Oooo spooky…Lisa from Boondock Ramblings and I are are watching and posting about spooky cinema for the next two months, here and over on our Instagram accounts. We are starting fairly family friendly and working our way up to the scariest!! I love a thriller or chiller!
If ever I needed a comedy, this was the week! And I was totally cracking up throughout this whole movie, which in turn made my husband laugh. Although why he wasn’t laughing at the movie, I don’t know, because it is funny dang it!
I had previously watched this movie in high school and enjoyed it – I loved it even more this time around. The book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is actually my favorite classic. I could go on and on about Shelley, that time in history (the year without a summer), science, etc, but we are here today to talk about Young Frankenstein.
This Mel Brooks film keeps true to the bones of the original story, but with Brooks’ style of humor and shenanigans. Gene Wilder is brilliant in this, as the grandson of Victor Frankenstein. Wilder’s character rejects his grandfather, considers him a lunatic, and even stresses that his name be pronounced Fronkensteen, in order to further separate himself from his crazy ancestor. However, when he is presented with the will of his great-grandfather he is forced to deal with what he considers the skeletons in his family closet and travels to Transylvania. (And I can never ever hear that word, Transylvania, without hearing Tim Curry as Frankenfurter singing it in Rocky Horror) Frankenstein arrives in Transylvania and seems unfazed at the people around him still dressed as medieval villagers. He is slightly thrown off by the appearance of Igor (Eyegor) portrayed by Marty Feldman. Feldman’s performance was my favorite by the way. He seemed to really enjoy hamming it up.
Frankenstein is adamant that he is completely different than his ancestor Victor. Until he discovers the secret to recreating life, in a book clearly titled How I Did It by Victor Frankenstein, and he engages the help of his assistant Terri Garr as Inga, and of course, Igor. From here, of course things start to get a little nuts. And so does Frankenstein, who manages to reanimate his own creation – one he had hoped to create differently from his grandfather, by using the brain of a scientist. However, after Igor bungles that at the brain depository, an abnormal brain is used without Frankenstein’s knowledge. Ooops.
One thing that I really loved about this comedy is that they stuck by one of the main concepts of the story – that the doctor created this life and should be responsible for his creation. Be his family, love him and teach him. Not be disgusted by him and toss him aside. And Wilder’s character did exactly that, took responsibility for him, after a brief struggle of fear and disgust. The book is so dang sad, and I enjoyed this version’s ending much better. And hey, Madeline Kahn! I love her in everything and this was no exception.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie! It was a fun comedic take on a serious story, but also remained sensitive to the deeper topics.
Next up we are watching Nightmare Before Christmas, a favorite of mine!
For Lisa’s review of Young Frankenstein, click here!