Saturday, October 18, 2014

The MONTH of HORROR - Day 18: Frankenstein (1931)

Off the top, let's get a few facts straight because there are some common misconceptions regarding this classic of the horror genre: There are no characters here named "Victor", There is no "Igor, the hunchback lab assistant's name is "Fritz", and "Frankenstein" is the surname of the main character, and not of the monster. Basically, if anyone ever says they're going as Frankenstein for Halloween, they really ought to be dressing up as a mad scientist.

Oh I'm just no fun! Taking everything so seriously, and literally--I have just one thing to say to you then: RRRRRRAAARRRRGHHHH!! RRRRRRRRGGHHH!!!

That's what I thought.

'Frankenstein' is a fantastic little movie, and I do mean little as the run time is a brisk 70 minutes! It's old fashioned in the best possible way as well, which means that the effects are charmingly practical, the sets grandiose, and elaborate, and the acting all theatrically over the top. The legendary Boris Karloff plays Frankenstein's Monster as a frightened beast of a creature, unsure of the world, and the people around him. He roars, he lashes out with his lanky arms, and ambles his surgically pieced together body around like some sort of rag doll zombie--and he doesn't seem to mind the fashionable bolts sticking out the sides of his neck either! He is a legendary movie monster.

There's really not a whole lot that can be said about this movie outside of the fact that it's phenomenal, and if you seriously love horror, and have never dipped your toes in any of the classic Universal monster flicks then this is a great one to start with. The black and white is terrifically eerie, the score is booming and overbearing in the best possible way, and the craftsmanship is perfect. There's no dance scene set to the tune of "Puttin' on the Ritz" but that's fine, it would be another 40 years until the world was ready for that kind of brilliance.

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