Happy 75th Anniversary, Bride of Frankenstein! Anybody familiar with my work knows two things: I love the Bride of Frankenstein, and I think the ending is heart rendingly sad. (I’ve always had a soft spot for the doomed romance.) As a result, I’ve often imagined a better outcome for the Bride and her beloved Monster, everything from an impromptu coupling on the stone castle steps (and yes, even monsters practice safe sex, look for the condom wrapper) –
– to happily adding to the family by creating a Franken-baby (who’s helping by hold the sewing thread).
Mary Shelly didn’t invent the Bride, not in the way we think of her. In the original novel, Frankenstein does create a mate for the Monster, but destroys it before ever giving it life. It was in the many revisions of the script demanded by the film’s director, James Whale, that she finally came to tragic life (and — spoiler alert! — near instant death).
As you might imagine, I have quite a lot of Bride of Frankenstein stuff, though much of it is in “rotation” (that’s obsessive collector code for “in boxes”). Oh look! It’s my Aurora model!
I periodically pull this out and glue a few pieces together. At this rate I figure I’ll be done around 2027 and can start painting it up. (If anybody wants to come over and finish this for me, I’ll bake you a pie.)
But here’s the most amazing one –
You know how when people come to dinner at your house, they might bring you a nice bottle of wine, maybe a tasty loaf of bread? Jennybird Alcantara brought me the absolute coolest f’ing thing in the world: this kick ass Bride of Frankenstein doll. (Normally I’d be upset that it wasn’t edible, but I am in luv.) And now it’s mine, all mine! Check out her fabulous hand painted face and all the little details in her patched outfit, right down to the killer striped stockings (Jennybird and I apparently share a sock fetish). Are you feeling covetous yet? You should, but fret not — you can go get yourself a doll of your very own. Just trip right over to Jennybird’s site (and check out all her lovely paintings while you’re at it).
The other reason I’m excited about this Bride is she’s just the right companion for my big rubber Frankenstein’s monster –
Just look at his huge hands! You know what that means. (Huge gloves.) No longer lonely, big rubber Frankie (or BRF), who always looked to me like he wanted to fly off in search of his mate, finally has a worthy companion. This fabulous weirdness was given to me by Hannah Reineck — she laid it on me at one of my book signings and just totally blew me away. Hannah is a printmaker — check her out.
Assorted Bride Tidbits:
*The movie was heavily censored. Among other things, the Hayes office felt that Elsa Lanchester was displaying too much boobage as Mary Shelly. They also nixed a planned scene of the Monster trying to “rescue” Jesus off a crucifix in the graveyard.
*Meanwhile in England and China, they didn’t much like the way the Monster gazed at the not-yet-animated body of the Bride. Thought it smacked of necrophilia.
*Sweden wanted so many cuts that Universal just pulled the movie out of that country altogether, and it was banned in Trinidad, Palestine and Hungary outright.
Back here in the U.S., the Hollywood Reporter declared it was “a joy for those who can appreciate it.” Which sounds like a nice way of saying “If you can’t relish this movie, there’s clearly something lacking within you.” And I would agree with that sentiment. (Though obviously I’ve never quite gotten over the ending.)