Showing posts with label frankenstein. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frankenstein. Show all posts

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Franken-Watch: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

This year on the 80th anniversary of the release of The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), I wrote a post celebrating the film.   You're welcome to check out what I said there about the movie.

Each Halloween I now make it a habit to watch a string of horror films from across the past hundred years, and while the rest of what I'll watch I might change up, I always include the first two Frankenstein films from Universal Studios, Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein.  Of course I just watched Frankenstein (and I really do recommend catching these movies in the theater, when possible), but I found no listings for the movie here in Austin, so I busted out my BluRay copy.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Franken-Watch: Frankenstein (1931) with the Univ. of Texas Wind Ensemble

I don't think it's a secret that Frankenstein (1931) is one of my favorite movies.  For the past 15 years or so, I've watched the movie about annually, and definitely for the last decade that's been true.

For a long time, The University of Texas music department has found Halloween-related activities to put on, and for years one of the faculty would play the organ along with the Chaney-starring Phantom of the Opera, but I never managed to see it.  About a month ago, I figured out that this year, Frankenstein was showing at the Bass Concert Hall, the big theater where travelling Broadway shows often set up camp in Austin.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Television Weekend: "Wet Hot American Summer - First Day of Camp" and "Penny Dreadful"

I don't often "binge watch" TV, but when you can get through a whole season of a TV show in four hours, sign me up.

The 2001-era movie, Wet Hot American Summer, has, apparently, become a staple of Netflix viewing.  Or something.  Because, for some reason, 14 years later, Netflix has doubled-down and produced 8 episodes of a TV show that should be insanely expensive to produce, just off actor's salaries.  My guess is that everyone is working at scale or something, because, really, what was a herd of mostly up-and-coming actors in 2001 are now established either in Hollywood or smaller comedy circles.  The Netflix series has also added a bucket-load of additional actors in other roles, including Jon Hamm (who has just shockingly good comedy chops, as he's demonstrated multiple times over the years), Michael Cera, and a few I don't want to spoil.

If you missed the original movie, the conceit was a play on "the summer camp picture", which was a staple of the 1980's, from comedies to horror films.   The adult-aged actors played 16-year-old camp counselors, and, Friday the 13th aside, worked not just aspects of those movies, but of camp, in general.*

The original movie squishes a lot into a relatively short running time.  It's a great ensemble piece playing out over the last day of camp as everyone concludes their unfinished business, from romance to preventing a rogue satellite from landing on the camp.  You're either with the movie or you're against it.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Christopher Lee Merges With The Infinite

This is a tough one.

Actor Christopher Lee passed away this week at the age of 93.

Christopher Lee is one of the first actor's names I remember, which is weird, because I knew him from a book I read and reread as a kid about movie monsters, but I didn't see his Dracula movies until fairly recently.  And, seriously, he's phenomenal.  Hammer Horror has it's own style, and at the heart of the best of those movies, you could often find Christopher Lee as a Dracula or Mummy or Frankenstein.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Bride of Frankenstein" at 80

I think that one time I spent a month doing posts on tumblr, or the multiple time I've covered the movie on this site, might have dropped a clue or two that I'm a fan of the 1935 movie, Bride of Frankenstein.  Yesterday marked the 80th Anniversary of the movie's release, a remarkably long time for a movie to remain vital and immediate, to be continually finding new fans.

To me, the appeal of the movie is obvious.  It's hilarious, horrific, bizarre, melodramatic, self-serious, grotesque, childish and completely dependent on a movie I enjoy almost as much to make any sense.  And it features a completely unnecessary opening framing device, clearly there to please the creative staff and no one else.

