Rainy Day Horror Films, Part 1 – Frankenstein

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Being kept inside by April showers is no fun – unless you’re watching classic horror films. This week, we’re looking at horror films in which rain and storms have their own very important role to play. Let’s start with a true classic: the 1931 Universal release, Frankenstein.
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures


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 Frankenstein bannerPhoto Credit: Universal Pictures

 

The storm in James Whale’s 1931 film Frankenstein is indeed the storm to end – no, to begin – all storms. Although storms and electricity had but a sparse mention in Mary Shelly’s original work, they would gain iconic stature in Whale’s creation tableau. As one contemporaneous 1931 review stated:

Frankenstein is a young medical student. . . . [O]ne night, as the elements rage in an electrical storm, he puts his theories — and the body he has assembled — to the supreme test. He believes the great ray which first gave life to a squirming mass of slime in a puddle of rain water at the time of earth’s beginning lies in the lightning which pours from the heavens. – The Hollywood Reporter, November 3, 1931.

The doctor begins his experiment. He and his assistant assemble a body from parts and strap it securely to an operating table. Then, as a frightening and spectacular storm flash in the sky above them, they raise the body through the open roof of the tower, permitting lightning to strike the assembled body and the various devices attached to it. When the body sparks it to life, Doctor Frankenstein exclaims that he now knows what it is like to be God and create life.

The dark and stormy creation scene is shown in the clip below. For best effect, watch it with the lights out and a storm raging outside.

Frankenstein trailer linkPhoto Credit: Universal Pictures

 


A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Enjoy the stormy elements with the monster who started the genre! Frankenstein: The Complete Legacy Collection contains the eight original Universal Frankenstein films and lots of bonus features to satisfy the film historian in you. You’ll get:

Disc 1 – Frankenstein plus special features:
…..The Frankenstein Files: How Hollywood Made a Monster
…..Karloff: The Gentle Monster
…..Monster Tracks
…..Universal Horror
…..Frankenstein Archives
…..Boo! A Short Film
…..Feature Commentary with Film Historian Rudy Behlmer
…..Feature Commentary with Historian Sir Christopher Frayling
…..Trailer Gallery
…..100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics
…..My Scenes

Disc 2 – The Bride of Frankenstein plus special features:
…..She’s Alive! Creating The Bride of Frankenstein
…..The Bride of Frankenstein Archive
…..Feature Commentary with Scott MacQueen
…..Trailer Gallery
…..100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics
…..My Scenes

Disc 2 – The Son of Frankenstein (missing from Amazon.com listing) plus special features:
…..(unknown – not in Amazon.com listing)

Disc 3 – The Ghost of Frankenstein plus special features:
…..The Ghost of Frankenstein Theatrical Trailer

Disc 4 – Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man plus special features:
…..Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man Theatrical Trailer

Disc 4 – House of Frankenstein plus special features:
…..House of Frankenstein Theatrical Trailer

Disc 4 – House of Dracula plus special features:
…..House of Dracula Theatrical Trailer

Disc 5 – Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein plus special features:
…..Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters
…..Theatrical Trailer
…..Feature Commentary with Film Historian Gregory W. Mank
…..100 Years of Universal: The Lot
…..100 Years at Universal: Unforgettable Characters

Order “Frankenstein: The Complete Legacy Collection” today on DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon.com. Sorry, the collection with its special features does not appear to be available through Amazon Prime Video. – McC

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