It's that time of year again! It's time to take a look back on some of those monstrous classics that gave the horror industry a name. I'm picking up where I dropped the ball on this special presentation last year, and I even threw in a few bonus reviews that will lead us up to Halloween night. What better place to start than with a sequel?
The film opens with Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester) being praised by husband Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Walton) and Lord Byron (Gavid Gordon) for her fantastic work on her classic 'Frankenstein' novel. She lets them know that her story doesn't end with a bunch of villagers burning down a windmill with the monster inside. He survives and carries on through the village being a misunderstood creature who is, shall we say, accidentally violent. Of course the villagers still have it out for him as well.
Meanwhile, long story short, Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) also survives and though he denounces his creation, he still holds out hope for his destiny to unlock the secret of immortality. He is then visited by his former mentor Doctor Septimus Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger). Pretorius shows Henry some homunculi (representations of small human beings) and proposes that they help each other to create a mate for the monster.
That's pretty well all there is to the story, and of course, it's really another message about playing God and the consequences that comes with. But what's more interesting here is seeing the monster's interaction with some of the locals. Some may remember the blind man from 'Young Frankenstein', which is lifted right from this. Much like before, it's clear that the monster means no harm, but because he's big, dumb and different, he's feared.
I suppose in a way this could be likened to an older version of 'Jurassic Park' where monsters are created in a lab out of curiosity and without thinking of the consequences. At the very least, however, Frankenstein is reluctant to create this mate for his monster. This all leads to us seeing a whole other side to the monster in which he craves female companionship, and even uses words this time to get his points across.
Perhaps most interesting about the film is the fact that the "Bride", as we all know her with her Marge Simpson lightning hair, doesn't become a reality until the final moments of the film. Even Manhattan shows up in 'Jason Takes Manhattan' quicker. In the meantime, it's really just further delving into the monster wanting a friend - though he goes to some desperate and even kinda disturbing extremes in his attempt.
This is a fun, mad scientist film, much like the original but with a better sense of humor. In many ways, it seems to be perfectly self-aware, and it actually delivered a few genuine laughs (although I'm not entirely sure if I was supposed to laugh). It's fair to say that the ending is probably the most interesting part, and worth waiting through the film for as one of the biggest "FML" endings in old cinema, even in comparison to the first film. It's a fun time with a deeper ending than one might assume, and worth back-to-backing with the original film.