Sunday, July 25, 2010

May 4, 2009: Psychobabble Presents… Frankenstein A-Z



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By the late ‘40s the original Universal Monsters were growing a little tired. While the “monster rally” pictures House of Frankenstein (1944) and House of Dracula (1945) were loads of fun, the creatures (Wolf Man, Dracula, and the Frankenstein Monster) were basically depicted as parodic ghosts of their former sinister selves. So the Powers That Be at Universal Pictures had the stroke of genius to pair their most monstrous properties with their most hilarious comedy duo in a film that put an official end to the golden age of Universal Horror while sparking off a successful string of Abbott and Costello Meet… (insert monster) films. None of those subsequent movies was as frenetically hilarious and dementedly delightful as the first. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) finds Bud and Lou going snout to snout with Universal’s most terrifying trio, and the one-liners (Larry Talbot: “Every night when the moon is full, I turn into a wolf.” Costello: “You and twenty million other guys.”) come fast and fabulous. Notably, this picture marks the second and last time Bela Lugosi would ever play Dracula in a feature film.
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Of the nine novels Christopher Bram has composed, none has garnered more attention than the one originally published as The Father of Frankenstein. That’s largely because the book was adapted into a major motion picture as Gods and Monster (a considerably better title) in 1998, winning director and writer Bill Condon an Academy Award for Best Screenplay Adaptation and scoring star Ian McKellan slobbering reviews and an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Frankenstein director James Whale. The book and film focus on
Whale’s final days as he reflects on his horrifying experiences in the trenches during World War I, his lost loves, his position as an openly gay man during a time when such matters were kept deep in the closet, and the making of the iconic Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Although the story is basically a work of speculative fiction it still deepens ones appreciation for Whale’s work and the man, himself, who Bram presents as a complex cauldron of charm, envy, regret, arrogance, awkwardness, immense talent, and fierce wit.
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British actor Peter Cushing played some timeless characters throughout his long and prolific career, including Dr. Van Helsing of Dracula, Sherlock Holmes, and Grand Moff Tarkin of Star Wars, but he is probably best remembered for his record six performances as Dr. Frankenstein for the great Hammer Studios, starting with The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957. Whereas Colin Clive brought a sweaty, manic delirium to the role in Universal’s Frankenstein, Cushing played the mad doctor with diabolical cool and keen intensity even after Hammer’s <Frankenstein franchise had descended into burlesque. While not quite as high-profile as his often co-star Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing provided Hammer Horror with just as much backbone… and a great deal more cheekbone.
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Be still your beating hearts, fellow horror geeks: rumor has it that Guillermo del Toro—director of such modern classics of dark fantasy as Hell Boy (2004) and the spectacular Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) — is slotted to direct a version of Frankenstein in the near future. Big screen adaptations of Frankenstein are nearly as plentiful as hugely disappointing big screen adaptations of Frankenstein, but del Toro is a major talent with a singular vision who is as likely as any other living filmmaker to get it right.
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While Dr. Frankenstein and his creation get most of the attention; Victor’s long-suffering bride-to-be/cousin generally gets swept to the side. Yet Elizabeth Lavenza is one of the novel’s more tragic characters, sticking by the side of her beau as he neglects her for nights on end while he pursues his nefarious experiments only to become one of the creature’s victims as it embarks on a rampage of revenge against the man who created it. According to some sources, Elizabeth was supposed to suffer a similar fate in Bride of Frankenstein, providing Elsa Lanchester’s she-creature with a heart, but that particular plot point was apparently nixed along the way.
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Beginning with Dwight Frye’s chilling performance as the sadistic Fritz in James Whales’s Frankenstein, the hunchback assistant became as much of a mainstay of Universal Horror films as werewolves, vampires, and man-made behemoths. Less than a year before taking on Fritz, Frye played the similar role of Renfield in Tod Browning’s Dracula (1931). With Frankenstein he got himself good and type cast as a blathering, half-witted sociopath. Although Frye longed to return to the kinds of musical-comedy roles he played prior to first taking on Renfield in Dracula, he will always be remembered as the single greatest player of blathering, half-witted sociopaths ever to limp across a crumbling, Gothic, Hollywood set.
