Monday, September 29, 2014

#4 Frankenstein

So, Universal finally makes the Top 10..
I would argue that Universal never made a bad classic Frankenstein film, but when Karloff stopped plugging in the neck-bolts things definitely dropped off a bit. At number four we have the one that started it all (that Edison short that nobody has ever seen doesnt count).

In my arsehole opinion James Whales' Frankenstein is FAR superior to Tod Browning's Dracula (though between the two of these films that came out the same year you have the visual inspiration for horror, Halloween and Monster kid collectible culture that has lasted every decade since). Quite a lasting impact!

While Bela's take on Dracula is spooky and deliberate, Karloff as The Monster perfectly conveys unpredictable horror that could just as soon murder you as befriend you.

Dracula is the driest, almost silent-film quiet and utterly lacking music - but it is Frankenstein is where we first hear the beginnings of that beautiful familiar Universal Horror score that would continue all through the Universal Monster cycle. It's almost as big a presence as the monster itself. This first installment of an (unintended at the time) trilogy is the one that introduces us all to these characters that would be taken on over and over again throughout the decades. The Doc, the hunchback, the burgomaster, "guy carrying his dead child" and of course the angry mob running through the woods with torches..

Top 4 easily, but not quite the best of these films - the production on Karloff Frank films would improve greatly just in a few years while this film was just a bit early and rough.

Disagree? Well guess what - I can make boat, and it's time for you to shove off!

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