Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy 191st Birthday Frankenstein

I'm happy to be back among the functioning members of society. My annual big client project has finally returned from the printer so I can actually breathe a little easier and return to a somewhat normal schedule that allows time for the occasional movie, comic, TV show, sporting event and blog post.

But first, I just wanted to pop in and wish Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN a happy 191st birthday! Shelley's work is widely regarded as the first science-fiction novel and the events (fictionalized though they may be) surrounding its creation and inspiration can be seen in the film GOTHIC.

As a kid I was always a sucker for the Universal series of Frankenstein flicks, with SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN and ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN probably ranking as my favorites. For whatever reason it wasn't until a few years ago that I took the time to sit down and watch Hammer's take on the tale and I'm glad I did.

Unlike the Universal flicks which put their focus squarely on the iconic monster, Hammer's approach to the series viewed Dr. Frankenstein – played with fiendish charm by Peter Cushing – as the monster. And what a monster he was, especially in FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED, the series highlight as far as this viewer is concerned.

You can check out my article on the Hammer Frankenstein cycle here as well as a more recent review of the Universal-pandering EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN.

For an example of things you never thought you'd see a Frankenstein monster doing (NOT work safe) check out our pal Curt's excellent blog The Groovy Age of Horror for his discussion of his site's origins and his interest in fumetti.

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