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sycasey 2.0

Frankenstein

Frankenstein  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Does Frankenstein go in the space capsule?

    • ✅ It's aliiive!
      5
    • ❌ No, it's "Frahnk-en-steen."
      3


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Amy & Paul reanimate 1931’s literary creature feature Frankenstein! They learn Boris Karloff’s real name, discuss what the film has to say about the human act of creation, and ask why “burgermaster” is no longer a public title. Plus: A quick look at the follow-up “Bride Of Frankenstein.”

This is the first episode of our “Unghouled” horror miniseries; next week’s film is The Babadook! Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Also check out our live Spool Party episodes on youtube.com/earwolf, and apply to be a guest on Screen Test at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall

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I voted a soft no, but that's mostly because I haven't seen the other classic Universal horror movies (including Bride of Frankenstein, which many people say is better than this). I'm just not sure if this is the one to go in the space capsule. I was impressed by a lot of this movie, including Karloff's performance and Whale's visualization of the world.

The ending definitely bugged me because it seemed lame and abrupt, but now I've learned that it was tacked-on by the studio so that's more forgivable.

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The 1910 Frankenstein isn't lost! You can watch the whole thing here:


If another person corrects you for calling the monster Frankenstein and says: "Frankenstein is not the monster, he's the doctor," you can correct that person right back, because in the book, Victor is not a doctor at all. He's a student of chemistry and does not get his doctorate.

The Adam thing is from the book, where the monster says to Frankenstein: "I ought to be thy Adam." (He talks a lot in the book.)

"Burgomasters" or "burgermeisters" still exist. In the English-speaking world, they're now called mayors.

Young Frankenstein arguably takes most of its plot and characters from Son of Frankenstein, which is also the first movie in which Frankenstein has an assistant named Igor, brilliantly played by Bela Lugosi.

They were so sure they wanted Lugosi for the role of the monster in the 1931 movie, they even had a poster made with his name on it. Though the artist didn't seem to know what Lugosi looked like, nor what the story of Frankenstein was about. Still an awesome poster.

1385537408_lugosifrankenstein.jpg.2bcb2847f59ca66d62ad9c0d739e931a.jpg

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20 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

I voted a soft no, but that's mostly because I haven't seen the other classic Universal horror movies (including Bride of Frankenstein, which many people say is better than this). I'm just not sure if this is the one to go in the space capsule. I was impressed by a lot of this movie, including Karloff's performance and Whale's visualization of the world.

The ending definitely bugged me because it seemed lame and abrupt, but now I've learned that it was tacked-on by the studio so that's more forgivable.

I voted a soft yes, because I also think Bride is better. I don't think there's much of a debate over that; I don't know a single person who says the original is the best one. It's just the one that gave the American horror movie its cinematic style (Tod Browning's Dracula felt like a filmed play), so it makes the lists. But as far as I know, Bride is the clearest, most universally accepted case of a superior sequel there has ever been (perhaps sharing that place with 1934's Tarzan and his Mate).

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46 minutes ago, jjulius said:

I voted a soft yes, because I also think Bride is better. I don't think there's much of a debate over that; I don't know a single person who says the original is the best one. It's just the one that gave the American horror movie its cinematic style (Tod Browning's Dracula felt like a filmed play), so it makes the lists. But as far as I know, Bride is the clearest, most universally accepted case of a superior sequel there has ever been (perhaps sharing that place with 1934's Tarzan and his Mate).

I've always preferred the original. Just barely but I do.

I've never really liked how much the monster talks in it. There was a lot of Christ imagery in it which I felt was overdoing it. Maybe that's more in keeping with the book, but I guess I'm not concerned with maintaining accuracy to the source material in this case.

I'd put Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein as the two best Universal monster movies. At least of the originals. Of the sequels I have seen, Bride is the only one I think close to the original (unless we count the Spanish language Dracula).

