Tonight on MeTV- we kick off a full month of films featuring Universal’s most famous monster- one that, if you ask most people to name a horror film monster, is very likely to be mentioned first! We begin this monstrous May with the origin story of the cobbled-together creature, in the initial performance of the great Boris Karloff depicting the definitive version of the Frankenstein Monster- in his masterful portrayal of Mary Shelley's creation. Here is where the sound movie legend of the Monster began- in the original 1931 classic- “Frankenstein”! ( And let’s ignore the whole “Frankenstein is the doctor’s name, not the Monster’s” debate- it’s become far too tiresome- just like every tissue isn’t a “Kleenex”!)
The eerie tale begins as we witness a funeral- after which young Dr. Henry Frankenstein and his hunchbacked assistant Fritz sneak to the grave to retrieve the body! They are collecting body parts to combine into a being that Henry will bring to consciousness using his theories on creating life! More parts are collected, and Fritz, assigned to collect a brain from the university- ends up stealing one that previously occupied the skull of a criminal!
Though having no idea what her intended is up to, Henry's fiancee Elizabeth is worried that his work is driving him to a mental and physical breakdown- and, dismayed by his refusal to see anyone at his laboratory, recruits one of Henry’s friends- along with his former teacher- to try to calm him and persuade him to leave the lab. It appears to be too late, as they witness Henry's completion of his quest to bring life to dead tissue, using his fabulous laboratory equipment, along with the power of lightning, to make his creation live!
While, at first, it seems that Henry is in recovery, and preparing for his wedding to Elizabeth- the lure of further experimentation with his "new man" is something he can't ignore- as he returns to the lab, aided by his teacher Dr. Waldman - and Fritz, who seems to be doing more harm than good. The threat of the Monster becoming a deadly danger to them is more and more evident- and its lack of understanding and great strength convince Henry that his creation must be destroyed. However- as Henry is preoccupied with his wedding day- the Monster makes his escape- and soon, is terrorizing the entire area !
I'm sure most of you know the story, so I'll just leave it at that- and let you enjoy this beloved horror film once again. Boris Karloff, of course, is outstanding as the Monster- giving him nuances and shadings of emotion that few portrayals of the creature ever equaled. Colin Clive plays the obsessed Henry- and Mae Clarke is his frantic fiancée. We get the former Dr. Van Helsing- Edward Van Sloan- as Dr. Waldman- and former "Dracula" henchman Renfield- Dwight Frye- in the role of yet another sinister helper- Fritz! We’ll discuss these cast members, give you some background on the production, and provide all the usual Sven fun- including the first segment featuring highlights of the 2019 C2E2 comics and entertainment convention ( with more to come in the future!)
"Frankenstein" comes to life tonight on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central- and you can check for time and channel in your area at www.metv.com or in your local TV listings. Once again, I’ll remind you that some TV providers are listing our show by the movie title instead of as “Svengoolie”- so, if you plan on recording it- make sure you check how your provider has the show listed. Again last Saturday, the many Twitter fans who live-Tweet during our show had us trending nationally- even hitting number one- so feel free to join in- using the hashtag #svengoolie. In the Chicago viewing area, we give you a second a wobbly wiggly encore of “The Blob”” at 11 am on WCIU, the U.
The results of the voting in the Rondo Awards was announced this past Monday- and I am so honored to again have been voted favorite horror host, coming in ahead of such luminaries as Elvira and Joe Bob Briggs! I’ve been told that I got more votes than any other person or thing in any category. My thanks go to everyone who voted- and much respect to all my fellow hosts who were in the category. Most importantly, thank you for supporting the Rondos and joining the many voices of fans of our genre!
More big things are on the way for my 40th year as Sven anniversary- including a special event at this year’s Flashback Weekend! We’ll make more announcements soon.
But tonight- beware of the lightning that will spawn the greatest monster in Universal Studios history!