the most successful careers following the film. Also, the famous Igor was often mistaken for being in this film, when in fact his name was Fritz (Dwight Frye). Igor is actually just a name referring to a character fitting the hunchback lab mate archetype.

The 1974 parody

What can be said about this piece of comedy gold? Young Frankenstein is regarded as Mel Brooks's greatest works, and this is due highly in part to the cast, and the familiarity of the first film. In fact, Young Frankenstein bears a more striking resemblance to the original book due to the monster speaking, and having a mate all within the same storyline.

Interesting fact, Mel Brooks actually managed to procure the laboratory to the original Frankenstein to shoot the famous "It's Alive!" scene. None would have predicted that Gene Wilder would have an inferred sex scene on the table of this lab, but that's Hollywood for you.