MAY 29, 2008
I wish I was a torch salesman back in the times of Frankenstein and his never ending number of fellow mad scientist family members. I would have made a mint, since it seems every resident of the town lights one up the instant pretty much anything happens. Ghost Of Frankenstein (who, like Bride, only has about 2 minutes of screen time) offers no less than TWO angry mob scenes, complete with numerous torches that someone sold for a great premium and proceeded to eat well for the next month.
This one offers a lot of stuff we haven’t seen in other Frankenstein films, such as a courtroom scene with the Monster sitting there on the defendant’s chair. We also have dueling mad scientists, a very intelligible Monster (he gets a new brain), and, before he even gets the new brain, a scene where he gives a little girl back to her father, instead of tossing her ass into the lake.
The movie also contains what may be the first non-fake scare in horror movie history. Our heroine (who is strangely a non-factor in the finale, she just stands around outside the lab where everything is happening) sees a shadow on the wall. She looks, and sees a hand at the window. She gets scared, the hand’s owner comes into view, and it’s.... the Monster and Ygor (Lugosi, two in a row for the gent!). Nowadays, it would just be her friend or her dad or whatever, but back in the day, they didn’t have time for such tomfoolery – a scary hand belongs to a scary guy, and thus the movie is 20 minutes shorter than the usual generic horror film.
It’s not as good as Son of Frankenstein, or, well, any of the others, but it’s still good. Unlike the Dracula films, the recasting of the Monster didn’t hurt, and the series is overall simply more intelligent and interesting. Then again I prefer monsters to vampires, so that’s not really a surprise. I would like to see them do something at the end besides have Frankie go apeshit, cause a fire, and destroy a building that falls around him while the two heroes go off into the sunrise, but hey. There’s still another film to go! And we can all agree that the two series are far better than Universal’s Van Helsing franchise, which stalled after one film due to the fact that it’s an abysmal piece of shit.
What say you?