Black Wedding Tonight!
Bride of Frankentstein at the Alamo Ritz
By Marc Savlov, 10:25AM, Sun. Mar. 28, 2010
It's no secret around our lair that James Whale's 1935 Bride of Frankentstein is a cut (and a stitch) above the rest of Universal's 1930's horror oeuvre. In fact, it's the best of the undead bunch, and it's playing at the Alamo Ritz this evening.
Personally, we found Whale's original Frankenstein a tad too melodramatic, what with all the kidnappings of betrothed ladies in their silky unmentionables and all.
Bride acts as a corrective to the previous film's semi-stodgy storyline, chiefly by injecting some monstrously surreal humor (in a jugular vein, natch) into the proceedings. Ernest Thesinger's certifiably mad Dr.Septimus Pretorius &ndash a queer-coded enabler to Colin Clive's more submissive Henry Frankenstein &ndash had already appeared in Whale's direct follow-up to Frankenstein, The Old Dark House, in 1932, but his wacktastic performance in Bride came as a giddy revelation to audiences back in '35 and retains every bit of its impressive lunacy today.
And then there's Elsa Lanchester's Bride, she of the immortal shriek and that ever-influential lightning-bolt coiffure, courtesy of Universal's famed make-up artist Jack Pierce.
But the real star of the show is, again, Boris Karloff, as "the monster," who finally receives his fondest wish &ndash love &ndash only to have it cruelly torn away from him by the fickle talons of fate (and that mad, bad, dangerous-to-know schemer Dr. Pretorius. If you've never experienced Bride of Frankenstein on the big screen, then you might want to brink a hanky, because once you get past the madness and mayhem, this is a chick flick of the highest and most intellectually challenging (not to mention funny) order.
Plus, as an added and very cool bonus, UT Professor Dr.Thomas Schatz will be on hand to speak on all things Frankensteinian.
From the Alamo's press release:
We're going to be watching Bride of Frankenstein on Sunday night at the second meeting of the Cinema Club. Joining the resident Alamo Drafthouse film historians will be Dr. Thomas Schatz, esteemed professor and scholar from University of Texas Radio-Television-Film department. Schatz, whose book Genius of the System is essential reading for any film buff, is an expert on Hollywood history. He will introduce the film and lead a discussion following the screening.
More info, ticket prices, and times can be found here.