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In the early 1970s, some marketing wizard at General Mills was struck with a searing bolt of inspiration. “I know!” this fellow shouted to the heavens, “We’ll make a strawberry flavored breakfast cereal hawked by a coy, pink Frankenstein Monster with a cranium shaped like a pair of ass cheeks!” In 1971, his dream became reality as Frankenberry cereal hit supermarket shelves, contributing greatly to the rotten teeth and pink stool problems already plaguing America’s youths. Sadly, the super-sweet and slightly fruity Frankenberry is a hard item to find in ones local supermarket these days—as are the other “monster cereals” Count Chocula and Boo Berry (and you can just forget about the discontinued Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, buckaroo)—but it can still be special ordered for a fairly reasonable price through Amazon. Ummm, don’t ask me why I know this.
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Sick and tired of the atom-age-fear-exploiting science fiction flicks of the late ‘50s, and thrilled by television airings of the classic Universal horror films of the ‘30s and ‘40s, children of the ‘60s brimmed with a renewed zeal for Dracula, the Wolf Man, and the Frankenstein Monster. The TV execs at CBS knew well enough to strike while the neck-mounted electrodes were still hot and whipped up a gleefully corny sit-com called “The Munsters” that parodied the American nuclear family by portraying them as vampires, werewolves, and manmade creatures (not to mention one comely outcast named Marilyn). Helming the household was the bumbling Herman Munster, a Frankenstein’s Monster look-a-like played with dim-witted charm by Fred Gwynne, who had previously starred in “Car 54, Where Are You?” with “Munsters” co-star Al “Grandpa Munster” Lewis. Yes, the jokes were goofy, the situations clichéd, the laughter canned, but “The Munsters” was still a beloved staple of many a childhood, and for some, a gateway drug into more serious monster fare.
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“Roll,roll, roll in ze hay!” Teri Garr has never been funnier than she was in her turn as the German assistant Inga (based on Melissa Morelle in House of Dracula) in Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder’s landmark horror parody Young Frankenstein (1974). In what was basically her first major comedic film role, Garr proves herself a formidable talent alongside more seasoned comedians like Wilder, Marty Feldman, and Kenneth Mars, deftly delivering a number of classic lines in this film with no shortage of classic lines: “He would have an enormous schwanzstucker,” “Put ze candle back!” and, of course, a well-timed “Thank you, Doctor.” Inga made Garr a star.
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Lipstick and garter clad shouter David Johansen and his New York Dolls were among the most influential rockers of the early ‘70s, helping to birth Punk Rock alongside similarly transgressive groups like the Stooges, MC5, and the Modern Lovers. The Dolls’ eponymous debut record (1973) is a classic of pseudo-Jagger sneering, greasy guitars, and stomping beats. Johansen’s lyrics cover a wide and colorful range of topics, from the love child of a Vietnam Vet to smack to schizophrenia to a certain monster whose “shoes are too big and house jacket’s too small.” “Frankenstein” is the heaviest, most sinister track on New York Dolls, and it may be the best Rock & Roll ode to our favorite creation ever penned.


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There have been more than 70 Frankenstein and Frankenstein-themed films. There could be 70 more (not an unlikely prospect) and none will ever, ever feature a monster more iconic than the one created by Boris Karloff in the 1931 version of Mary Shelley’s timeless tale. That is a fact you can staple to your back, brothers and sisters, and I’m not just talking about the flathead, bolt-neck make-up James Whale and Jack Pierce designed for Karloff to wear. I’m talking about the man’s performance. Karloff fashioned a character that was and is frightening, sensitive, and thoroughly poetic. This is essentially how the creature is depicted in Shelley’s novel, yet that monster was also pretty verbose. Karloff conveyed the monster’s complex emotional make-up with nothing more than grunts, growls, whimpers, and some stiff body movements. Londoner William Henry Pratt adopted his far more famous moniker to make himself seem “foreign” and “exotic”, but there was no disguising the Englishness of his dulcet, lisping accent and his gentlemanly manner. Karloff split time between acting in silent films and performing manual labor until his career-making turn as the Frankenstein Monster. Then there was no stopping him. Karloff made more than 100 film and television appearances following his role in Frankenstein (for which he was listed as “?” in the opening credits). Unlike Lugosi, Dwight Frye, and so many others in his line of work, Karloff never once lamented being typecast in horror films. He was grateful for the work, and continued to give fantastic performances in The Mummy (1932), The Black Cat (1934), Whale’s masterpiece Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Body Snatcher (1945) (in which he arguably does his best work), and many, many, many others. Boris Karloff may be synonymous with the horror film, but by all accounts he was one of the kindest men you could ever hope to meet.
