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A very bizarre take on a classic. It's more of a love story than anything. But the characters are likeable and make it engaging and interesting enough.
This film starts with a re-staging of the end of "The Bride of Frankenstein" ... more or less. When you realize that Quentin Crisp is in the Ernest Thesinger role, Timothy Spall in the Dwight Frye role, and Clancy Brown in Karloff's shoes, you think that this will be a really interesting film. Well, it isn't. This film has a consistently interesting supporting cast ... Geraldine Page, Alexei Sayle, Phil Daniels, David Rappaport, Veruschka, Jack Birkett ... and it manages to do remarkably uninteresting things with it. After the opening scene, it splits into two plot lines. We follow the monster as he befriends Rappaport and joins a circus. This plot line is mildly engaging. We also follow Sting's Victor Frankenstein as he tries to groom his creation (Beals) into an ideal mate. This plot line is magnificently dull. Sadly, the two plots have to merge in the last act, and whatever was of interest is done with.
Not worth even writing a review.
Long and boring, but not for lack of budget. I can see why this was such a flop.
Sting should stick to music and Jennifer Beals isn't particularly compelling in the role, but if you're a big fan of the Frankenstein story, there's some enjoyment to be found in "The Bride". I have to begin by saying that this is a very unusual film in that it really doesn't explain a lot and seems to be a loose sequel to the James Whale's 1935 "Bride of Frankenstein". The film begins with the good doctor (Sting as Baron Charles Frankenstein) in an elaborate laboratory with a hunchback assistant, his monster (Clancy Brown) and another doctor (which I assume is a stand-in for Dr. Pretorious) bringing to life a female monster. The operation goes awry and the lab blows up. Charles and the female monster (a perfect female specimen played by Jennifer Beals) live and the monster gets away in the chaos. The monster is unaware that the bride survived and neither Frankenstein nor the bride realize that the original creation is still alive too. Charles Frankenstein decides to educate the woman and make her an ideal companion, an equal of men in a world when women are deemed the weaker sex. The monster, a grunt with enormous strength wanders around aimlessly until he meets a helpful dwarf named Rinaldo (David Rappaport). The two of them travel the countryside until they get employment at a circus. A psychic link between Frankenstein's two creations begins bringing them together when the doctor starts turning against the female and the people in charge of the circus turn against Rinaldo.
As a movie, this production has a lot of problems. Like I said earlier, there are many elements of the film that are never explained and just assume you know the mythology of Frankenstein already. It would be helpful if the title somehow managed to include the word "Frankenstein" in it, but it doesn't so I can easily see people walking into this one and not understanding anything for a good thirty minutes. In addition, the conclusion is not particularly great. The doctor turns into a creepy stalker that wants to marry the bride and the sub plot about the psychic link is feeble and unnecessary. I also had problems with some of the performances and thought that the movie missed out on some opportunities by reducing the Frankenstein monster to a dumb oaf. I really don't know if it's fair to give the movie two ratings, and I won't, but I almost wish I could because there's really no reason to see this movie if you are not a huge fan of the Frankenstein story and want something a bit different. It cannot stand on its own because it absolutely demands that you are familiar with the original story, while never being as good as the material it is inspiring itself from.