If the original Frankenstein film fails to capture the book, this one more or less throws the book away while  also laying claim to it, using small portions and ideas of the book to tell a new and unnecessary story, but somehow a deeply fulfilling one - and in the process makes a double-bill of Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, really, the best way to see both pictures and consider it one long project with an interruption mid-way through.  Upon returning from that break, you'll notice a change in tone of the film to a grander sense of scale, weirder characters and poor Colin Clive seemingly more wrecked than in even the first movie, all the while everyone else seems to be having a grand old time putting on a show.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Franken-Watch: The Bride (1985)

Ever since I was a kid, I'd be meaning to watch the 1985 movie, The Bride, but was first told it was "too adult" or something, and later, "it's not very good".  And, you know, that second one is far more correct than the first rationale for skipping this film.  But between my interest in the Frankenstein story in general and because the movie Bride of Frankenstein is easily in my top 5 or 10 movies (especially when paired with Frankenstein itself, for a neat, under 3 hour package), I figured that if I could watch Christmas Vacation over and over, I could make time for a movie I hadn't seen.

If our trend this week is about failed marriages, we can twist that idea a bit to include how the doctor lost his lady friend, Jennifer Beals.

The movie features a fascinatingly 1980's cast, probably meaningless to the kids today, but you Gen X'ers and post Gen X'ers will probably at least raise an eyebrow.  Cast as Doctor Frankenstein (who I don't know ever receives a first name in this version) is former rocker/ current adult contemporary wunderkind, Sting, who was transitioning as the Police collapsed for the fifteenth time and as he made a stab at an acting career in some offbeat movies during the era (like Dune!).  As the titular Bride/ Eva, the movie casts Flashdance star Jennifer Beals, most likely as she and Elsa Lanchester are both the proud owners of gigantic, dark eyes, lots of hair and striking features.  Not too distant from his role in The Highlander as the Cossack, Clancy Brown plays Viktor/ The Monster (yeah, artistic license), but well before he became Mr. Crabs of SpongeBob fame.  And, David Rappaport, who you'll recognize from Time Bandits, plays a new character, Rinaldo the dwarf, a guy who befriends the monster as he wanders in the woods and helps him realize personhood.  And, a young Cary Elwes shows up, all fresh faced and prettier than everyone in the room.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Finally getting around to comics again

This is how I know the schedule for the past two months was a little wacky.

I haven't been to the gym for at least four weeks, and I was sorting my unread comics, and I have three months' worth of some titles backed up.  No working out - which is it's own funny story - and no time made for comics in the evenings.  At least not those floppies, as I have read some collections.

The nice thing is:  Looking at this pile on my coffee table, I actually want to read all of these comics.

In the past when I'd hit a point where I was too busy to read comics, it was always instructive to look at what I didn't want to read in multiple issues at a time.  That usually meant I was dropping the title.  But with the limited number of titles I'm buying as floppies these days, (a) I know I can catch up, and (b) the spark still seems to be there as I'm sorting through my comics to start cutting down the pile.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Octoberama! Sundays with The Bride! Part 2!

As we head into Halloween, let's just celebrate with some Bride Miscellenia and fan art from around Tumblr!

As Ms. Lanchester celebrates her 110th somewhere in The Infinite, clearly I'm not the only one with a thing for girls with interesting hair-do's.

If you didn't read our post on Ms. Lanchester earlier today, please take a moment to do so.  It's her birthday.

from the Mondo Universal Horror celebration.  Saw this in person, and it is absolutely stunning.
This is a collection of fan-art of varying provenance - some official, most not.  From what I can tell, somehow The Bride and The Monster have become icons for the rockabilly-retro crowd as it exists in 2012, applying late 50's aesthetic to the 1935 character with the tattoo sensibilities of today.

Go, pop-culture.

Octoberama! Sundays with The Bride - Happy Birthday, Elsa

Last week, JimD emailed me and asked if I planned on posting about Elsa Lanchester's 110th Birthday, which happens to fall on today, the day I'd planned the finale post for Sundays with The Bride.  Honestly, I had no idea the birthday was coming, so, everybuddy, take a moment and thank JimD and then take another moment and appreciate cosmic happenstance.

I had another post ready, and so you'll still see that today, later, but as it's Elsa's birthday, we need to give the lady her due.