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As great as James Whale’s first Frankenstein film was, there was no denying that it was a greatly truncated translation of Mary Shelley’s novel. Where was the integral and fascinating plot in which the monster demands the mad doctor make him a mate? Tasked with creating a sequel to Frankenstein (a job that didn’t particularly please him), Whale began work on a film that would address this missing plotline. To portray the she-creature, he called on an old friend: dancer, actress, feminist, and great wit Elsa Lanchester. As the title character of Bride of Frankenstein, Lanchester spends about three-minutes on screen in her famously streaked fright-wig, yet those three minutes are so powerful, so unforgettable, so packed with personality that she has become nearly as iconic as the creature to whom she was reluctantly wed. This does not mean that Lanchester is only seen in the film for three minutes; she also appears in a delightful prologue as Mary Shelley in which she recounts the events of the first film with husband Percy Brysshe Shelley and poet Lord Byron. Lanchester was a bit less thrilled than co-star Karloff with being forever associated with a manmade monster (she began discussing the film in her fascinating autobiography Elsa Lanchester Herself by stating, “I suppose the quickest way you can shut me up nowadays is to ask me about The Bride of Frankenstein”), but her legions of fans remain thankful for her indelible contribution to the classic horror canon.
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“Want a date? Got any money?” Light years away from the subtle satire of Bride of Frankenstein is the thoroughly tasteless, completely absurd, and pretty damn hilarious Frankenhooker (1990). After aspiring mad doc Jeffrey Franken discovers that his girlfriend Elizabeth Shelley (get it?) has been chopped to pieces in a bizarre lawnmower accident (are there any other kinds of lawnmower accidents?), he procures the parts of local prostitutes to re-create his lost love. The best thing about the film is the performance of Penthouse Pet Patty Mullen as the hook-lipped, purple-haired, murderous creature. With her thick Queens accent, she parrots the come-ons of the hookers that gave her new life while making mincemeat of her unfortunate johns. Frankenhooker is Patty’s third and final film to date, but as of the following interview from 2006, she was still raring to go on a sequel:


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Much like the Frankenstein Monster, the Internet is an unwieldy, electrically powered, brainlessly destructive, manmade monster that is not entirely without its charm. It’s also an A-1 resource for finding information on any subject you could possibly conjure… including our boy Frankenstein. One of my favorite online haunts is the award-winning Frankensteinia blog, an exhaustive nexus for Frankenstein-related art, toys, TV and pop culture appearances, pin ups, references in the news, and, of course, fiction and film. The Many Faces of Frankenstein is another lovingly created site full of photos, wallpapers, and sound clips. For a more straight forward and concise overview of Frank’s history, there is the Frankenstein Exhibit at the History of Medicine Home Page . And, of course, you can always check back here at Psychobabble for random Frankenstein information as it crosses my radar.
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Long believed to be lost, the 1910 version of Frankenstein was the very first film adaptation of a story that has been adapted many times since. The 12 minute 30 second short is often referred to as “Edison’s Frankenstein”, although the inventor had nothing to do with the making of the film, which was written and directed by the prolific J. Searle Dawley. The furry, hunchbacked, snake-fingered monster was played in Kabuki-like fashion by Charles Ogle, who appeared in such other silent adaptations as A Christmas Carol (1910) (in which he played Bob Cratchit), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917), and The Ten Commandments (1923). Rediscovered in the mid-‘70s, Frankenstein proved to be a relatively unremarkable film aside from its historical significance, a few interesting special effects shots, and Ogle’s lumbering portrayal of the weird looking creature.

