We are so honored to be bringing back a true milestone in horror film history- with the classic film that has Boris Karloff playing the Frankenstein Monster for a second time, with the story of the original Universal horror cornerstone “Frankenstein” being picked up right where it ended- leading to the creation of the most famous “better half” in horror history- the “Bride of Frankenstein”!
After the film opens with a charming period piece depicting the writer of the original “Frankenstein” story revealing that the story didn’t end with that novel’s conclusion, we see the scene that occurred right after the first story’s ending- the smoldering remains of the windmill where the Monster and his creator, Victor Frankenstein, had their epic struggle at the end of the first film- as the battered body of Victor is brought back to his home and his grieving wife- but, even as the villagers relax, feeling that the menace of Frankenstein’s creation is gone, with him destroyed in the windmill fire and collapse, some nosy peasants search the ruins and get an unpleasant surprise- the Monster, slightly singed, still lives! He drags himself out of the wreckage and roams the countryside, while the recovering Victor gets a visit from a mysterious guest- Dr. Pretorius- whose knowledge of Victor’s experimentation makes him want to take on the unfortunate scientist as a co-worker, when Pretorius reveals his own bizarre experiments in creating life! Having barely survived his brush with “playing God”, Victor wants nothing to do with it- but, in the meantime, unbeknownst to him, his dangerous creation is still at large, and, once spotted, is mistakenly accused of more mayhem. The monster takes shelter in the welcoming hut of a blind hermit in one of the most famous scenes in the Frankenstein legacy (and memorably parodied in mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein”)-but is again driven away…only to have a graveyard meeting with- none other than Dr. Pretorius, who is not in the least bit shocked or surprised to see this strange creature!
The scheming doctor plays on the Monster’s loneliness and plants the idea in his boxy head of creating a friend- a mate- for him- planning to use him as leverage to get Victor (who is shocked to see his creation still alive and even speaking!) to join him in his experimentation- also utilizing the threat of harming Victor’s beautiful young wife if he does not co-operate…and soon…after more devious acts, a female creation is prepared and-”she’s alive!” Yet- is she really a willing mate for the Monster?
This is truly an outstanding and stylish movie- with Karloff brilliant in showing the humanity still intact in the Monster, who is more expressive than ever, plus – we get the over-the-top scenery-chewing of Ernest Thesiger as Pretorius, and the final reveal of Elsa Lanchester as the quirky “bride”- funny how she is such a prominent character in the Universal horror hierarchy, since this is her only screen appearance. We’ll give you plenty of info about the various supporting actors, and supply some Sven fun- including a “Sven on the Road” segment that shows you our visit to Silver Cross Field for a Joliet Slammers game.
“Bride of Frankenstein” hits the airwaves on the Me-TV network tonight, at 10 pm eastern, or 9 pm central, or check your local listings for the time in your area. Here in Chicago, you can get another look at “The Invisible Woman” (another-look? If she’s…oh, never mind, you know what I mean) at 11 am on WCIU- and, we bid farewell to our 3 pm U TOO run with a final flick- “The Crawling Eye”!
Enjoy your Saturday Sven stuff- and come back tomorrow for details of my next public appearance!