Remember that scene in Young Frankenstein where the monster finds the old blind man who's all nice to him because he can't see how hideous he is and the blind man tries to feed the monster but ends up ladeling soup in his lap instead and lighting his finger on fire when he tries to light a cigar and then, after the monster runs away, the old man, played by Gene Hackman, follows him out with the zinger "I was gonna make Espresso"?
So, it probably didn't look that great on paper, but it was AWESOME.
Now, 37 years after Mel Brooks' iconic parody of the Frankenstein franchise that was so popular in the 1940s and '50s, the studios are lining up their own lukewarm ideas for retellings of the classic Mary Shelley novel in which a mad scientist brings to life a monster stitched from scraps of dead flesh. Some half-dozen ideas are being tossed around right now, including an adaptation of Peter Ackroyd's novel The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein and Tim Burton's remake of his own '80s short Frankenweenie.
That's right: Frankenstein is the new werewolf is the new vampire is the new zombie is the new Frankenst...oh my gosh! See what I did there?
The problem with Frankenstein in the modern day is that the crux of Shelley's novel--a cautionary tale of the Enlightenment against the abuse of science--has been obscured by the sheer ridiculousness of the monster character in film. Boris Karloff's slurred speech and Robert DeNiro's...well, DeNiro-ness, have made the character, and thus the films, laughable. We can only hope that one of the half-dozen or so projects will do Shelley's story some justice.
While we wait to see, here are some of our favorite Frankenstein movie posters.