A Movie Adaptation for Your Consideration: It just doesn’t get better than the 1931 Frankenstein, the monster movie of all monster movies. This flick popularized the idea of the monster as a green dude with bolts in his neck, and was so iconically played by Boris Karloff that no image of the monster has ever been able to overtake or even hold a candle to the cultural influence wrought by Karloff’s shambler. Truly unmissable!
A Recommendation for the Road: Another chilling sci fi horror mad scientist novel could be aligned here – namely, HG Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau. It’s release was met with total controversy and some vocal outcrying based on its horror aspects, especially following the hopeful futuristic tone of The Time Machine. The shipwrecked Edward discovers Dr Moreau’s island, full of beasts and dark secrets and disturbances of nature that bring to the forefront the ethics of what we might now consider human genetic experimentation, and pits man and nature against each other (which, as books have taught me, often ends poorly for the man person). Haunting, indeed.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley may be the most adapted work that we talk about on this podcast. Very few works of fiction can claim to have affected people’s imaginations as much as this work did. One thing to note as you start perusing similar works, many adaptations take large liberties with Shelley’s concept. But, all that being said, here are some fun related works if you enjoyed Frankenstein.
One adaptation that I would like to share is a YouTube web series published by PBS Voices entitled “Frankenstein MD” (2014) is a blog style, modern adaptation of this work. It is a well produced, fun series that I think keeps to the heart and tone of Shelley’s work.
For some more light-hearted, and less book accurate adaptations that stand out in my mind from the pack, the film Young Frankenstein (1974) directed by Mel Brooks is a favorite of mine and my family. It stars the comedic genius of Gene Wilder as the titular character Young Frankenstein and will make you laugh until your sides hurt. Another totally different adaption is The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) directed by Jim Sharman. This film inspired a cult following and is no traditional adaptation. Get ready for lots of musical numbers and to never think of Tim Curry the same way again if you watch this film.