As a big fan of the characters from Mary Shelley's book, I found myself really enjoying this film. The novel has been interpreted in film and TV so many times that unless you're bringing something new to the table or you've got outstanding performances, special effects or creature designs, there's really no reason to make another one. I have to credit "The Bride" because it brings many interesting elements to the mythology. First of all, we actually have the female monster being brought to life (unlike in the novel) and she's a physically perfect human being, unlike her predecessor. Instead of being abandoned by her creator, she is raised by him, taught to act like a member of civilized society and does not know that she is not a proper human being. There's a lot of interesting things going on there with the female monster growing into her own person and starting to fall in love with another man, much to the disapproval of her creator. The original novel had the monster become evil after being rejected by humanity because of his monstrous appearance and here, we have the opposite effect. The bride is embraced by society and it is the doctor who becomes the villain by wanting to control her. With the monster, we have a really heartwarming story of it befriending another outcast, similar to the chapter in the novel where it befriends a blind man. A lot of movies based on "Frankenstein" do not go far enough in the makeup and special effects used to depict the monster. It ends up looking like a regular guy with a couple of scars or stitches (I'm looking at you, "I, Frankenstein"). Here, that actually works in the film's favor because the idea is that people seem to be able to accept the monster and just assume it's a guy that's been mistreated or is a little bit deformed, not some abomination from hell. It's still an outcast because of its overall lack of knowledge and intelligence but that's when Rinaldo comes in. These two have a lot of good moments together, some of which are pretty sweet and some of which are funny. It reminded me of the relationship between Lenny and Carl in "Of Mice and Men", with the smaller, clever guy looking out for the big guy out of love and friendship and the two making a perfect team (I didn't say it was as good mind, you, just that it's similar). They even have the monster earning itself a name, Viktor, something that isn't usually done. Why, in the thousands of names out there they had to choose the name of the doctor in the original novel, I don't know but it was refreshing to see the creation turn into a real human being in that way. The middle of the film is quite strong and it does make a decent, but flawed sequel to the classic "Bride of Frankenstein"... even though there already is one.
A lot of people are going to dismiss this one completely and there's only a small audience that will appreciate it, but I'm going to be true to myself and give this one a mild recommendation. I'm not saying it's perfect, not even close. I am telling you that if you hear the premise and you think it sounds interesting, and you've seen both of the James Whale "Frankenstein" movies, check it out. (On Dvd, January 18, 2014)
loved it. thought it was different and
Kind of a modern-ish take on Bride Of Frankenstein. I actually really liked this film, but I will say up front that the film is bogged down whenever Sting is onscreen. He makes you think Dr. Frankenstein was more into dudes, as he just looks so glam. And his character is a total douche. And boring.
So the film starts off with them making The Bride, and his monster basically runs away, so for most of the film we have Frankenstein training The Bride to become a real woman, and Beals is pretty great here. She is super adorable and I liked when she started growing her own brain and started bucking his teachings. Like he taught her how to act human, but she taught herself how to be a human.
The other story is the Monster joining the circus with a tiny person, played to perfection by Rappaport. He is really good and the friendship bond they form is really the best plot point here.
And Clancy Brown as the Monster is the heart of the film. He plays him not a monster of rage, but one that is more interested in compassion and love. He only kills when needed.
Elwes is in here, but not sure why. He only has like 2-3 scenes, and nothing of his character really goes anywhere.
I did find this film to be quite hardcore for it's PG-13 rating. You see at least one gore shot that probably should've made it R, and maybe the first totally full frontal nude shot in a non-R rated film I have ever seen. Just an FYI if you watch with children around.
Doctor Frankenstein has finally created the perfect woman, but in his selfishness, he keeps her for himself and spurns the disfigured monster that he had promised a mate. After being cast aside by his creator, the newly-renamed Viktor befriends a rogue dwarf named Rinaldo as the two set out to create a new life for themselves in Budapest. Meanwhile, Frankenstein attempts to shape the beautiful Eva into a modern woman, but his hidden desires and lack of control over her will lead to his final undoing. Sting stars alongside the lovely Jennifer Beals in 1985's THE BRIDE, a romantic re-imagining of THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Director Franc Roddam quickly divides the separate storylines, but finds difficulty in striking a balance between the two. Despite the title, we spend the majority of the film following Viktor and Rinaldo on their journey to join the Budapest circus, a friendship that is greatly built upon by Clancy Brown and David Rappaport's interactions on screen. Sting appears to be holding back as Frankenstein, delivering a bland performance that lacks raw emotion. Jennifer Beals, on the other hand, makes for a wonderful Bride, shouting "You didn't create me! You didn't create ME!" in an impassioned response to Frankenstein's claims over her. Michael Seymour's lavish production design wins out over all.
Utterly hilarious. If only that was the intended tone.
The Bride of Frankenstein told as a fantasy fairytale. Charming despite the best efforts of The Bride (an inept Beals) and Frankenstein (an equally inept Sting). Fortunately as a side story we can follow The Monster and Rinaldo on their journey of discovery. The film looks great and if you can get past the two stodgy leads, it is an enjoyable story.