Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein is often called the first science fiction novel. It handles themes such as creator vs created, parallel to the Book of Genesis in the Bible, and the dangers of modern science. Just as we discussed in class, the antagonist of the story is hideous, disfigured and considered by all utterly disgusting. The novel speaks as a warning in a time when technological advances were booming (the Industrial Revolution) against those who experiment with galvanism and dream of creating life from what is dead. Its subject matter is quite dark, serious and ends rather tragically after many deaths and very little happiness. it is a true horrific tale of a man with deep regrets and a monster with an quenchless thirst for revenge.
In pleasant contrast, Young Frankenstein (1974) acts as a movie sequel the book. The descendant of Victor Frankenstein, Frederick, inherits his mansion and attempts to restore his father’s name by creating life in human form that is not so appalling. As opposed to the novel from which it draws, Young Frankenstein is very humorous because of several added elements. Frankenstein’s servant, Igor, a hunchback who can’t seem to get anything right and provides much of the film’s laughs. The estate Frankenstein inherits is rather Gothic, keeping with the motif in Shelley’s novel and is host to a cast of wonderfully off characters, such as the strict Frau Blucher who’s name makes the horses freak out (which is one of my favorite parts)
The Frankenstein parody continues when Frederick Frankenstein creates another monster, though he has the intentions of making it a human replica, he ends up with an abnormal brain and thus acts with the intelligence of a very large toddler. What brings the film adaptation more pleasantry is young Frankenstein’s handling of his creation. He knows the monster is not intelligent and so treats him with flattery and together they perform a musical number.
The movies uses classic black and white for filming, to parody earlier screen adaptations of Frankenstein. This along with the actors, who ad-libbed their own jokes while on camera, created the funny, light-hearted atmosphere of the film version that was completely absent in the original text and later screen adaptations.