Fox is remaking “Frankenstein,” and the man they have working on it has the blood of horror legends flowing in his body. Max Landis, the son of “Werewolf of London” director John Landis, is working on the script, following his impressive outing on the found footage superhero movie “Chronicle.” Landis calls the movie “dark and gritty” and said that he doesn’t plan on some crazy outing where he brings the character into the new century. It is a nice sounding change of pace in a Hollywood that wants to modernize everything.
Here is a look at the transformation of Frankenstein’s monster throughout the years.
This wasn’t the first appearance of the Monster, as he also appeared in a silent film from 1910, one of the earliest monster movies on record. However, James Whale really delivered a masterpiece to the big screen with both his 1931 effort as well as his superior 1935 sequel “Bride of Frankenstein.” These movies painted the Monster as a sympathetic creature, the first movie showing him wanting to play with a little girl, only to accidentally kill her, and the second with him wanting to find love, only to have the Bride rebuff him. The rest of the Monsters appearances in the classic Universal movies had him as a lumbering monster, but these two early efforts, with Boris Karloff under the makeup, were perfect.
“The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957)
Much like all the other Universal monsters, World War II killed this horror style and they remained dormant until William Hammer and Hammer Films revived them in the late ’50s. Frankenstein came back in the 1957 movie, “The Curse of Frankenstein” with the perfect team of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee playing Dr. Frankenstein and The Monster respectively. Unlike James Whale’s Monster, the Monster here is a violent killer with a damaged brain. There is little to no sympathy here at all for the Monster, a pure evil creation.
“Young Frankenstein” (1974)
By the ’70s, it was time to spoof Dr. Frankenstein and the Monster. There was no one better at the time at this than Mel Brooks, and he remains a master at the format, better than anyone who attempts it today. In the movie, Gene Wilder plays Dr. Frankenstein, the grandson of the original mad scientist. He inherits his family’s home in Transylvania and animates his monster, played by Peter Boyle. Also appearing in the movie in a small, funny role, is Gene Hackman as the blind man. The movie contains one of the most iconic scenes in any “Frankenstein” movie, as the monster does a song and dance in a top hate to “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”
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