We all grew up seeing clips from The Bride of Frankenstein, or saw the role of The Bride parodied in other films, in cartoons, or pop art.  The role passed into western iconography as much as the rest of the Universal Horror pack of monsters, but - oddly - The Bride appears for a total of one scene in this single film.  The Bride has no speaking lines, and, of all the Universal Horror "monsters", she is the only one which hurts nobody.

But that's only if you don't count breaking hearts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October Watch: Frankenstein (1931) and Bride (1935) Double-Bill!

I don't really keep a list around of "what is my favorite movie?" (I mean, go ahead and check out my recommendations at the tab above, but...) but the first two James Whale directed, Karloff-starring Frankenstein films are in the mix somewhere.

It's one of those things that is difficult to explain.  And it's funny, because I am absolutely not alone in my admiration of these two films - but the folks who like these movies also seem to have a hard time putting feelings into words.  Even the eloquent Neil Gaiman seems at a bit of loss, but I think he does as good of a job explaining the appeal of The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) as you're likely to see.

The Honest Truth About Why No Post and Mondo Gallery

I've already pre-loaded a number of October posts, and you'll get those for several days.

Sadly, now is one of those times that I'm terribly busy at work, and things like AWS going down don't make my job any easier.  Especially when I'm flying to Denver in a week and a half to talk about why my organization uses AWS.

So, the bottom line is that I've been super busy.  I worked Sunday night and I worked tonight when I got home.  I'll be taking tomorrow night off, but then I'll be working again on Thursday, and then on Saturday and Sunday.  Because: deadlines.

In the meantime, I'll try to provide some content, but I'm pretty busy, y'all, so bear with me for a couple of weeks.

I did make a trip during my lunch hour today to the Mondo Gallery in Austin.  They're doing a show on the theme of Universal Horror Movies, focusing on Dracula, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Invisible Man, Creature from The Black Lagoon and Phantom of the Opera.  As you may know, it is Universal Studio's 100th Anniversary, and, historically, their most enduring franchise includes those creature features, even if they haven't known what to do with them for quite a while.*

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Octoberama! Sundays with The Bride!

Here's a bevy of posters used to promote screenings of The Bride.

FYI - you can see The Bride of Frankenstein and Frankenstein on the the BIG SCREEN on October 24th!

Get tickets now at Fathom Events. These are two of my favorite films of all time. If you're in Austin and want to go, let me know!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Octoberama! Sundays with The Bride!

Hair and make-up check.

It takes work to look this good.

October Watch: Frankenweenie (2012)

I had actually planned to go see Hotel Transylvania this weekend, but then I looked at Rottentomatoes and had second thoughts.  That movie had scored a 43%, but I noticed Frankenweenie was cruising at around 86%.

The trick is that I like Halloween movies, and Jamie will not watch anything scary.  I've had The Thing on BluRay forever, and one day she'll watch it, but that day has not yet come.  But we can do movies where all the monsters are silly, etc...  My biggest issue is that I haven't really cared much for Tim Burton's work since the golden age of Ed Wood and Mars Attacks.*  I know he has his devoted following, and good for you.  I am not to be counted among your number.

Anyone who's marginally aware of Burton's history knew he was working at Disney when he made Vincent and the original short of Frankenweenie, which, in the post-Batman brouhaha, used to be available on VHS for rent, but for some reason I never did.

Friday, October 12, 2012

October Watch: Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Probably the weirdest thing about this movie, an all ages movie featuring classic Universal Monsters at their least scary meeting the comedy duo of Abbott & Costello, is that there's a sort of continuity to the Universal Monster pictures, and this movie is absolutely a part of the long narrative tied together by meetings of Frankenstein, Wolfman and Dracula.

In fact, in addition to the stars in the title, this movie also features Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Lon Chaney Jr. as Talbot/ The Wolfman, and Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's monster (who he'd played in at least 2 prior films).  It's 17 years after the first Dracula film and 16 years after Frankenstein (and 7 years after The Wolfman, so you don't need to look that up).