Here, the Freudian nuances of the novel are literally laid bare. The idea of Frankenstein, a scientist removed from his normal relationships with his beloved to build a beautiful, vital superman, is one that Flesh clings to. Haunted by the libidos of himself and his creations, Baron Frankenstein and his entourage are literally ruined by their sexual urges.
1994: “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
Twenty years later, Kenneth Branagh, still riding the success of his adaptation of “Henry V”, approached Frankenstein with a similar sense of explosive theatricality. Throwing himself into the title role and with the movie named “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” (Because, get it, this is the REAL version,) Branagh’s film ranges from effective melodrama to almost wide and loud melodrama. scene by scene. Robert De Niro’s casting as a monster is inspired in the vaguest sense of the word, seeming less of a foolproof decision and more the product of an Oscar-winning dartboard.
All of this, aside from turning the melancholy of the creator’s revenge into a thrilling journey, helps reframe Frankenstein as some sort of epic, romantic adventure. It is not “Frankenstein of Mary Shelley” but rather “Frankenstein of Kenneth Branagh of Francis Ford Coppola of Bram Stoker of Dracula of Mary Shelley”.
2017: the dark universe
Even unsuccessful attempts are reinventive in nature, with one of the last conceived as part of an effort to bring together Universal’s now-aborted “Dark Universe”. Starting with “The Mummy” in 2017, a branch of the cinematic tree would have ultimately led to a remake of “Bride of Frankenstein”, starring Javier Bardem and directed by Bill Condon. “The Mummy” was all that would come out of it, however, with Universal announcing in early 2019 that it was going to take a different path.
No one can guess what Frankenstein would have looked like in an expanded Marvel-inspired story. That said, it probably would’ve worked out a lot as a brilliant version of the horror films of Universal in the 1940s, where characters like Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and Dracula would inevitably collide for reasons that are rarely important or remembered. rarely.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: “The Munsters”, “Frankenstein: The True Story”, “Frankenstein”, “Penny Dreadful”
In 1964, “The Munsters” ensured that the classic Universal monsters, usually Victorian in nature, were now firmly Americana, placing their likenesses in a sitcom that stars as “The Beverly Hillbillies” with bolts down its neck. Frankenstein: The True Story from 1973 has the same penchant for violence and makeup as the Hammer films, but adds various twists to it as if to make sure that every previous adaptation (and Shelley’s novel itself) was just that. a dramatic recreation of that. . And the 1992 TV Frankenstein stars Randy Quaid as the monster, sharing a psychic connection with its creator and fitting into the wave of low-budget sci-fi of the early ’90s like Mindwarp or Mandroid. . And finally of note is Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” series, a 2014 show that featured both Frankenstein and the Creature as the main characters, using the latter as both player and Greek Chorus as he illustrates the themes of loneliness and grief.