Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Bride

The Bride ~ When I say The Bride, I’m for once not referring to the lovely woman I married but the interesting 1985 remake of the classic Bride of Frankenstein. Interesting is one of the few words to describe this flick, from its stunt casting to its foreign film quality to even its conceit to start with the Bride’s creation scene and just assume that the viewers already know the Frankenstein story and can just jump in and roll with it.

I have to say I quite like that last part. Everyone knows Frankenstein, so why bother re-telling the tale and wasting valuable screen time. It’s something that I also think should be done with superhero movies – skip the secret origin and get to the story, and concentrate on telling a good story. Whether The Bride actually succeeds I telling a good story however, is another thing altogether. And although it’s officially hyped as a remake of Bride of Frankenstein, it is more accurately a sequel to the original James Whale 1931 Frankenstein, albeit fifty-four years later.

The casting, as I said, is quite interesting. Sting, who at the time was specializing in odd film roles, is Victor von Frankenstein, with Jennifer Beals, who had been having trouble following up her blockbuster role in Flashdance (and continues to, to this day), as the ‘monstrous’ bride of Frankenstein. Other oddities in the cast include David Rappaport, Quentin Crisp, Alexei Sayle, Veruschka, as well as an early turn by Cary Elwes. Clancy Brown gets his chance, as it seems every big tall actor does at one time or another, as the monster.

Much like the original film, the star turns out to be the Frankenstein monster rather than the title bride of Frankenstein. This is a shame as Sting and Jennifer Beals could have been quite good, but the friendship between David Rappaport and Clancy Brown is the real highlight of this film. While the Bride’s Pygmalion-like education is interesting (there’s that word again), Rappaport and Brown together are compelling.

The delight is short-lived however as the two storylines eventually collide. It goes downhill from there. All things considered The Bride is beautifully shot and a visual spectacle, well worth seeing if only for the interesting new take on the Frankenstein story. Fast forward through the early Sting and Beals parts, and it will be even better.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow! I haven't seen this one in ages... I think I need to revisit this tonight...

    And I think "Interesting" does really kind of sum it up...