Old Monsters VS New Monsters
It’s classic movie monster time! I was going to wait until Christmas to talk about this, but now seemed like a more appropriate time. We are going to compare the original black and white movie monsters (and the actors who brought them to life), against more modern versions and actors to see who comes out on top.
I know there are dozens of classic monsters, including the Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Fly, giant robots, aliens, and over-sized insects/animals, but I’m going to focus on the more famous literary monsters : Frankenstein’s monster, The Wolf Man, Dracula and The Mummy.
Let’s start with my favorite character, Frankenstein’s monster. Most people incorrectly refer to the monster AS Frankenstein – but actually, author Mary Shelley never gave the creature a name. In the 1818 novel, Shelley writes about mad scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein and how he learns to create life. Even two hundred years ago, people were apparently concerned about man trying to play God, because her novel has some uncanny similarities to modern ethical questions about cloning. Difference is, the town’s folk aren’t storming the castle with pitch forks and torches nowadays, but rather storming the politician offices with blogs and protests (Zing!).
1931 (Boris Karloff) vs. 1994 (Robert De Niro)
The Frankenstein monster has been in dozens of films, even getting a bride, a son and a ghost – but none were as good as director James Whale’s original 1931 Frankenstein. The classic image of Frankenstein’s monster that we are all most familiar with comes directly from the make-up genius of Jack Pierce, while the monster himself was brilliantly portrayed by Boris Karloff. Close your eyes and think of the Frankenstein monster – see what I mean? The film focused its story more on the creature and the town’s reaction to it and left behind the gothic romance of the novel.