Rating a century’s worth of movies based on Shelley’s novel, Poor Things, with Emma Stone in the lead role.
20. Blackenstein (1973)
“DNA solution” is given to an African American amputee (a Vietnam veteran) by Dr. Stein, but things go tragically wrong due to a “RNA problem.” Because of its blatant incompetence, this Blaxploitation attempt to re-imagine Frankenstein like Blacula re-imagined Dracula makes it into this list of the worst movies ever made.
19. Igor (2008)
Igor is the hunchback helper of all wicked scientists in this homage to Tim Burton’s Frankenstein. For an evil science fair, one Igor (John Cusack) is wiser than his master and constructs a female monster. Listen to Louis Prima if you’re willing to put up with the stale adages (“It’s better to be a good nobody than an evil somebody”).
18. Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)
Japan is given the Frankenstein’s monster heart by the Nazis, and scientists in… Hiroshima study it. The effects of a single atomic blast and years of radiation have grown it into a massive, ferocious boy-kaiju who can’t stop killing things. Fortunately, he also stands up to bat when a Godzilla want tobe named Baragon threatens the country.
17. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
It was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars in this smugly gothic farce as a mittel-European medical student who strips down to reveal a set of abs that could only be achieved by jumping around in a giant fish kettle while marinating his monster (a remarkably unblemished Robert De Niro) in a giant fish broth.
16. Frankenstein Unbound (1990)
a 21st-century weapons inventor gets dragged back in time to 19th-century Geneva, where Frankenstein’s monster is loose and killing people, in which John Hurt stars as the lead character (like, er, an out-of-control weapon). However, Raul Julia as the crazed doctor and Michael Hutchence as Shelley make this Roger Corman’s final picture as a filmmaker enjoyable.
15. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
However, the songs from Richard O’Brien’s theatrical presentation are still enjoyable to hear. Furthermore, Tim Curry’s classic performance as Dr. Frank-N-Furter has been saved for future generations: a blessing If you give me seven days, I’ll turn you into a man!”
14. Frankenstein’s Army (2013)
End of World War II found-footage movie set in Germany at the end of WWII. An army of “zombies” outfitted with choppy, slicey, and drilly appendages confronts Soviet forces. A Frankenstein descendant is seeking to bring about world peace by fusing the minds of Soviet and Nazi leaders. There isn’t much going on here, but the creature design is quite good.
13. Frankenweenie (2012)
Victor, a young boy in Burton’s stop-motion version of his 1984 short, brings back to life the corpse of his bull terrier. Victor’s classmates, on the other hand, utilize the reanimation technique on other dead pets, resulting in an outbreak of bizarre hybrid creatures. Anti-cat bigotry tarnished what could have been a profound lesson on mortality.
12. Depraved (2019)
Idiot horror kingpin Amnesiac stabbing victim wakes up in a makeshift Brooklyn lab with a stitched-up body in Larry Fessenden’s version on the Frankenstein narrative. Ex-military medic who brought him back to life wants to teach his new creation about beauty, but his partner has other ideas. It has a good cast of characters, low-fi psychedelic sound effects, grief, and gloom.
11. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Toward the end of American horror’s first major blooming, Universal attempted to pump vitality into the formula by pairing classic monsters with their most popular comedy duo. Even though the Wolfman, Dracula, and Frankenstein’s monster are treated with respect in the first installment, some of the comedy set-pieces suddenly appear more anxiety-inducing than hilarious.
10. The Bride (1985)
Starting out strong, this isn’t as awful as its rep suggests. Exploding lab! Quentin Crisp!). the baron decides not to surrender his DIY woman (Jennifer Beals) to the male creature but to mold her into his perfect girlfriend before settling into a quasi-feminist combination of The Bride of Frankenstein and Weird Science. With Clancy Brown’s acting as the young male monster and Sting’s lovely but anemic quack appearance, the film nicely contrasts the Pygmalion-esque events at Castle Frankenstein.
9. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Danny Elfman’s haunting score adds to Burton’s Frankenstein fetish in this mix of traditional fairy tale and modern American gothic. A deranged but compassionate scientist (Vincent Price in his penultimate role) experimented on a living Swiss army knife, and Johnny Depp, in the first of many collaborations with the filmmaker, is unrecognisable behind scar makeup. Despite his topiary and hairstyling prowess, the freaky young man is unable to embrace the girl he loves because he is afraid of cutting her.
8. Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
Peter Cushing is back to his brilliant and sour self as Frankenstein, who has lost the enchantment of putting body parts together. His plan is to use the mutilated body of Hans’s lover, who drowned herself after he died, to house Hans’s spirit, which he believes was unfairly exterminated. In one of Hammer’s best successors to Frankenstein, Terence Fisher creates his signature dark fairytale mood. You can’t help but laugh at the baron’s haughtiness when his gorgeous creature seduces and murders the upper-class miscreants guilty for Hans’s death.
7. Frankenstein (2015)
It is Bernard Rose’s brilliant reimagining of the Frankenstein narrative that takes the monster’s perspective and moves it to current Los Angeles. After developing a disfiguring skin ailment, Danny Huston and Carrie-Anne Moss (the “parents” of the 3D-printed boy) reject him. It’s heartbreaking to watch Xavier Samuel portray the tragic character, who is unable to recognize his own strength, forced to live on the fringes of society, and brutally abused by police officers and vigilantes. But it all ends in disaster – as always – after learning to be kind from the blind busker (Candyman’s Tony Todd).
6. Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)
It’s time to “screw life in the gall bladder” in order to understand death, Otto! The film was made by Paul Morrissey, a former colleague of Andy Warhol’s. It was first presented in 3D with decapitated heads and dripping guts pushed in the faces of the audience. The baron’s plan to build a superstud to breed a Serbian master race encounters a snag when he unintentionally gives his creation the head of a chaste novice monk instead of the randy Joe Dallesandro, who leads an imbroglio of wild accents.
5. The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
The feature film debut of Vctor Erice is a touching portrait of a rural Castilian boyhood in the immediate aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. In the aftermath of a screening of James Whale’s Frankenstein in the hamlet, Ana, a young girl, is so inspired by the film that she attempts to protect the fleeing soldier in the barn from the authorities. Her father is tending to the beehives as her older sister decides to strangle the cat. The cat, on the other hand, has different plans. The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro drew inspiration from this captivating mix of youthful fantasy and historical fact.
4. Frankenstein (1931)
“It’s breathing!” Frankenstein’s assistants and the small girl they were trying to save are savaged before a flaming conclusion is unleashed. Henry Frankenstein, who isn’t yet a baron, is evidently suffering from mad-scientist ADHD. For Boris Karloff, a wordless performance beneath Jack Pierce’s iconic makeup is an absolute treat. There were at least three silent Frankenstein movies before Whale’s, including a 1910 short from Edison Studios, but Whale’s interpretation of Shelley’s narrative had a visionary enchantment that continues to influence the horror genre to this day.
3. Young Frankenstein (1974)
“Please, I beg of you, don’t embarrass him for the sake of safety!” Mel Brooks’ loving homage to classic Universal horror films is one of his funniest works, but it’s also a charming black-and-white fairytale in its own right. He plays the doctor, who is trying to downplay his infamous family history (“It’s pronounced Fronkensteen”), as well as the monster, Peter Boyle, who has a zip in his neck. Gene Hackman’s blind hermit, Cloris Leachman’s Frau Blücher, Madeline Kahn’s operatic skills, and Puttin’ on the Ritz are also enjoyable.
2. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Fisher helmed Hammer’s remake of Frankenstein, which added gore and put the mad scientist back in the center of the tale that bears his name (with a new creature for each sequel). Actor Cushing revels in his part as the science-obsessed social dandy, while Christopher Lee expresses the anguish of his character through body language alone. Some called it “depressing and demeaning,” yet it was a big hit and led to six sequels, five of which featured Peter Cushing as the brash and morally bankrupt baron who appeared in all of them.
1. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
This tragicomic sequel, directed by Whale again like his predecessor from 1931, picks up where the first one left off but manages to outdo it in terms of bizarreness. When the creature is able to talk, Karloff’s creation is more tragic than ever, but it only succeeds in wreaking destruction. Ernest Thesiger enters the cast as Doctor Pretorius, who convinces the baron to construct a girlfriend for his lonely monster by using his collection of miniature people as a row of tents. Elsa Lanchester plays both the shock-headed companion and the literary prologue’s Shelley. That face! What a mouth! This is an incredible woman.