The Bride of Frankenstein

Call it my Halloween special:



I remember seeing this years ago on a Betamax tape, right after seeing the original (I had the films taped off HBO, way back when the channel was new). "Frankenstein" impressed me with one scene, where the good doctor (Colin Clive) exposes The Creature (the indelible Boris Karloff) to sunlight, and The Creature gropes helplessly, trying to reach the unreachable source of warmth and brightness; the rest of the picture looked cheaply done, with an ending I thought particularly disappointing, the extras running up what obviously was a soundstage set to surround the Creature, and The Creature tossing what patently looked like a dummy off the top of the windmill he was trapped in, before burning to death.


Which meant I wasn't in a good mood when I got to see "Bride." The opening scene with Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester) spinning off a new story to Lord Byron and her husband already struck a wrong note--it felt like a cheap attempt to justify a sequel. Dr. Pretorious's homunculi I thought silly--Dr. Frankenstein's stitched-together monster looked obsolete compared to those perfect (if tiny) creatures, making me wonder why Pretorious would bother asking the doctor for help at all (they were to combine Pretorious' black arts with Frankenstein's resurrection techniques to create a "a man-made race"). The rest of the film was more bizarre than bloodcurdling, down to the Bride's flowing robes and daintily birdlike gestures. I don't really understand it at all, at the tender age of (I'm guessing) twelve or so.


Viewing it so many years later, I finally got it, to the point where I'd just about consider it one of the greatest horror films ever made.

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