Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Iconic Horror Scene: Frankenstein (1931)
"Its alive!!!" This is probably one of the most memorable scenes from the Universal Horror era. People often associate this scene with the Frankenstein monster even though it was nonexistant in Mary Shelley's novel. In the book it does not say how the creature was created. Basically every film version of Frankenstein involves the creature being created by electricity, which was a 100% Hollywood invention. Well, the awakened by electricity thing does make a lot more sense than what you see in the 1910 silent film version where he is sort of made like a soup or something.
Then you see Dr. Frankensten and Fritz (the Igor type character) raise him into the lightning, then lower him after a while. Apparently the whole life-giving process isn't very long. Then comes the most memorable part of the scene.
All subsequent adaptations of Mary Shelley's novel have been influenced by this film. This is no surprise since not only is this a great film, but it had also come up with a creative way to show how the creature came to be, which was not important in the novel. Instead of making up their own explanations, they just borrow from this film.
One of my favorite films that was influenced by this is actually a parody. Young Frankenstein is my favorite Mel Brooks film, and also features one of my favorite performances by Gene Wilder.