Hey all you monsters out there, it’s me, Slick Dungeon. I’m back to review the next of the Universal creature features, this time its the romantic biopic known as The Bride of Frankenstein from 1935.
This movie was made a long time ago but I am told there are still living bodies today that have not seen it so I give you a spoiler warning. Don’t let your hair stick up in the air because of it.
Boris Karloff was getting quite the reputation as a leading monster. Frankenstein was a huge hit and audiences wanted more. The studio wanted money, thus, more Frankenstein pictures were guaranteed. This time, the creature wants a wife.
This movie is a rather interesting entry in monster movies. Like the first of the series, it starts with a little bit of a warning to the audience that what we would see would shock us. Only, this time we get a flashback to Mary Shelley reflecting on her novel instead of a man on a stage. Elsa Lancaster plays not only Mary Shelley but also plays the eponymous bride. The hairdo really makes a big difference here.
Interestingly, it could be argued that this movie is more accurate to the book than the first Frankenstein film is. Karloff gets some dialogue. He makes a friend and there is a bit of moral gray introduced here, as we see that the monster is a very isolated creature. Like in the book, Frankenstein’s monster wants a companion who is like him. One that won’t hate him and reject him because of his monstrous appearance.
Dr. Frankenstein is obsessed with learning the secret of life even after the events of the first film. The part that gets kind of out of hand here is the doctor that comes to entice Frankenstein into taking a second dip into reanimating the dead. Doctor Pretorius has a creepy demeanor, a face that is unforgettable, an evil agenda, and… a bunch of little people in jars. Yep. It’s a bit of film trickery which was innovative at the time but looks a bit silly. Luckily the rest of the film overshadows that flaw to make an extremely gripping film.
You can feel the anguish in Karloff’s voice as his creature realizes that the bride that was built for him is afraid of him. I think the most memorable line in this is three short words, “She hate me.”
It’s kind of soul crushing. If you haven’t seen this you should. There is a reason this is an all time classic.