Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bride of Frankenstein

Brought to Life by Alan Trehern

"It's alive! IT'S ALIIIVVEEE!!!!" Those famous words were repeated again in this direct sequel to the original Universal monster classic, Frankenstein. Did the monster survive the burning windmill? Yes. Did Dr. Frankenstein survive his 20+ foot drop from the top of that burning windmill? You bet. He's a boss. And finally, is a movie that's almost 80 years old with a guy named Boris Karloff as the lead still entertaining? Entertaining enough to be highlighted on's Spooktacular Shocktoberfest Big Horror Movie Scare-A-Thon? I think you know the answer, dummy.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Directed by James Whale
Starring Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester and Colin Clive

I mean, that is a big question, although it sounds like I'm joking. If a movie is still entertaining even after almost 100 years, you've got something special on your hands. And with the recent talk on the NJNM Podcast, where we mentioned the preservation of film and what not, I was happy to see that one of these original monster movies was still as fun to watch as I'm sure it was back in the 1930s.
You like go antiquing?  Me find real wood side table...
Bride starts with the monster still roaming the countryside and villagers attempting to destroy him with as many blunt objects as possible (i.e. clubs, rocks, pitchforks, plastic bags full of bleach, etc.). And while Dr. Frankenstein (Clive) is tempted by a new mad scientist to create ANOTHER monster, the Monster (Karloff) goes on his own journey, where he finds a bit of humanity. Although I still have yet to view the first installment of the Frankenstein series, it has been so referenced and parodied that I feel I have seen it; it is a monster movie, where the antagonist is the Frankenstein monster. But in Bride of Frankenstein, the Monster learns to speak, he cries, and the audience begins to feel for the clumsy guy. The angry mobs look more and more discriminatory because they aren't even giving this guy a chance! Sure he drowned a child and pushed a husband and wife down a dark chasm, but you have to consider he JUST came back to life...
Don't worry, she left her baggage at the door...
Now, I don't wanna talk about every scene, but the most important is the scene where Dr. Frankenstein and Pretorius bring the bride to life.  The character that the movie is named after.  And take a guess when this happens...  Yup, right at the end.  And the Bride character doesn't come back in ANY of the sequels.  Sorry, SPOILER ALERT.  So if you're strangely attracted to Lanchester in the famous hair-do, sorry gent, you get about 3-4 minutes (NOTE: Lanchester also played Mary Shelley at the beginning).  The character is super famous for what seems like a cool cameo, so you can sorta see how these Universal monster movies entered and stayed in the American pop culture.

In conclusion, check out this interesting look back in time, and see the roots of horror in cinema.  Many fans of the series call Bride of Frankenstein James Whale's masterpiece; "Bride is better than the original" is sometimes a phrase that might be thrown around in you local 1930s-40s cinema clubs.  The scene with the miniature monarchs is quirky, as is some of the dialogue, but there are some worthwhile moments and some great acting.  Personal friend and confidant James Rolfe (AVGN) over at recently did his review of this very movie!  "Great minds..." as they say.  But don't go to HIS site for horror movie reviews, stick right here at for more of the Spooktacular Shocktoberfest Big Horror Movie Scare-A-Thon!


Chester Cheeto said...

I love how you described the aging of this movie as "almost 80 years old" in the opening paragraph, and then added "almost 100 years old" in the second stanza. Come on, man, that's like, 20 years! You know how big of a difference that is? That's like a sh*tty John Hughes movie up against anything Seth Rogan touches.

Regardless, this sounds awful. No color? Now, that sounds like the ticket to get me laid. It also sounds like it's severely lacking montages, boom mic gaffes, and Paul Walker.

Ben Pearson said...

Hahaha..."personal friend and confidant."

The Real Alan Trehern said...

@Chester: You know, as the review progresses, the film gets exponentially older. It's science.

@Ben: I get the feeling that you are mocking me.

@Everyone Else: TREHERN RULES!