Fright Club: Bride of Frankenstein

We are thrilled to be a part of a circle of movie podcasts spending the month of October talking about Universal monster movie sequels. And how lucky are we to have drawn the Bride of Frankenstein?

For our money, not just the best Universal monster sequel but the best Universal monster movie, Bride is a special. So special, she gets her own podcast. No lists, no competition, but to do it justice, we thought a special guest was in order. We are thrilled to have Dino Tripodis join us for the conversation.

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

James Whale and Boris Karloff – with tag along make-up man Jack Pierce – returned to Castle Frankenstein for an altogether superior tale of horror. What makes this one a stronger picture is the dark humor and subversive attitude, mostly animated by Frankenstein’s colleague Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger).

Thesiger’s mad doctor makes for a suitable counterpart to the earnest and contrite Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive, again), and a sly vehicle for Whale. This fey and peculiar monster-maker handles the most brilliant dialogue the film has to offer, including the iconic toast, “To gods and monsters.”

The sequel casts off the earnestness of the original, presenting a darker film that’s far funnier, often outrageous for its time, with a fuller story. Karloff again combines tenderness and menace, and Elsa Lanchester becomes the greatest goth goddess of all film history as his Bride.

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