Keeping with the theme of classics, last night's film was the 1931 version of Frankenstein, with Boris Karloff playing the monster. As it happens, the whole thing went wrong for the doctor because his assistant brought him an "abnormal brain"--which was inexcusable, since the jar the brain was sitting in literally said "abnormal brain" on the label. People! This is what warning labels are for! Needless to say, the monster ends up going on a rampage, mostly because he's a dumb brute.
But what if they'd put in a normal brain? Then we'd have been treated to 71 minutes of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster playing cribbage and bitching about taxes. (That's what I'd do with my non-murderous monster). Which means box office poison!
So of course the monster goes nuts, accidentally murders a little girl and the film culminates in a torch-wielding mob. I'd like to think that if in that situation I would, like Homer Simpson, lead the mob in wise and positive directions--maybe point out that the real monster is within ourselves and we'd be better off getting some iced cream. Alas, the mob surrounds and burns to death the poor dumb monster. You actually feel some sympathy for the abused brute, as he was never really evil but only trying to defend himself and his killing of the little girl was more an accident and frankly she was old enough to have learned to swim, especially since she lived next door to a lake. But one lesson that wasn't learned? That we shouldn't re-animate life. After all, if Thomas Edison quit inventing the first time he electrocuted to death one of his assistants, we'd never have the lightbulb. To think, Frankenstein might have gone on to create a whole society of calm, rational monsters that would by now be well ingrained into society, like the Irish.
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