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2 hours ago, jjulius said:

I voted a soft yes, because I also think Bride is better. I don't think there's much of a debate over that; I don't know a single person who says the original is the best one. It's just the one that gave the American horror movie its cinematic style (Tod Browning's Dracula felt like a filmed play), so it makes the lists. But as far as I know, Bride is the clearest, most universally accepted case of a superior sequel there has ever been (perhaps sharing that place with 1934's Tarzan and his Mate).

I dislike Bride of Frankenstein right from the intro scene with Mary Shelley. The real Mary Shelley had enough artistic integrity not to retcon character deaths in order to churn out a sequel. And don't get me started on how poorly Dr. Pretorius and his tiny people fit into this world. The scene with the blind man is decent, but that's basically the only worthwhile bit it adds on top of the original.

I'm a soft no because this is an important film, but not one of 100 films to be shot into space. You guys mentioned Get Out, and that was really a surprisingly well-made horror movie for a debut director known for comedy, but it's not really comparable to something like The Exorcist.

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I loved Frankenstein, and am leaning to yes. I really wish we voted after going through more of the series though. But for now I do think a Universal Monster movie should be on there and this seems to be a great choice to me. But yea, I guess in time I could see it being overtaken by a high bar and more choices, but for now I'm with it.

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I voted no. Maybe I’d like it better if I saw it again.

To quote one critic, the plot felt “impossibly thin even at 70 minutes.” And most of that was taken up with Dr. Frankenstein’s personal life, which I just didn’t care about. Then the three or four most iconic scenes had been effectively “spoiled” for me by a thousand references in TV shows and the like. Maybe this wouldn’t be weighing it down if I saw it again.

Also, as much as the ending was forced by the studio, we can’t just “not count it” against the movie. It’s the only ending we have.

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1 hour ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I loved Frankenstein, and am leaning to yes. I really wish we voted after going through more of the series though. But for now I do think a Universal Monster movie should be on there and this seems to be a great choice to me. But yea, I guess in time I could see it being overtaken by a high bar and more choices, but for now I'm with it.

I think some representation of the Universal monsters belongs as part of the film canon. At the very least in horror film canon. Their influence on horror is massive. There are some great horror movies that predate this, but none of them seem to have the reach they did. Maybe it's because other movies of the day aren't kind of packaged together as a thing. If Dracula or Frankenstein were completely on their own, they would have been big but maybe not as big. 

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13 hours ago, grudlian. said:

I've always preferred the original. Just barely but I do.

I've never really liked how much the monster talks in it. There was a lot of Christ imagery in it which I felt was overdoing it. Maybe that's more in keeping with the book, but I guess I'm not concerned with maintaining accuracy to the source material in this case.

I'd put Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein as the two best Universal monster movies. At least of the originals. Of the sequels I have seen, Bride is the only one I think close to the original (unless we count the Spanish language Dracula).

Oh, neither of the movies is faithful to the source (though Bride is arguably more faithful, the blind man and the idea of creating a mate for the monster being big parts of the book -- in any case, that's wouldn't be what makes it the better film). The Christ imagery would have been absolutely shocking at the time. I just love how all out it goes.

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While I think Frankenstein is a better horror movie, I think Bride is a better film in general.  But Universal monsters needs a place - there are just too many horror film tropes it spawns. 

As mentioned upthread, Young Frankenstein is almost a complete recreation of Son of Frankenstein - same exact plot, characters, the Inspector with the artificial arm, etc. Watch Son, then Young Frankenstein. YF copies some scenes from F and Bride (the child, the blind man etc), but the plot is SOF. It's like watching Zero Hour then Airplane.

Glad to see the theme of Frankenstein wanting to create life while ignoring his wife -- while ignoring the very thing which naturally allows him/them to actually create life. Also, the theme in the book is about not escaping the results of our prying into natures secrets, not "secrets we were not meant to meddle with" which is one of the film's themes. Yes, we can create life, built an atomic bomb, clone dinosaurs etc - but they don't go away. 

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