|By AL J. Vermette
A mad doctor pulls a lever as a lifeless figure rises into the air to meet with the electrical storm above
through the skylight opening in the roof. As lighting strikes the figure atop the slab, an eager Monster
looks on from below as the body is zapped with a million volts. Then as the platform is lowered, the mad
doctor watches as the figure's chest rises with breathe as she lay upon the medical slab. A moment later,
a hand lifts from the table as the doctor realizes that he in fact has once again brought life to the dead
body that he himself stitched together. The man screams “It’s alive…..it’s alive,” as The Monster he
created previously grins as he looks upon his new bride.
She is maybe the cinema's first female monster and I am shocked that it took me 20 years of writing
this department for Blood Moon Rising to get to her. However, with this being our 20th year Halloween
issue, I thought it was time to get to her.
She is The Bride of Frankenstein and although a little less famous than her hubby, she is none the less
just as influential as her male counterpart. The Bride of Frankenstein or just The Bride has her roots within
the same novel that spawned her mate in Mary Shelley’s 1818 masterpiece Frankenstein; or The Modern
Prometheus. In the novel, the creature that Frankenstein created asks for the doctor to make him a
mate….a wife so he and her to be together and that they would vanish to the wilds of South America never
to be seen again.
Victor Frankenstein although horrified by the thought of creating another monster, his scientific side is
however tempted and grants the creature his request. But before her creation can be fully completed and
given life, Victor realizes that what he is doing is wrong and destroys the female creature before she is
finished as his Monster looks on. Although in the novel that created her, the would-be bride was killed
before she was given life making an unrealized character but that would all change in the second Universal
In the follow up to the 1931 classic Frankenstein, the movie introduces The Monster’s Bride taking
clues from the book that were not seen in the first movie. The 1935 masterpiece sees actor Boris Karloff
return again as The Monster with Elsa Lanchester playing his Bride in what can be said as a tour de force
in filmmaking. Unlike the novel where the Bride is killed before she is given life, here she is fully her own
character. Lanchester’s Bride is a creature who although a beast herself, rejects her mate when the poor
Monster tries to have her embrace him as her companion.
Although given only a short time on screen, her inspiration sparked by her appearance turned the
Monster’s Bride into a horror icon of her own. Identifiable by her beehive hairstyle with white lighting
streaks and long white gown, The Bride is as recognizable to horror and non-horror fans alike as much as
her mate. Everyone knows what The Bride of Frankenstein looks like and by only that one picture where
she made her debut.
Of the seven Universal Frankenstein films made where The Monster appeared, it was only Bride of
Frankenstein where his mate to be was featured. By the end of the movie, she and Doctor Frankenstein’s
mentor Doctor Pretorius are killed after she rejects The Monster and in a sad rage, pulls a lever that will
blow up the lab. Although The Monster would return again in Son of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets
The Wolfman, House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, The
Bride was never seen again.
It would take 50 years before The Monster’s mate would again be seen in the 1985 movie The Bride.
This time the female creature was played by Jennifer Beals and she was now the main star of the film.
Unlike the scary faced Bride from the 1935 film here, The Bride is young, pretty and nothing like her
gruesome counterpart, plus she is even given a name of that of Eva. After creating Eva for his Monster,
Doctor Frankenstein starts to fall for his creation after she again rejects The Monster for being an ugly
scary brut. This take on The Monsters bride being attractive and much more human-like than that of the 35
film didn’t sit well with horror fans at the time of its release and was sadly forgotten about.
In 1994 The Bride would again appear in the movie Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein played by Helena
Bonham Carter. In this take The Bide was not indented for The Monster but was in fact the bride of Doctor
Frankenstein when The Monster killed her. In an attempt to bring her back to life, he removes her head
from her broken body and tries adding it to another body. Once alive, she is repulsed by what he has done
to her and kills herself so not to live forever as a monster.
The Bride would also return in the horror/comedy Young Frankenstein and played by Madeline Kahn
complete with white hair streaks as she is betrothed to The Monster. In non-live action, The Bride shows
up in the movie Mad Monster Party voiced by comic Phyllis Diller and a prequel called Mad, Mad, Mad
Monsters voiced by Rhonda Mann.
The Bride also shows up in comics when Dark Horse Comics ran a comic using the Universal
Monsters in a series of books. In a direct comic book follow up to the movie Bride of Frankenstein, we
see that The Bride and Doctor Pretorius were not killed after The Monster blew up the lab but indeed
survived and went to Germany where he teaches her how to act like a human woman.
Over the years, Universal Studios wanted to do a true remake to The Bride of Frankenstein and even
planned on bringing her into their grouping of new horror movie reboots of their classic Monsters for their
Dark Universe. After all, her hubby has had many….many remakes over the years it’s only fair that his
bride get her due.
|The Bride of Frankenstein