"The Bride" is more Thomas Hardy than Mary Shelley, and more Gothic romance than horror. Director Franc Roddam points out (on his DVD commentary) that he wanted to make a very different version of the old story by eliminating almost all elements of horror; so only the first ten minutes qualify as authentic horror.
Roddam does not discuss the illogic of making a film devoid of the very elements its "target audience" was interested in seeing, but we already know that "The Bride" had a very poor showing at the box office. This target audience disconnect was most likely the cause. Nor does he comment on the failure to market the film to another audience segment; those interested in Gothic period pieces.
It is especially cool that 20 years later the film is finally being discovered by this other audience and they are finding it a beautifully photographed example of their genre that emphasizes story-line and atmosphere over blood and gore.
Even the much criticized casting of inexperienced leads Jennifer Beals and Sting (although both look great in period costume) takes on a different dimension when the film is re-classified into the Gothic genre. Suddenly you see that it was the director who was responsible for the apparent lack of chemistry between the two stars, particularly Beals lack of passion in the scenes they share. Roddam wanted these performances from his actors to advance his story; they are not not a reflection of inexperience or talent limitation. Which is not to say that Sting will ever be mistaken for a great acting talent but Beals has been unjustly criticized for a shallow performance when she simply gave Roddam what he wanted from her character Eva. Eva is only learning how to feel as the film progresses and when the events have all played out you realize that her emotionless attitude was meant to convey the indifference she felt toward her creator.
I highly recommend this movie as Roddam is an excellent stylistic director and has made a very good and very original Gothic romance. The fantastic production design unifies what are two stories as Roddam cuts back and forth between the Baron (Sting) teaching his creation Eva (Beals) while David Rappaport as Rinaldo teaches his other creation Victor, played by Clancy Brown. There is a psychic link between the two creations which will result in a interesting plot twist.
Roddam has created a visually gorgeous film that has held up much better than the 1980's mainstream features that outperformed it at the box office. Don't be scared away by the negative comments, if you know what to expect (gothic romance not horror) almost any fan of films will enjoy "The Bride". I recommend the DVD, it was made from a flawless print and the widescreen presentation really showcases both the top-notch photography and the terrific work of the production designer.
Fantasy / Horror / Romance / Sci-Fi
Fantasy / Horror / Romance / Sci-Fi
After the creation of his creature, Dr. Frankenstein researches and creates the perfect woman, Eva, to be the mate of the creature. However, the anxiety of the creature creates havoc in the laboratory, which is burnt down and explodes, killing Frankenstein's assistants, Dr. Zahlus and Paulus. Dr. Frankenstein believes the creature died too, but he has fled to the woods. Soon he meets and befriends the dwarf Rinaldo, who gives him the name Viktor, and invites him to work in a circus in Budapest. Meanwhile, Frankenstein and his house keeper, Mrs. Baumann (Geraldine Page), teach Eva how to behave and to be independent. One day, Frankenstein introduces Eva to the high-society, telling her that she was an amnesic found in the woods and has become his protégée. Frankenstein becomes obsessed with Eva, while she and Viktor have a strange connection. What will happen to Eva?
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November 08, 2018 at 08:51 AM