The Impeccable Pecs of Victor Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Released: 1994
DirectorKenneth Branagh
Writers: Steph Lady, Frank Darabont
Notable Cast: Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter, Aidan Quinn, Ian Holm, John Cleese
PlotBased on Mary Shelley’s novel, ” .Frankenstein” tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a promising young doctor who, devastated by the death of his mother during childbirth, becomes obsessed with bringing the dead back to life. His experiments lead to the creation of a monster, which Frankenstein has put together with the remains of corpses. It’s not long before Frankenstein regrets his actions. (Source: Robert McElwaine on imdb.com)

Note – the format I use below was one that I used in a prior 31 Days of Halloween blog-a-thon, and I found that I liked it and that it helped me concisely express my thoughts around a movie.

Commentary: I viewed this film on home rental VHS back in 1994, and my opinion of it then and now, with a recent rewatch has not changed. This film should work, it should have been great and glorious with its A-List cast and its stellar production values.

So why do I feel like Kenneth Branagh drained the life out of this incredible, immortal story? Continue reading

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Over at the Frankenstein Place (Reprise)

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Last night I attended a production of the Rocky Horror Show, Richard O’Brien’s stage musical later turned into the infamous cult sensation, at Salt Lake Community College’s Grand Theater. Overall, a job well done!

Production and cast:

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img_20181018_144215757_hdr.jpg Continue reading

Your Weekend Frankenstein, Oct 20-21

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This weekend, let’s take you through some classics of Frankenstein rock. Above, from Edgar Winter. Continue reading

Don’t Dream It, Victor

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There’s not much I can add to illuminate what’s known and what’s loved about Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’m pretty sure that if you are reading this, you know this movie and its music all too well.

Maybe I can offer this: Dr. Frankenfurter is the fabulous ultimate expression of Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein. Where one is an odious, cowardly mass of 19th century anxieties and weak egotism, the other’s rampant self-centeredness is perfect and glorious. Both scientists create their own downfalls, but only one does it with heels and fishnets, and with a lack of remorse that’s honest and goddamn decadent. Continue reading

Your Weekend Frankenstein, Oct 13-14: The Public Domains of Horror!

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This weekend, enjoy the very first film adaptation of Frankenstein ever made! This 1910 short was discovered in the mid-1970’s, is twelve minutes long, and I like it a lot. I especially enjoyed the creepy, phantasmagoric creation sequence of the monster around the four-minute mark. And the monster itself is more nightmarish than the bolts-and-stitches model engineered by Universal Studios two decades later.
Continue reading

You Best Believe I’m in Love, L-U-V

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Silvia Hoeks as Luv, Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

I think the Blade Runner series fits quite well in the canon of fiction inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, even if Philip K. Dick’s mind wandered elsewhere.

Human beings with god complexes creating biological, artificial lives and being horrible parents? Alienated and angry offspring suffering and murdering for their parents’ sins? It was all there when Rutger Hauer’s Roy kissed his creator on the lips. Continue reading

The Frankenstein Chronicles

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Season 1 of the ITV Encore production of The Frankenstein Chronicles contains science fiction/supernatural horror. It develops very slowly but its final reveal is utterly devastating.  Primarily, it is a complicated police procedural drama, and one of the most creative adaptations of Mary Shelley’s novel I’ve seen. Avoiding the dazzle of and focus on a created monster, it gives us no shortage of human ones. Perhaps a long and frustrating journey (you need a bit of patience and attention to get through the season), but one well worth taking. Continue reading