"To a new world of gods and monsters!"We open on Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester), the rue creator of Frankenstein's, revealing to Percy Shelley (Douglas Walton) and Lord Byron (Gavin Gordon) that Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and the Monster (Boris Karloff, credited simply as Karloff) did not die at the end of the original, 1931, movie.
- Doctor Pretorius
While the Monster roams the forests, Frankenstein is convalescing back at his family estate, when his old professor, the wonderfully batty Dr. Septimus Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) shows up, seeking a collaboration with his former pupil.
Pretorius has been doing his own experiments, growing tiny homunculi, but now he wants to create his own full-sized, fully functioning person - a mate for Frankenstein's creation.
|Doctor Septimus Pretorius and his tiny creations|
Frankenstein isn't sure that's the way to go, and really wants to get out of the monster business and settle down with his new wife.
The creature is captured, but quickly escapes back into the woods, where it befriends a blind musician (O.P. Heggie), who takes the Monster in, feeds it, and teaches it the rudiments of speech.
However, this brief idyll is soon interrupted by hunters, who recognise the monster and start up a hue-and-cry.
Running away, the creature comes upon Pretorius and his grave-robbing goons, as they are sourcing parts for their planned project.
Pretorius persuades the Monster to kidnap Frankenstein's bride (Valerie Hobson), to strong-arm the reluctant scientist into returning to his castle and continuing his experiment to create life.
Things don't work out quite as planned.
It's easy to forget that the titular Bride Of Frankenstein only actually appears in the final five minutes of this glorious Universal horror film.
I love pretty much everything about this near-perfect monster movie, from the eccentricities of Pretorius to the final shocking twist of fate when the Bride sets her eyes on her intended.
To modern sensibilities, it's hard to understand the totally ridiculous amount of censorship this delightful piece attracted in the 1930s, but nowadays it's rightfully regarded as a masterpiece full of messages for those who want to read them.
To me, it's just a splendid-looking, sharply-written, well-acted, monster movie told in a mere 74 minutes; an object lesson to those who feel the need to unnecessarily pad films out to two-and-a-half or even three hours.
FILMS WATCHED: 37
NEW TO ME: 27