Film A Week Shorts! Frankenstein (1931)

Film a Week Shorts! takes a look at films I have seen and therefore were not picked for the main series. These are films I considered, but I rather give a small take on them. Without further ado, here is the first entry.

Before deciding on a theme for the month of October, I had a variety of horror films to choose from, but I decided to forgo some of those in order to focus on the horror of the Seventies. One film in particular is a personal favorite of mine known for turning a professor into a madman close to god.

The story is quite simple and told is a short amount of time. At only 72 minutes, Universal Pictures and Carl Laemmle, Jr. managed to adapt Mary Shelley’s masterwork into a gorgeous masterpeice. Dr. Victor Frankenstein, played expertly and manic by Colin Clive, brings to life his greatest experiment known as The Monster, played by then unknown actor Boris Karloff, who wanders in the world around him to try and fit in. It all goes wrong as one would expect, but to see the journey he goes on is one ride to never forget.

Seeing The Monster try to be human and accepted has a bittersweet wonder to it. It is delightful to see him interact with a blind man who introduces him to the fear of fire and a young girl who he unfortunately drowns on accident. The Monster goes not go out of his way to cause, but makes an incentive to understand the reality around him. Karloff does this with raw emotion and performs through the makeup to show us a misunderstood creation.

The Creator vs. the Creation

As for Victor Frankenstein, the man formerly known as a great genius sinks into his own madness and despair to search for his creation and realizes what he has done. In the near end, Victor realizes that this has caused madness and it must be stopped. The Monster grabs him and drops him from the windmill, but Frankenstein witnesses his creation get burned to a crisp and learns one should not play god without being aware of the risks.

The film has stood the test of time and became a classic horror icon, despite the Monster always being called Frankstein. Seriously, you would think after 82 years people would have solved that issue, but it still happens. Frankenstein is a pure classic and I always watch it around Halloween just to revisit it to experience every emotion and moment.  I always remember what makes this not only a great horror film, but one of my favorite films of all time.


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