Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Son of Frankenstein

Son of Frankenstein (1939)

Directed by: Rowland V. Lee
Written by: Wyllis Cooper, loosely based on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Starring: Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lionel Atwill, Josephine Hutchinson, Donnie Dunagan, Emma Dunn, Edgar Norton

Ah, once again I return to the classic flicks I have not seen in many a year. This would be the second sequel to the 1931 Frankenstein, logically following Bride. It is, as the title implies, about the son of Frankenstein who comes to the little town of Frankenstein to futz with the Monster, which has been looked after by Ygor for all these years.

It is actually a pretty worthy sequel. I'd forgotten how worthy it truly was. It looked really good, which was sort of the main attraction. The sets were weird and slanty, all angles and shadows, much like those in Caligari. The first two Frankenstein movies had pretty good art direction also, but this one is quite different. I dare not say better...

Also, the cast was good. I mean, you can't beat Karloff as the Monster. Don't even try, you'll just end up looking stupid (my apology goes out to Robert de Niro). Also, Lugosi was kind of good as Ygor (in a performance considered his best, next to Dracula). Basil Rathbone's nothing to puke on, either, and Lionel Atwill was really cool as the one-armed Inspector guy.

Actually, the only person I really had a problem with was the little kid. He was sickeningly adorable, for one thing, and I couldn't understand a word he was saying. I kind of liked the idea of the character, but I would've been happier if he wasn't in it at all. Not that I wished hm ill or anything. No, that would've complicated things much more than was necessary.

Otherwise, though, the movie's pretty damn fantastic. Yeah, so it's a little slow in spots, and the DVD stuck for a while so I didn't know what was going on. It's pretty self-explanitory though. I still prefer the first one, just because it gets me right to the core of my soul, though this one actually had some soul-moving bits, especially between Karloff and Rathbone for some reason. I don't know what the deal with that was.

I'd put it right up there with Bride though.


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