Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ghost of Frankenstein

Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

Directed by: Erle C. Kenton
Written by: Scott Darling
Starring: Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Lionel Atwill, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy, Evelyn Ankers, Janet Ann Gallow, Olaf Hytten, Dwight Frye

The fourth film in Universal's Frankenstein series, following Son of Frankenstein, is about the other son of Frankenstein (which gets me too, 'cause I always thought old Henry there was gay) who decides to transplant the brain of this dead guy into the head of the monster. Bela Lugosi decides to put his own brain in there instead. Oh dear.

So this one doesn't have the same expressionist/gothic atmosphere as the first three, and it probably a notch below them, but it's still relatively entertaining. Okay, I got distracted a few times, but it managed to hold my attention pretty well.

And Junior does a pretty good job as the monster. He was better than Lugosi was, anyway. He really needed to stick with Ygor. Okay, so it may not have been the most flattering role, what with him being a disgusting child molester and gay for the monster (I don't know what's gotten into me today...), but he's better at it. Poor Bela.

Really weird was the actual Ghost of Frankenstein itself (which I'd forgotten all about, thus confusing me as to the reason for the title), what tells poor old Ced to do the transplant in the first place. He didn't look anything like Colin Clive. That freaked me out, I don't know why.

Speaking of the brain transplant, I was surprised as to it's... uh... shortness. Brevity? I don't know. Anyway, I was reading something about heart transplants the other day and it said something along the lines of it takes 10 hours to replace somebody's heart. It only took them like... three hours tops to make the brain exchange. Just long enough for them to form an angry mob in town.

Ah, the angry mob. Staple of Frankenstein movies. I mean, the mob's about as necessary as the Monster itself. And the cool lab equipment. Like that thing that goes around in circles and the machine that goes 'ping!'. Take a look at Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for example. There wasn't a mob scene in that. Or if there was, it wasn't especially memorable. And it sucked! So there you go. No mob, no entertainment value. I guess.

Then I got the idea that it'd be cool to organize an angry mob in Halifax (or Dartmouth, to boost popularity). Sort of along the same lines as the zombie walk, but at night and with torches. Maybe a guy could even dress up as Frankenstein's Monster and we could chase him into the old windmill and burn it down. Or the Peace Pavilion. Whichever works best...


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