Thursday, October 7, 2010

Capsule Review: Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

47666_103231_1A rare example of a sequel surpassing the already weighty original horror classic, Bride of Frankenstein continues right where the original Frankenstein ends (confusingly, as the original’s re-edited ending contradicts this beginning slightly). Boris Karloff , credited only as ? in the first film, here gets top billing (as Karloff) and within minutes he’s wrecking havoc on innocent villagers. Given more creative control over the film, director James Whale invests it with some dark humor while still providing the proper amount of sympathy and pathos for the monster. A highlight – delightfully lampooned in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein – involves the creature’s fast friendship with a blind man who (rapidly) teaches him to speak. Ernest Thesiger does some fun mad scientist work as Doctor Pretorius, and Colin Clive continues to do terrific work as Henry Frankenstein. The titular Bride doesn’t show until the final five minutes, but her look (and shriek) immediately entered pop culture history.

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