Creature Double Feature — MotB
(9.29) The last picture show of the season and it’s a great bill. Two horror classics are on tap for Creature Double Feature: ‘The Wolfman’ and ‘The Bride of Frankenstein.’ I’m a huge Claude Rains fan, but I’ve never cared much for the wolfman oeuvre. The transformation scenes never work for me. Frankenstein monsters, on the other hand, just sort of wake up. And Elsa Lanchester was born to play this part.
. . . the best of the Frankenstein movies–a sly, subversive work that smuggled shocking material past the censors by disguising it in the trappings of horror. Some movies age; others ripen. Seen today, Whale’s masterpiece is more surprising than when it was made because today’s audiences are more alert to its buried hints of homosexuality, necrophilia and sacrilege. But you don’t have to deconstruct it to enjoy it; it’s satirical, exciting, funny, and an influential masterpiece of art direction.
James Whale — whose directing credits include ‘The Invisible Man’ with Claude Rains, another gem — ultimately became the subject of his own movie.
Whale has long been valued by admirers of 1930s horror films, but in 1998, with the release of the biopic “Gods and Monsters,” . . . his life was credited with a new significance. In an era when Hollywood was filled with homosexuals who stayed adamantly in the closet, he was portrayed as openly gay–not only in his life, but in his work.
The title of that movie, starring Ian McKellan and Brendan Fraser, (and I suppose that Lana Del Ray song) is taken from ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ when the two scientists (same-sex parents?) toast their new partnership with “To a new world of gods and monsters.”
6:30pm, Thursday, September 29, Grant’s Block, 260 Westminster at Union Street, (directions), rain date Friday