Saturday, October 16, 2010

Rounding Up: Longhorns, Interactivity, Son of Frankenstein

1) Longhorns at Nebraska

I am not at all confident about Longhorns and Football going into today's game vs. Nebraska. Apparently the Huskers are still a bit peeved about UT's last-second win against them a while back and have done nothing but train for a year to figure out how to beat UT. And the UT team they planned to beat has graduated, leaving the "gosh, gee-willikers, it's a buildin' year!" Longhorns we're now watching. So... that's gonna be interesting. Right now our greatest hopes for success require a complete psychological breakdown for Nebraska, the 'Horns accidentally being bathed in Gamma Radiation*, and/or the spread of a nasty stomach virus this morning amongst UT's foes.

"I'm totally going to throw this ball 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage.  Because that is what I am awesome at."
Heap upon this the fact that Colt "Oh, My Arm Seems to Have Stopped Functioning" McCoy is starting for the Browns against the punishing Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday?

Ah, well.

2) Where are the entries for our Halloween Interactivity?

You've got several days, but we've only received ONE entry for the 2010 Halloween Monster Interactivity! People, this is going to be super-lame if we don't get more submissions, and I know you want your voice heard.

And don't forget: A submission means you receive an awesome Signal Corps Fun Pack!

3) Son of Frankenstein

Just look at these handsome devils.  That's Lugosi and Karloff, btw.
So last night I watched Son of Frankenstein, the third in the series of the Universal Studios-produced Frankenstein movies.  It's a bit embarrassing to admit that I had never made it past Bride of Frankenstein when I'm such a fan of the first two films, but in all fairness, there's no Elsa Lanchester after Bride of Frankenstein, so why go on? 

Son of Frankenstein stars Basil "Sherlock Holmes" Rathbone as Wolf Von Frankenstein, son of Heinrich Von Frankenstein, the creator of the monster in the movies.**  Bela "Dracula" Lugosi plays Ygor, Heinrich's old lab assistant, now a mad man living in the ruins of the laboratory, and Karloff returns as The Monster.

The story isn't as large in scope, nor as nail-bitingly over the top as the two James Whale directed Frankenstein films, and Whale's touch is sorely missed.  The fever-pitch madness of Bride is almost completely absent until about the third reel, when Rathbone's Wolf Von Frankenstein realizes he made have made a mistake that' causing a whole lot of problems.

You would not believe the paperwork you have to do for the FDA before experimenting with the reanimation of monsters
It does establish some of what's actually going on with the monster, and basically sets up The Monster as the original Jason Voorhees.  Basically, you find out that whatever Henry Frankenstein did to re-animate the Monster meant that the Monster no longer has the ability to die, in addition to being super-human.

The set design on the movie is pretty wild, and I have to give the film's creators credit where credit is due.  Where Whale's forest and castles were gothic and detailed, the castle and sets of this film seemed to go back to German Expressionism, with vast spaces punctuated with odd angles, and twisted pathways.  Which, of course, our Frankenstein just adores when he walks into the castle (because he's got the Frankenstein madness, see).

This is how the Frankensteins eat dinner.  No, seriously.
If you've never seen Young Frankenstein, I pity you.  Its one of my favorite comedies and has been since I saw the movie at the Dobie my freshmen year at UT.  One of the best comedic casts I can think of***.  Despite the fact I've seen Young Frankenstein a half-dozen times, Somehow it never occurred to me that the movie was actually referencing characters from movies beyond the first two Frankenstein movies, but Son of Frankenstein is somewhat the template for the movie, right down to the one-armed Burgomeister (who totally uses his wooden arm to hold his darts).

If you've seen the first two Frankenstein movies from Universal, its worth checking out this third in the series, but its sort of suffering from some of the sequel-of-a-sequel-without-the-original-director malaise that you'll see in movies like Jurassic Park III.  I'll let you know how the 4th movie in the series is:  Ghost of Frankenstein - the first film without Karloff as the Monster.

the terrifying "birthday cake" scene

*That's a Hulk reference, kids
** For reasons I can't fathom, Universal changed the name of the monster's creator in the movies to Henry Frankenstein from Victor, as it appears in the 1818 book.  
*** Mel brooks directed, starring: Gene Wilder, Terri Garr, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle and with Gene Hackman in a brief cameo role.

1 comment:

J.S. said...

I still get the prize if no one else enters the monster contest, right? I want it noted on the record that you HAVE to give me a prize if no one else enters!! I think you probably lost a lot of people when you used the word "essay". No one wants to write an essay. Essay writing can be scarier than monsters.