View the film in its entirety here:

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In 2006, Dark Horse Comics began publishing low-priced, pocket-size sequels to all of the classic Universal properties. One of the first novels in the series was Stefan Petrucha’s Frankenstein: The Shadow of Frankenstein. About a year later, fruitful sci-fi writer Elizabeth Hand penned a sequel to Frankenstein’s sequel titled Bride of Frankenstein: Pandora’s Bride, in which the bride is portrayed as an enlightened, independent woman. This imaginative yarn casts Dr. Frankenstein and Elizabeth as the villainous symbols of straight, repressive, patriarchal society, and Dr. Pretorius (who, apparently, didn’t perish in the castle explosion that capped James Whale’s film) as a benefactor and ally. The Bride takes the name Pandora after the Greek myth and sets out into the world where she encounters various colorful friends and foes. No rival for Shelley’s novel or Whale’s film, but a neat read for Frankenstein fans for sure.
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Among the many fascinating subtexts of Frankenstein are the gay themes that have crept up in various interpretations, and arguably, the original text, itself. In 2007, writer/activist John Lauritsen published a provocative book titled The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein, which postulates that not only was Percy Brysshe Shelley the actual author of Frankenstein (the novel was originally published under his name, but most believe that this was just a means to give the work credibility), but that Mary Shelley exorcized all gay themes from the novel when it was republished under her name following her husband’s death (this review in The Guide provides a concise overview of Lauritsen’s theory). Whether or not Lauritsen’s arguments hold water, there is no denying the suggestive nature of two men coming together to create new life. In James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein, Dr. Pretorius (described as “a very queer-looking old gentleman”) is particularly disdainful of Frankenstein’s pursuit of a “straight” marriage and rather eager to join forces with him to make another monstrous “baby”. In Father of Frankenstein, Christopher Bram suggests that Whale intended a shot of the blind man leaning over the monster’s prostrate figure to imply oral sex (beneath a crucifix, no less!), and it’s pretty hard to argue with the man after watching that scene. In the slow-moving but pretty faithful to the novel miniseries Frankenstein: The True Story (1973), sparks fly between Dr. Frankenstein and Dr. Clerval as they create the monster, the suggestion of homoerotic feelings guiding the creation even more overt than in Bride. Of course, no Frankenstein-inspired work draws the gay themes to the surface more explicitly than the beloved Richard O’Brien musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), in which sweet transvestite Dr. Frank-N-Furter builds a muscle-bound pretty boy as his personal plaything.

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In 1980, Remco (a subsidiary of Universal) produced a series of classic monster toys, starting with 9-inch-tall figures of Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Phantom of the Opera, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Frankenstein Monster. The dolls had glow-in-the-dark faces and little push-buttons on their backs that made their arms squeeze together, which was probably intended to make it seem like the creatures were crushing victims, even though it really just looked like they wanted a hug. The figures were accessorized with this buzzing, glowing piece of lab equipment called The Monsterizer. Along with the 9-inch figures were smaller 3 ¾-inch figures of the same characters. These toys first available with standard paint were later reissued with glow-in-the-dark faces similar to those of their taller cousins. A groovy carrying case shaped like a haunted laboratory and containing a (poorly made) pivoting lab table for Frankenstein’s Monster was also sold. The following year, Remco produced a less-impressive quartet of finger puppets titled “Monsters at Home”, which included Dracula emerging from his coffin, the Mummy swinging out of his crypt, the Creature swimming out an underwater cage, and the Frankenstein Monster reaching out of his Monsterizer.


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Conspiracy theories that Frankenstein was actually conceived by Percy Bysshe Shelley aside, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley is generally regarded as the chief inventor of the world’s most notorious monster. At the most famous ghost story party ever chronicled, Godwin, future husband Percy, stepsister Claire Clairmont, poet Lord Byron, and Italian writer/physician John Polidori gathered in a Gothic mansion near Geneva where they began reading aloud from a German collection of spook tales titled Phantasmagoriana. Byron, deeming the stories therein inadequate, challenged his fellow revelers to compose some nightmares of their own. Only Polidori and Mary Godwin were able to see the challenge through. Polidori managed to get two tales out of it, one of which being Vampyre, the story that would eventually influence Bram Stoker in his writing of Dracula. Mary, of course, conceived Frankenstein. While there seems to be little evidence that Percy had anything to do with the initial idea, there is evidence that he helped write the book, or at least subjected it to some heavy editing. The completed novel received the brunt of quite a lot of negative criticism, but time has obviously given it a permanent position in the canon of great literature and placed it at the very top of the heap of horror fiction. As well as being revered for her monstrous creation, Mary Shelley is respected for her revolutionary role as a feminist and political radical. Her life was riddled with a series of tragic events to rival those in her most beloved novel: her ostracism from society as a result of her relationship with Percy, the death of her first child and miscarriages of her second and third, the drowning of Percy, and her own battles with illness; but her greatest triumph was so significant that it has outlived the triumphs of the vast majority of her predecessors, contemporaries, and successors. Mary Shelley gave the world one of its most timeless and priceless myths.
