Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)

MAY 16, 2007


I saw Mary Shelley's Frankenstein when it first came out but I think I fell asleep. And either way, I didn’t know who John Cleese was at the time, so it’s certainly eligible for this thing.

Whenever DeNiro (in one of the last films in which he actually played a character) is on-screen, the movie is great. The sequence of him living in the barn is top-notch, as is his one on one talk with Branagh in an ice cave. He’s so good, he gets top billing even though he’s on-screen for less than half the film (he doesn’t even appear until the 30 minute mark or so). Unfortunately, all of the parts without him (i.e. with Branagh) are pretty much a bore. First of all, he’s like 45 playing 25 or so, which is ridiculous enough, but I never once buy his obsession. Aidan Quinn pulls off the parallel character in less than 10 minutes of screen-time, maybe he should have played Victor instead. Still too old though.

Like Coppola’s Dracula, the set design and makeup effects are the most interesting thing about the film. While I’m not quite sure why Vic cuts both DeNiro and Carter’s lips open just to sew them back up, it’s still a great appliance. Some of the compositing is terrible (the shot of the Monster’s hand bursting through the ice at the beginning looks like something out of Evil Dead), and there is a completely idiotic fire effect near the end (where walls burst into flames before the source of the fire even reaches them) but otherwise the 45 million it cost is well spent.

But for whatever faults it may have, the movie is automatically worth watching for the following line, which I am guessing is rarely spoken on-screen or off: “Brother and sister no more. Now we are husband and wife.” Well then!

What say you?


  1. I thought this was the best Frankenstein adaptation I have ever seen. I love that Branagh is doing Thor.

  2. Kinda bummed that this wasn't a little more in depth, but who am I to complain... there's only so many hours in every day you have!

    That aside... as I said on your Frankenstein Unbound review, this is my favourite monster design by far. Seems completely realistic and fitting for the novels description, and DeNiro's performance is second to none. Say what you like about the film, DeNiro fucking RULED!!!

    As for the electric eels!?!?! - I both love the concept and hate the detour from the simple lightning rod all at once.

    Also, I second the notion from the above comment... Branagh doing Thor is either the best or most ridiculous idea ever.

  3. Kenneth Branaugh was all of 33 when he made the movie, so he's not far off, agewise.

    I could stand to watch this again, actually. I don't think I've seen it since it was out in the threater.


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