Bride of Frankenstein (1935) Review

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

884862_61cb718b203946aab2a76f29d6e83bc0-mv2The Bride of Frankenstein is my favorite horror movie of all time, its a perfect mix of horror, comedy and emotion, it truly is a wonderful film, the cast are all very good at playing their roles and with such a legendary director leading the project you honestly cant go wrong, if you enjoyed Frankenstein I guarantee you will love his Bride.

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

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

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Frankenstein (1931) Review

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Frankenstein is not the first ever movie about Frankensteins Monster that achievement goes to director  Eugenio Testa with his 1921 short film Il monstro di Frankenstein, however the 1931 film starring Boris Karloff is the adaptation which helped to shape and develop the monster into the horror icon he has become.

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The movie is filled to the brim with Iconic peformances such as Colin Clive who plays the mad doctor, it was he that first screamed the lines “HES ALIVE, HES ALIVE”, both Dwight Frye and Edward Van Sloan make a return from Dracula this time with Frye playing Fritz the doctors hideous assistant and Van Sloan playing Doctor Waldman, Dr Frankensteins previous teacher at the university but even with all of these wonderful performances the best performance is given by none other than Boris Karloff who plays the title role of the monster.

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Karloff played the monster as a lost puppy type of character, the monster was dangerous but his bursts of anger and destruction came from his confusion and the way people reacted to seeing him more than it was his own decision, the monster wasn’t cruel it had just never had the chance to experience kindness, there is a very powerful scene in the movie where a young girl gives the monster a flower and unfortunately she is killed by the monster when he accidentally drowns her in a river while they were playing.

maxresdefaultAn interesting piece of trivia about Frankenstein for those who haven’t seen it is that the film first begins with a warning from Edward Van Sloan its a chilling warning that im sure would have set many people into a fit of fear back in the day, the opening dialogue is as such” How do you do? Mr. Carl Laemmle feels it would be a little unkind to present this picture without just a word of friendly warning. We’re about to unfold the story of Frankenstein, a man of science who sought to create a man after his own image without reckoning upon God. It is one of the strangest tales ever told. It deals with the two great mysteries of creation: life and death. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you. So if any of you feel that you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now is your chance to, uh… Well, we’ve warned you”.

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Frankenstein is an amazing piece of history that still stands the test of time, it is one of the most enjoyable of the older Universal classic horrors and its performances went on to inspire multiple books, stage adaptrations and newer Frankenstein films, its a monster of a movie which has enough heart and fright for any movie fan, the Blu-Ray has many features including three documentaries and two commentary tracks.

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

The Mummy (1932) Review

We have finally reached Halloween 2017 and this month we will be taking a look at eight classic monster movies from Universal Studios, the reason I have chosen to talk about some of the older horror flicks compared to the newer releases is because of the importance these films have to the film industry a lot of these old horror movies have been the inspiration for a lot of new horror films and they helped shape the genre and style that the modern horror brings to the big screen.

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The first movie we will be taking a look at is the Mummy, a lot of people associate the Mummy with the 1999 film starring Brendan Fraser and many believe it to be the original film when in actual fact it is a remake of the 1932 classic which stars Boris Karloff as the titular character.

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The film starts in 1921 where we are introduced to Sir Joseph Whemple and his assistant Ralph who discover the mummified corpse of a man named Imhotep, clutched in his hand is a sealed box which clearly states that it should never be opened, of course it wouldn’t be a horror movie if someone didn’t open the box, upon opening the box the scroll of thoth is discovered which if read has the power to resurrect the dead, needless to say Imhotep is resurrected and escapes from the archaeology site

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We skip to ten years later and Imhotep has a new look and a new identity, the Mummy is now referred to as Ardeth Bay who reveals the location of an ancient princess’s tomb which the new archaeologist team quickly discovers and the body is sold to the Cairo museum, its here that we discover that the Mummy is just as much of a love story as it a Horror, Imhotep begins to stalk a young woman called Helen Grosvener who he believes to be the reincarnation of his long lost love but unfortunately for him Helen has fallen for someone else and this only makes Imhotep want to Mummify Helen so he can keep her all to himself and its up to Helen’s true love to save her from the clutches of the Mummy.

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The production of the Mummy was quite intense, Boris Karloffs make-up was done by the late Jack Pierce who was famous for doing most of the makeup for the old monster movies back in the day, Karloffs make-up took a very long time to put on and real bandages were used as part of the make up but unfortunately the bandages got stuck to Karloffs body and removing them each day after shooting was apparently agonizing for the actor and to make things worst it was a full body job and Jack Pierce forgot to give Karloff a way to pee so poor Boris had to hold it in for very long shoots, the actress Zita Johann who played Helen Grosvener in the film didn’t get along with the director Karl Freund, Karl had never directed a movie before as his expertise was being a cameraman and Zita who at the time was a very famous actress would speak her opinions very clearly to Karl who didn’t  enjoy the criticism, this led to the two of them always snapping at each other and Karl treating Zita with less respect than the other actors, he wouldn’t even give her a chair with her name on it when every other actor got one.

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The Mummy is a great film, the cast is fantastic and the movie always keeps an entertaining and consistent pace which helps to set the atmosphere for the movie, unlike most of the other Universal Monster films the Mummy never got any sequels but it did get a few remakes most noticeably being the 1999 film and the 2017 film starring Tom Cruise, the Blu-ray of the Mummy has some brilliant special features including three documentaries and even a commentary track which makes me very happy, the Mummy is a classic horror which needs to be seen its part of a Blu-ray box set which can be bought on Amazon and its this box set which I am using for my reviews this month

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com