“You’re a complete mystery, my dear; a genuine enigma.”
Shortly after Dr. Frankenstein (Sting) brings his new female experiment (Jennifer Beals) to life, his monster (Clancy Brown) escapes and meets a dwarf (David Rappaport) who names him “Viktor” and convinces him to join the circus. Meanwhile, Dr. Frankenstein falls possessively in love with “Eva” (Beals), but she is interested in another man (Cary Elwes) and wants to live her own life.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Carnivals and Circuses
- Horror Films
- Mad Doctors and Scientists
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary writes, this “boring, poorly acted, poorly conceived revision of James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein , directed by Franc Roddam,” has “nothing to do with Mary Shelley,” instead pandering “to the modern audience with phony feminism.” He points out that Rappaport gives “the one acceptable performance in the film”:
… and argues that “there is no horror, except the acting of Sting and Beals in their final scene together.”
Peary’s right: this film really is a mess. While it’s beautifully staged and photographed, the storyline and characterizations leave a lot to be desired, and it’s a slog to get through. Of note is the interesting (albeit underutilized) cast of supporting actors, including Quentin Crisp and Timothy Spall as lab assistants:
… and Geraldine Page as a housekeeper.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Atmospheric sets and cinematography
Nope; you can skip this one unless you’re curious.
One thought on “Bride, The (1985)”
First viewing (2/28/21). Not must-see.
Horror fans will be disappointed in discovering that this re-imagining of the classic tale is, in fact, a gothic romance – which, at least, captures a remnant of the novel’s original spirit.
Its impressive production / costume design notwithstanding, the film never gains momentum once the excitement of its initial sequence passes. It largely juxtaposes two storylines but the lesser of the two (the subplot involving the circus) serves no other purpose than to keep ‘Viktor’ out of the main narrative until the film as a whole needs a finish.
Beals fares better than Sting but neither one (nor the other leading actors; nor the film) can overcome the meandering quality of the script. Spall, Crisp (!) and (esp.) Page are certainly all wasted in nothing-roles.