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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Final Halloween Watch: Young Frankenstein (1974)


What's to say at this point about Young Frankenstein (1974) that hasn't already been said?

After we handed out candy last night, which ended early, we came in and put on this movie.  As much as Frankenstein and Bride of have become part of my Halloween routine, so has Young Frankenstein become how we put a capper on the holiday - which just isn't that spooky once you're handing out "fun-sized" boxes of Nerds to miniature firefighters, princesses and Batmans for a few hours.

It's been a good, if odd (thanks to the World Series), Halloween season, and we appreciate you bearing with us.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Halloween Watch: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)


Watching a Frankenstein/ Bride of Frankenstein (1935) double-bill has become my personal Halloween tradition.  I'd already watched Frankenstein this year, and so needed to work in Bride of, which has been tough with the Cubs actually making it into the World Series.  I mean, usually by early October, I'm kinda done with baseball and my football watching is contained to Saturdays.

But, what would Halloween even be (for me) without The Bride of Frankenstein?  I don't even want to know.

The movie remains horrific, beautiful, eerie, hilarious.  Everything I'd want in a single movie, and everything I like about the holiday.

Here's to Mr. Whale and company, and everything that makes this one of my favorite films.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Hammer Watch: Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)


A few apologies to my brother and Jamie who watched this movie with me.  While technically a horror movie, this one moves along more like a 19th century novel reflecting upon injustices until the last third.  I'm not sure that last third is actually scary - it's more interesting from a science-fiction/ fantasy point of view.

I selected the movie in part because I've been trying to get my head around what Hammer was doing with it's Dracula and Frankenstein films back in the day, and in part because it's the closest to a Bride of Frankenstein film I've noted the studio producing.  It is, of course, absolutely nothing like Bride of Frankenstein, so that was a wash.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Frankenstein Watch: Son of Frankenstein (1939)



The third Frankenstein movie in the Universal Monsters line of films is not terribly well known among the normals but it's a staple for monster kids.  People who don't know the movie often ask "why is Frankenstein wearing that furry shirt?" when they see pictures from the movie, and - honestly, it's a legit question.*  Son of Frankenstein (1939) picks up a generation after the events of Bride of Frankenstein, when the literal child of Henry and Elizabeth Frankenstein returns to Frankenstein castle to reclaim the family homestead, and, as it turns out, help restore The Monster to fighting form after finding him in a catatonic state.

The movie is not directed by James Whale, and of the original cast, only Karloff returns.  It lacks some of vision of the prior installments, but picks up on and expands some elements, visual and otherwise.  It also softens the story a bit more, providing us with a more sympathetic Dr. Frankenstein in the son of the good doctor.

Overall, it's fairly watchable with some pretty great bits, and at least tries to maintain some level of A-list distinction before the Frankenstein movies would descend down the slope to matinee material.  It's not exactly the world's best movie, but it's still a Halloween-worthy treat.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Halloween Watch: Frankenstein (1931)



My Halloween viewing is a little slowed by the arrival of Luke Cage on Netflix, but Sunday night TCM presented a Frankenstein Triple Feature.  They'll be showing Frank movies all October on Sundays (and Christopher Lee, star of the month on TCM, will be Mondays, so check for Hammer Horror).

This year marks the 85th Anniversary of the release of James Whale's screen classic, Frankenstein (1931).   So, I appreciate the Franken-centric approach to Halloween that TCM is going for all month long.

Turner Classic kicked it off right with the three Frankenstein pictures that defined the monster and mad scientists for the 20th and early 21st Centuries.  They showed the Universal movies that started with the 1931 Universal feature, Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff as "The Monster".  Then, of course, TCM went right into Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein.*

I've seen Frankenstein numerous times since first watching the film back in college, and I've written on the topic often enough that I've given Frankenstein it's own tag on the site.  I'm a fan, and I watch the movie at some point every October.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Today Marks the 81st Anniversary of the Release of "The Bride of Frankenstein"



I've already written plenty about Bride of Frankenstein, but - let's get real - it's one of my favorite movies of all time.  I'm going to talk about it whether anyone cares or not.

The movie was released on April 22nd, 1935.  I've now seen it, probably 16 or 17 times, and every time I watch, like all great movies, I don't just enjoy it, I get something new out of it.  In short, I can't recommend it enough.  And, if you do watch it and don't like it, or if you don't see what I like about it, I'm always happy to chat on the topic.

Yes, the movie is supposed to be funny, so you may feel okay about laughing.  If you ever see Una O'Conner show up in anything, it's okay to laugh.  Yes, the film is supposed to be weird in both the modern and classic sense of the word, and it's generally the uncanny atmosphere of the movie I relish more than anything resembling a scare.  But, yes, it's mildly scary, sometimes, I guess.  And sad.  Only Dr. Pretorius here is having any fun.  Both Frankenstein the Doctor and Being are caught up in a world that torments them despite their better intentions and honest desires.

A complete story in only 80 minutes or so, even if I think you're selling yourself a disservice not watching Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein back-to-back for a good 3 hour movie.

Below are some posters for the picture - not the Mondo posters, many of which I quite like, but the original posters.  And, then, some of photography from stills and the film itself - one of the best visually imagined of the Universal Horror movies - or any movie in any year.


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.