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“The Monkees” first dabbled in Frankenstein lore during its first season. An episode titled “I Was a Teenage Monster” found a mad scientist named Dr. Mendoza luring the boys to his lab in order to transfer their musical talent into a gangly ghoul played by Richard Kiel (best known for playing Jaws in the Bond flicks The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker). However, it was in an episode called “Monstrous Monkee Mash” that the creature was most clearly patterned after James Whale and Jack Pierce’s creation. A Borscht Belt vampire and his sexy niece scheme to turn each Monkee into a monster: Davy Jones would be “Dracula reborn!”, fuzzy-haired Micky Dolenz would be the Wolf Man, Mike Nesmith the Mummy, and the brain of the simplest Monkee— Peter Tork— would be transplanted into the cranium of the Frankenstein Monster to make the creepy colossus more easy to manipulate (an obvious nod to Dracula’s scheme to toss Lou Costello’s brain into the Monster’s head in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein). Watching the Monkees monkey around with monsters fashioned after the Universal greats is a blast, the jokes are pretty consistently funny, and everyone grooves along to the jazzy throb of “Goin’ Down” at the episodes’ conclusion. One of the Monkees’ best.
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Universal was born when German immigrant Carl Laemmle fell in love with the nickelodeon during a trip to Chicago in 1905. Laemmle soon purchased several such theaters, and a motion picture empire was underway. By 1912, Laemmle established Universal Film Manufacturing Company and began producing films of his own. One of the first Universal blockbusters was The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) starring that “Man of 1,000 Faces”, Lon Chaney. Two years later, Chaney once again strapped himself with painful wires and prosthetics to play The Phantom of the Opera. The film made an impressive two million dollars for Universal during its first run (keep in mind that a movie ticket cost about 25 cents in 1925). While Laemmle bore no particular love for such macabre fare, he couldn’t ignore the amount of cash horror films raked in. In 1931, Universal released its first horror talkie, and Dracula proved to be another high-grossing sensation. The Golden Age of Universal Horror was at hand, so not wasting any time, Carl Laemmle Jr.—the true horror champion in the Laemmle clan—got to work on adapting that other 19th century Gothic horror classic, Frankenstein. As Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon said in the short doc The Frankenstein Files, “Frankenstein was the Jaws of its day”: a mighty box office draw and a must-see extravaganza that delivered state-of-the-art special effects, chills, and richly drawn characters. While films like Dracula and The Mummy were smashes, Frankenstein remained Universal’s hottest property, spawning numerous sequels and that wonderful parody featuring Abbot and Costello. The popularity of the classic Universal horror films has hardly waned over the years. Remakes of The Wolf Man, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Frankenstein are either ready for release or currently in the works. Outside the cinema, Universal’s monsters have found themselves on everything from toys to coffee mugs to water guns to salt & pepper shakers to dog costumes to just about any other product you can think of, ensuring that everyone can figure out a way to incorporate these grotesque icons into their most mundane activities.
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One can view any number of Frankenstein films without ever realizing that the doctor’s actual name is Victor. In the James Whale films, Frankenstein’s first name is Henry. In the 1985 film The Bride, his name is Charles. Oddly, Frankenstein’s grandson in Young Frankenstein is named Victor, yet Gramps is Beaufort. However, Mary Shelley chose Victor as the forename of her freaky physician—“Victor” being a pen name Percy Bysshe Shelley adopted during his boyhood. To confuse matters of Frankenstein’s name further, many mistakenly refer to the monster as Frankenstein. But that’s another story.
