THE LAST KNOCK presents: Films of Frankenstein

The Last Knock

Mary Shelley shocked the world with her “Frankenstein” novel in the mid-1800s, and it’s still a shocker today. We not only indulge in her tale and questions it raises, but how Victor Frankenstein and his monster have been interpreted and reinterpreted through many decades of film, from Boris Karloff to Robert De Niro. Even so, the Frankenstein mythos comes with many thematic layers explored in many a movie, so join us on the operating table as we put together a podcast piece by piece and bring it to life.

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@AmandaBergloff @MFFHorrorCorner @playvioletmovie @mercershark @SunshineBoyProd @kevin_sluder @jensluder @baron_craze @stevecourtney79 @PasspChells @LividEmerald @RealJillyG @MelanieMcCurdie @RonGizmo @dixiefairy @Isaacrthorne @iamgoreblimey @Tammysdragonfly @LoudGreenBird @GTGMcast @EmilyFlory @corybrin and Paul J. Williams from Facebook

30 Replies to “THE LAST KNOCK presents: Films of Frankenstein”

  1. Speaking of bringing someone back from the dead, I remember reading a very dark story (can’t remember by whom) about Lazarus after Jesus raised him up. He was resentful, miserable, and not at all the man he
    had been before. Very creepy.

    1. I didn’t read that one, Israel, but I saw the wild Spanish speaking short film, FIST OF JESUS, a horror/comedy, where Jesus inadvertently turned Lazarus into a zombie. Well, you can imagine the rest…

    2. Israel, I recall reading this in a section of the Apocrypha, and I agree it was extremely creepy among many other things in the Apocrypha like Jesus murdering his teachers, flying, shapeshifting and much more.
      This contemporary song by the late great, David Bowie adds to the creeps about the Biblical Lazarus affair. https://youtu.be/y-JqH1M4Ya8

      1. Excellent points, Ron. This final video by Bowie is so haunting.

        By the way, his soundtrack to THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH will finally get a well-deserved official release.

        Bowie has always been one of my favorites. As a teen, I used my allowance to purchase a new Bowie album each week. He truly saved me as a teen and helped me respect and appreciate myself so much more.

        Man, I miss him.

    1. Thanks, Thomas – I’m sure more humor at a certain spray-tanned asshole’s expense will be worming its way into the commentary over the next few months (from me, anyway ;-).

      1. Haha – I was gonna say…

        I never saw that version from start to finish, but it always stood out for the “unusual” treatment of the monster compared to the other interpretations I’d seen. When I read the book years later, it made a lot more sense.

  2. What a superb creation!
    This show had it all. It was like walking into a White Castle to find a Lost Wages Prime-rib buffet prepared by two 5-star chefs… what’s not to love about Frankenstein and all the cast of characters this beloved monster brings to the feed trough.
    There must be such sublime depth in playing God. Face it, in one way or another all humans aspire to be a god, any deity because our deepest questions about life, death, and creation have no definitive answers… evolution notwithstanding. It’s not easy being cheesy, but doesn’t this cadre of cautionary tales make you think and possibly see why (if you’re a believer) God dipped out before the end of the first act? Haven’t we been trying to slay Him ever since? God like MS’s monster headed to the frozen hills, too, in a manner of speaking. Whomever He unearthed and extracted Free Will from to breathe into mankind should receive an award, posthumously, naturally. We, unlike Frankenstein and all the sibling Steins to follow, have the capacity for good and evil. Frankie baby was not so well-equipped. I suppose in hindsight a soul would have been a good, possibly integral part for Doc F to stitch-in.
    It’s very interesting when you have the fab four together, Drac, Frank, Wolfie-baby, abd Mumsy. Frank and Mum are life-takers, as are Drac and Wolfie, but the latter two can also give “new” life, albeit horrific. The moment you mentioned Frankenstein vs The Mummy, I thought of Rock ’em Sock ’em battling it out in the ring in sluggish slow motion. BTW, where do or what role do zombies play here given the films where the living try to retool the walking dead into at least a semblence of a functioning monster, like FIDO?
    I expected you to talk a bit about Bride of Frankenstein (she was hot!), but I know this show launched from the book.
    It was truly a horror treat to be a youngster when these classic characters hit the scene, and yes, they scared the pinto beans and cornbread rght out of us… well, not The Mummy. Boris K. should have passed on this lame monster who couldn’t catch me after knee surgery. Rule one for any Mummy experience, “stay out of corners!”
    There’s simply too much to yap about from this show. I totally agree with you, Jonny about Frankenweenie and you, Bill about Frankenhooker. I very much enjoyed Fw and Amber added, Fh was frigging awesome! As for me, if given the particular parts available, I may hae chosen different legs or bossom but all in all the actress playing Fh was da damned bomb!
    Now, I have to see Frankenstein’s Army… today! What else do I have to do but watch movies and write? Screw Tuesday’s “honey-do” list.
    It was a little eerie. I caught half of this show before bed last evening, after my show, and cranked it back up this morning. As you guys began, I looked up and Amber was watching the new Victor Frankenstein movie with the Harry Potter kid, now strange man, playing Egore or is it Igore… nice knockers, boys! Doc Frankie had just presented his Steampunkie Chimpenstein to the medical class onlookers. It was scary as hell. We’ll catch the entire movie later.
    This show was so good that I could go on for about at least novella’s worth here.
    5-stars!
    Your Scream Out was like the lightning bolts that shot life into this monster. Thnx, guys and yes, Jonny’s laughing from jump street again, and I love it!!!!!
    Oh, btw, as for the sound effects at the beginning of the show, Jonny, you’d be a voice-acting hit, but it may be prudent to keep your day job, as well.
    Non-superfluously superb show!

