31 Days Of Horror: The Bride Of Frankenstein

James Whale’s many masterpieces was this sequel to his classic 1931 adaptation of Frankenstein. The Bride of Frankenstein was released in 1935 and featured most of the original cast. Boris Karloff returned as the monster as did Colin Clive as the mad Doctor Frankenstein. Dwight Frye returned to play another evil assistant and Ernest Thesiger joined the cast as the evil Doctor Pretorius.

The film picks up where the last film ended, the villagers burned down the mill and have believed to have killed the monster. Dr. Frankenstein was also hurt but recovers. The father of the drowned little girl from the first movie wants to make sure that the monster is dead only to discover that he survived the fire. The monster kills both the father and the mother and goes on another rampage.

Meanwhile Dr. Pretorius arrives and shows Frankenstein his work with homunculi, miniature creatures that he grew in the lab. Pretorius wants to collaborate with Frankenstein to create a mate for the monster. Frankenstein refuses. Later Pretorius finds the monster and informs it that they want to create a mate for it. They then force Frankenstein to go work on a new creature which leads to another fiery ending (there were a lot of fiery endings in Universal Horror movies).

As usual, Universal had trouble with the Hays Code over content. After coming to a compromise, the movie still had trouble in the southern states and overseas. The good old United Kingdom and their prudish ways have banned and censored more movies than most other countries (excluding the obvious suspects) They, along with China protested the scene in which the Monster gazes longingly upon the as yet unanimated body of the Bride, citing concerns that it looked like necrophilia. (Shakes head in disbelief).

The film was a hit and has become considered a classic, at times placed higher than the original. I think that the first film is the better film, but this film does have several memorable moments. Moments that Mel Brooks made fun of in his classic comedy Young Frankenstein. Moments like the blind man teaching the monster how to speak and of course the ending when the bride makes her famous response to the monster asking “friend?”

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.