My history with Frankenstein


My earliest memories of Frankenstein center around four monsters-Boris Karloff as the monster in the first Universal film, Glenn Strange as the monster in Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein, Herman Munster from the monsters and Frank N. Stein from the Monster Squad TV show. So three of the four monsters I first saw were in comedies so the monster being made from parts of dead bodies wasn’t something that occured to me when I was six. I just mainly thought he was a big mainly silly guy with a bad hair-do. It wasn’t until like 15 years later that I got around to seeing the other Universal Frankenstein films and really began understand how dark the story of Frankenstein could be. I also read the book around the same time I was seeing these films. I enjoyed most of the Universal cycle, but as you know it got a little weaker as it went along and Karloff was the best monster. I actually didn’t see a Hammer Frankenstein film until viewing Curse of Frankenstein on AMC in the late 90’s. I was sold on Peter Cushing’s potrayal of the obsessed Doctor/Baron and after that I went in search of seeing all of Hammer’s Frankenstein films. Many of them were good at allowing the Doctor to do more and different experiments which just added to the madness and Cushing played it so well. In addition to Hammer and Universal I have tried to watch other Frankenstein films here and there, but ultimately I think Universal and Hammer handled the Doctor and the monster the best. Frankenstein differs from Dracula in most films in that you frequently feel compassion for Frankenstein at times. It can be cool when he’s just a destructive monster, but it adds depth to the character when you see him trying to show and understand emotions and feelings that were once part of the people he is made of. Anyways more Frankenstein week to come.