Saturday, October 18, 2014

THE BRIDE (1985)

Directed By: Franc Roddam 
Written By: Lloyd Fonviele 
Cinematography By: Stephen H. Burum 
Editor: Michael Ellis 
Music By: Maurice Jarre 

Cast: Sting, Jennifer Beals, Clancy Brown, Anthony Higgins, David Rappaport, Geraldine Page, Quentin Crisp, Cary Elwes, Timothy Spall, Guy Rolfe

After years of research, the doctor by the name of Frankenstein finally succeeds in creating the perfect woman, who gets the name "Eva"

This Pseudo remake of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN with it’sown vision that has barely anything to do with the original or even the original Frankenstein. So that it is a sort of sequel to no preexisting Frankenstein title and itself a sort of early version of Re-imagining as a Remake.

When I was a kid I loved this movie. It is what I thought a horror movie was supposed to be. I liked the Victorian motif and outfits. The gothic beauty of the film and I harbored an enormous attraction to Jennifer Beals this was her first film since another favorite FLASHDANCE.

Interesting in this film her Nude scene is by a body double, just as in most of the dance scenes of FLASHDANCE, she had a body double to do all of the choreography.

This remake of THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN was made and released in 1985 which was the 50th Anniversary year of the original film which had debuted in 1935.

The reason that really intrigued me even to this day is the story of Frankenstein. I have seen all the film versions and read the book. I actually even prefer the film THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN over the original film version of FRANKENSTEIN.

Just as THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN veered off the path of Frankenstein by having more humor. This film Version veers off of both of those to create a story more about outsiders, but still using the Frankenstein myth. He bride here is the complete opposite of Frankenstein beautiful and delicate as he is misshapen and strong.

The film tries to take a more humanistic take as Frankenstein is more humane and gentle then Dr. Frankenstein. Who not only wants to control, but possess the bride.

I'm not going to lie this is not a good movie. It is overblown and tries too hard to be romantic and send some kind of message. It's like a victorian B-movie like a hammer film without any points of exploitation. It's very entertaining. The 1980's hair-do's are laughable but believable in the Victorian era

David Rappaport, who plays the little person and Clancy brown who plays Frankenstein are actually Better and more Captivating then the main character and their storyline. Though Brown's make up looks fake and a bit smooth to make the Character more handsome and normal looking with some abnormalities.

Around two weeks into principal photography, the production shoot had to shut down for ten days due to actor Clancy Brown, playing the monster Viktor, getting a skin infection preventing him from working. The scenario was deemed a "force majeure".

I watched this movie for Jennifer Beals, but stayed for Clancy brown and David Rappaport, they were fun to watch and spend time around during the film. Soon their story becomes overpowering and defines the film dramatically as Jennifer Beals seems to be around to show the beauty at the heart of it all. She is the cosmetics added over the raw beauty of the story.

At around age 77, this was only the second feature film in a dramatic role for Quentin Crisp who, even more amazingly, would make numerous more appearances in film and television right up until his death in 1999 at age 90.

Reportedly, Mariel Hemingway was in the film playing a character called Elizabeth, but all her scenes were cut from the picture.

I would have complained if the whole film revolved around them. They almost make up a good premise of a Frankenstein tv show. As the two of them travel the world as outsiders and have to deal with the world judging them by appearance. --It has the spirit of a costume drama and seems inspired by the Frankenstein legend though has drained most of the horror and science fiction element out of it. So that it plays more like a romantic fantasy. Appearance and beauty seem to be a major theme in this movie. As the scarred and odd looking seem to be the compassionate characters and all the so called beautiful people are ugly on the inside.

Sting gives an adequate performance, but not quite believable in the role, bit he looks good in it which is all that the role seems to require. Sting was originally supposed to play Josef, Eva’s lover and rival to Dr. Frankenstein, played in this film by Cary Elwes, Though somehow ended up Playing the Doctor himself. Even though the role was written for an older actor to play the part. Though at the time Sting was a pretty big name to star in a film.Him and the director had previously worked together previously on the film QUADROPHENIA.

One of two movies released in 1985 which featured tall and tiny combo characters. In this movie, the dwarf Rinaldo rides on the shoulders of the Frankenstein monster Viktor, whilst in MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDROME, "Master-Blaster" had the mini "Master" ride on the shoulders of the giant "Blaster".

It's a interesting film to watch today, though i would advise waiting for cable. Watching it recently the film strives to be a better movie then it is, but doesn't succeed and a few times embarasses itself. Though listening to the commentary on the DVD the director does sound heartfelt and like he gave the film an honest try from his eyes to the screen. In which he states that his vision of the film was supposed to be a feminist reworking of the tale. Also according to the director. he believed the psychic connection between the bride and The Monster did not work at all. And he thought it was a mistake to turn Baron Frankenstein into a sex maniac. Also that The Studio thought that the relationship between The Bride and the young soldier was mishandled.

It’s not a horrible film, it’s one I can always look back on with nostalgia of a simpler time. Though watching it you can see the potential and the ideas on display just majorly mishandled and a bit naïve in thought and execution. Still it leaves me with a soft spot for it.

Grade: C

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