Friday, June 17, 2011

Meet the Frankensteins

So I really liked BoF, though it wasn't at all what I expected. I had a feeling I wouldn't be *scared* by this "horror" movie (though there were some moments of delicious creepiness: the wife expecting to pull her husband out of the wreckage and the monster emerging instead; Dr. PraeTORious's kiddie-sized coffin filled with bell-jarred pygmy creations), but I didn't know how much I'd be laughing. The Monster seems to have a knack for slapstick awkwardness prescient of Ben Stiller's Gaylord Focker (hence my post title). He WANTS to do the right thing, but always ends up knocking the shepherdess off the waterfall anyway. I also loved the cop (I guess?) bragging about confining the Creature, as he breaks out after 30 seconds and busts up the proto-press conference. And Minnie freaking cracked me up. She was always screaming!

I thought the frame narrative of the Shelleys and Byron hanging out by the fire was both too short and too off. They left out all the drugs and illicit sex! But I think casting Mary Shelley and the Bride with the same actress was a bit brilliant. It made me think of the feminist implications of being "created" just to marry someone. I might be giving the film more feminista credit than it's due; what do you think, Nat?

As far as the gay subtext goes, I think it's a stretch. Knowing that Whale was a homosexual, it's hard not to read the Monster's loneliness, alienation, and desire for companionship as a metaphor for homophobia, but I think it's a bit of a stretch. However, the film's overall campiness (especially from the good doctor and the few moments we get of the Bride and her fabulous hair/outfit), might be the path to a queer reading. (Again, what do you think, Nat?)

Oh, and I get that the scene with the hermit was probably the movie's greatest empathic moment, but it's been totally ruined for me by this.

1 comment:

  1. I think the creation aspect (just to marry someone) is important here and the film makes it more so with the frame (half-frame?) because we have Mary Shelly creating a man who creates a woman/monster to marry a (created by man) man/monster. And, of course, Mary Shelly's audience for that tale is two men which seems to imply it's vaguely cautionary.

    But, yes, I think the gay subtext too much of a stretch to be applicable. It seems to be one of "hey, that guy's gay so his film must be about being gay."