Michael Sargent, contributor
Dr. Frankenstein can be considered the daddy of all monster daddies’. From the mind of a teenage Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (Prometheus is a trickster deity credited with creating a man from clay though purists will fittingly point out that Athena did breath them to life), and published in 1918, no monster creator has been imitated and re- imagined in film as much as the good doctor. Some credit the story as being the first example of science fiction and Frankenstein (1931), with Boris Karloff, is considered to be the first film called a “horror film”, though many frightening films were made before that and the first filmed version was by the Edison Film Company in 1910. The many renditions went steadily downhill from there with very few notable exceptions. Bride of Frankenstein (1935) would be the first exception and is considered superior to its predecessor. The Monster survives and falls for one of the most iconic monster hairdos ever. Daddy is manipulated into creating a Mrs. the Monster. She screams, rejects him, the Monster rampages finally ending the romance in a Romeo and Juliet style finale. But the Monster has continued to “reak” havoc on moviegoers worldwide.
Son of Frankenstein (1939), Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) are some post bride Universal products. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) are a few brought to us by the UK’s Hammer Films. And then come the real monstrosities like I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957), Japanese giant monster movie Frankenstein versus Subterranean Monster Baragon (1965) and Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965) with an astro-robot named Frank terrorizing an island and eventually saving it from aliens babenapping bikini-clad women hoping to repopulate their home planet (also known as Mars Invades Puerto Rico). Spanish/German/ Italian film Los Monstruos del Terror (1970) has aliens reviving a vampire, a werewolf, a mummy and Frankenstein’s monster to use to conquer Earth. There’s the popular parody Young Frankenstein (1974) which has since been turned into a Broadway musical. And there’s Mexican wrestling with Santo VS Frankenstein’s Daughter (1972), Blaxploitation with Blackenstein (1973) and sexploitation with Frankenhooker (1990), Lust for Frankenstein (1998) and Frankenweenie (1984) (which got Tim Burton fired from Disney). Hell, even Andy Warhol is responsible for one; Flesh for Frankenstein (1974) (aka Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein) which is rated X and has 3D disembowelments. Oh Father, what hath you wrought?