Monday, October 17, 2011

31 Days of Frankenstein: Terror of the Electric Company

The Terror of Frankenstein (1977)

I couldn't find much on this film; only a couple of things really. First, it was originally called Victor Frankenstein, but renamed Terror of Frankenstein for distribution on North American TV. I'm not even sure where it was made; it's an English language film, but IMDB lists both Sweden and Ireland as its countries of origin.

The other thing I learned is that it was extremely faithful to Shelley's novel. You can kind of tell that from the picture of the Monster above with his yellow skin, black lips, and long hair. He's almost too handsome a la the Creatures in Flesh for Frankenstein and Frankenstein: The True Story, but I appreciate the effort to adhere closely to Shelley's description. I was only able to find a handful of brief reviews, including this tribute on Frankensteinia, but they're all consistent in both their praise for the film's faithfulness and their acknowledgment that being so faithful causes the movie to drag in places (because so does the book). They also love Per Oscarsson's emotional and frightening portrayal of the Monster. Sounds like a must-see.

The Electric Company (1971-77)

I'm including this one mostly because it was such a huge part of my childhood. The Electric Company adopted lots of pop culture icons in its quest to help kids learn to read. They're perhaps most famous for their very cool Spider-Man skits, but they also made good use of a jungle girl named Jennifer and Universal monsters like Frankenstein, Dracula, and some sort of Wolf Man. (I should save this for next year, but I can't let it go without mentioning that in a cool bit of color-blind casting, Dracula was played by Morgan Freeman.) I'm sure that a great deal of my fondness for the Universal monsters (and jungle girls, and maybe even superheroes) came out of this show.

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