    1. Ron, your response has rocked my world! Where to begin…

      I think the idea of “Playing God” for humans always seems to fall under the “Absolute Power Corrupts” heading. At least the way Cushing presented the doctor in FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED, he placed himself above every other human – including sense of decorum. It’s crazy how anointing one’s self as a god, in his case, besides creating at any cost, he also feels free to rape, kill, and more.

      To date, I’ve only seen one film (non-Frankensteinian) where an entity of sorts gained absolute power, and although this “individual” took some liberties, the goal was for the greater good – and the all-crushing element of “ego” had almost been removed. For the horrors bestowed upon all of humanity, one can still look to the fantastic COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT who lived up to what its creator had instructed it to do, though ultimately at the cost of human liberty – much like VIKI in I, ROBOT.

      As you said, God walked out on the first act maybe because he/she/it grasped that emotional involvement could lead to terrible things, which is the case with the “piss and vinegar” God of the Old Testament, and the “love but don’t judge” credo of Jesus Christ – though he had his brief yet poignant moments of angered response.

      Regarding zombies, the interesting element is that you mention the 50’s based horror/comedy where zombies are collared and controlled, and we also see the hope for some control and even communication with DAY OF THE DEAD. (There are several “zombies are people too” independent films). The intriguing item here is that these are the ghouls of George A. Romero’s creation. The classic zombie tale includes a practitioner of Voodoo who can reanimate and control the dead as if a god. We see this in many films from WHITE ZOMBIE to the wonderful, and only zombie film from Hammer studios, PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES in 1966. Yes, in FIDO, a god role – even for children – comes into play, but this reinforces the original zombie mythos.

      As for individuals thinking they are god, this is the foundation of LeVay Satanism where he insisted that all his members feel empowered instead of bowing down to an imaginative spiritual power that may not exist. (I think he chose the Satan angle for publicity since they do not worship “God’s Adversary.”)

      Most important, throughout our lives, we all, at one time or another, find ourselves in a godlike position. I am a teacher in higher education and I direct films. You were a police officer and you are still a father. Jon works for the state government. I have not abused my position, and it’s clear with your career as well as Jon’s that you have not abused yours. But the godlike angle does not end there because we all “own” domesticated animals. Beyond that, and maybe most important for all three of us, we are all writers. Like gods, we create our own universes and choose characters to inhabit them. In those stories, we make it rain, we kill, we help others find love, and more. Do our characters have free will in our stories? Not if we have anything to do with it. And though something horrible may come down from our minds into our stories, and kill thousands or millions, our lead characters, the sons and daughters we create, our male and female Jesuses, can live on as long as we want them to.

      In the end, for anyone to gasp at Dr. Victor Frankenstein for “Playing God” may be the most hypocritical act of all. Human beings have been “Playing God” with the natural world since Homo Habilis began making tools over two million years ago.

      1. Bill, I’ve read this several times now and holy hell how I wish you had been one of my college professors. I can only hope or pray that your students know what a fine gem they have teaching them.
        As soon as I finsih this reply, I’m rereading your responses… fantastic info, expertly written!

        1. Wow! Thanks so much, my friend. That all came off the top of my head, thanks to your excellent commentary.

          I’m truly grateful!

  3. Jonny gets an A+ for his Trumpenstein impression,,,LOL. Ooh, and thank you for the “lovely and vivacious” description in your Scream Out, I always find the best people to follow from your Scream Outs btw. Great mention of “Blade Runner” in this Frankenstein-context. Never thought of the film in this way. I’ve got to watch it again for that perspective. Also, gotta see “Frankenstein’s Army.” AND I loved “Frankenweenie” too! Interesting and fun podcast as always, guys!

    1. So thrilled you enjoyed it, Amanda! Definitely let us know what you think about FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY! Take care, stay cool, and write on!

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