The monster returns in this exemplary sequel to Universals original Frankenstein film, James Whale came back to direct the Bride of Frankenstein much to his displeasure , Whale never wanted Frankenstein to continue in his vision the monster had died at the end of the first film and he had too make a sequel due to his contracted agreement with Universal and the massive success of the original picture.
As much as James Whale didn’t want to make the picture it actually ended up being one of the greatest horror films of all time and a favorite for many critics including myself.
Boris Karloff is back playing the role of the monster and as can be expected he is absolutely fantastic playing the part, the monster is a killer but Karloff plays the part with so much emotion and innocence it is so difficult to not feel sorry for him, my favorite scene in the movie is a perfect example to sum up not only why this film is so brilliant but also just how amazing Karloff was as an actor, in the scene the monster while running away from trigger happy villagers stumbles across a blind hermit in the woods and the hermit is the only human from the village that doesn’t want to kill the monster, this is great because the guy is blind and wont judge the monster because he cant see him, the hermit takes care of the monster and teaches him how to speak, during the scene the monster becomes more calm and even somewhat gentle and friendly, and once he loses the hermit and the villages start acting aggressively towards him the monster becomes dangerous and deadly once again.
As well as packing in plenty of action and emotion, Bride of Frankenstein is also extremely creative and the special effects are very impressive, the most impressive has got to be when Doctor Pretorius shows Frankenstein his previous experiments to create life which involved him growing humans, this led the people that Pretorius grew to be very small and they all kept in separate glass bottles.
Makeup artist Jack Pierce who has done a lot of the famous monster makeups in the past came back for Bride of Frankenstein to do Karloff’s monster makeup and Elsa Lanchester who played the monsters bride, Pierce’s makeup work is iconic he created the way we view the original horror icons and his work is always highly respected and inspirational, as well designing the makeup for the monster pierce was also the mastermind behind the brides hair and makeup, Pierce’s work was masterful and many makeup artists have taken inspiration from him.
The Blu-Ray for Bride of Frankenstein is unfortunately once again lacking in special features apart from one documentary and a commentary track all you get are some production shots, advertisement pictures and a collection of trailers, with this being my favorite horror movie it was incredibly disappointing when I wasn’t given more bonus material.
you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here
A DVD version can be bought here
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