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Mary Shelley may be the true creator of Frankenstein and his misunderstood monster, but the images that most of us conjure when we hear mention of the Big F are the doings of one James Whale. The dapper British filmmaker emerged from an impoverished London childhood, in which his propensity for art and literature made him an outcast amongst his fellow lads. He grew up to become one of the wittiest, most creative, and influential artists the cinema has ever seen. Whale preferred making lavish productions like Showboat (1936), but his greatest successes were his horror films. Each one is an unparalleled masterwork: Frankenstein, The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), and Bride of Frankenstein, which many (myself included) rate as the single finest horror film ever made. Whale’s wry approach toward making such Gothic chillers was revolutionary, and with the exception of the original Frankenstein, they work just as well as comedy as they do as horror. Not only did Whale direct these iconic films, but he also designed the iconic look of Karloff’s monster, with its trademark flat head, neck electrodes, crudely stitched scars, and heavy brow. Since the monster would never have come to life without the brilliant contributions of make-up artist Jack Pierce, Pierce is often credited as the originator of the Frankenstein Monster’s look, but Whale was always quick to point out that Pierce merely recreated the director’s own sketches. Nearly as impressive as Whale’s achievements on screen was his bravery in living as an openly gay man during the early 20th century. Some speculate that Whale’s refusal to cower in the closet brought an early end to his career, although the commercial failure of his later work is probably a more likely contributor. At the age of 66, he suffered a series of debilitating strokes that led to his suicide the following year. Whale drowned himself in his backyard swimming pool.
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Just as Thomas Edison had nothing to do with the 1910 picture commonly known as “Edison’s Frankenstein”, Andy Warhol contributed zilch to Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein—a.k.a. Flesh for Frankenstein. Use of the legendary artist’s name was just a bit of marketing hoopla to draw interest to a film that was bizarre, gory, campy, horrendously acted, and in the very poorest of taste. Warhol associate Paul Morrissey was the actual author of Flesh for Frankenstein, and his apparent ineptitude behind the camera (as well as wild performances by Udo Kier as the doctor and Joe Dallesandro as a strapping stable boy with a thick Brooklyn accent) makes the film a ton of fun to watch. The MPAA was less amused with the movie and stamped it with an X-rating due to its extreme content, which looks like something that could easily air unedited on Comedy Central today… although they might have to bleep Kier when he raves, “To know death, Otto, you have to fuck life in the gall bladder!”
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Contrary to popular assumption, the hunchback assistant in Frankenstein was named Fritz, not Igor. A character with that name would not appear in a Frank Flick until Son of Frankenstein (1939), and his name was actually spelled Ygor. Furthermore, Ygor wasn’t really a hunchback—he just had a distorted shape as a result of a gallows hanging that didn’t quite take. Having survived his execution, Ygor makes it his goal to take revenge on the villagers who’d sentenced him to death by employing the muscle of the Frankenstein monster. As Ygor, Bela Lugosi gives what has often been lauded as the best performance of his career. He plays the fiend as a creature completely enamored with his own wickedness. Karloff, however, is merely going through the motions in this one, and rightfully sensing that he was on the slippery slope toward self-parody, he refused to play the monster again. Ygor would return opposite Lon Chaney Jr. in Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), in which the twisted villain plots to have his brain transplanted into the skull of the powerful monster.
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John Zacherle began his horror hosting career in 1957 as “Roland”, the face of Shock Theater. The New York based program found Zacherle presenting B-grade horror films with a gaggle of gory props and a mortician’s bag brimming with corny quips. Zacherle’s Roland became a sensation among the Junior horror set, and his popularity led him to cut a hit single in 1958 called “Dinner with Drac”. His good buddy Dick Clark nicknamed Zac “The Cool Ghoul”, and in 1959 he began appearing on “Shock Theater” under a slight alteration of his given name: Zacherley. In 1960, Zacherley finally followed up his one-off single with a full-length album of vaudeville-style terror tunes titled Spook Along with Zacherley. Along with cheesy tracks about werewolves, groovy orangutans, the Transylvania PTA, and Zacherley’s own mock bid to claim the presidency from Kennedy and Nixon, was a soft-shoe shuffle paying homage to those two deathless granddaddies of monsterdom called “Frank and Drac Are Back”. Back? Darling, they never departed… and apparently, they never will.

“Frank and Drac Are Back”

Zach
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