Skip’s Quips: Do You, Frankenstein’s Monster, Take ‘I, Frankenstein’ …

Blog Sketch 082813Will someone please direct a movie that’s faithful to the great Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley novel Frankenstein?

It’s not hard. The subject matter’s brilliant. Plus, it’s really scary. Perfect Hollywood material, right?

Guess not. Instead, we’re getting the likes of I, Frankenstein, which, judging from its trailer, resembles the original material as much as Taylor resembles Dr. Zaius in Planet of the Apes.

A planet where junk evolved from quality? Say it ain’t so.

Not even James Whale’s Frankenstein keeps strictly to the book, an issue I’ve always lamented, as it’s otherwise a classic film. Shelley’s monster is, unlike the character appearing in most cinematic depictions, intelligent, vengeful … and the negative mirror image of the man who created him. Are filmmakers today afraid that if they show the creature thusly, it’ll conflict with our mental image of him? If so, why is that a bad thing? We need a truer adaptation.

I, Frankenstein doesn’t fit the bill. Oh, and as an aside, putting “I,” before the name in the title is silly in this context. What does that mean, anyway? “I, Frankenstein, do solemnly swear to star in bad movies until Hollywood gets sick of this story.”

Directors should trust the novel. It’s a good one … and still topical. Great literature always has something to say.  There’s no reason why we can’t put the same content onscreen as well.

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