It’s alive, it’s alive! And kinda scary

Watching the classic 1931 Universal Frankenstein, with Boris Karloff as the monster and Edward Van Sloan (Van Helsing in the Universal Dracula) as Dr. Waldman. It’s being aired on Svengoolie which, if you’re not familiar, is a traditional nighttime horror movie show out of Chicago. The host, Svengoolie, is done up in scary makeup and costume and armed with gags and corny jokes. I highly recommend it if you get the chance.

I haven’t seen this movie in years, in fact I wondered if I’d ever seen the opening scenes before as I didn’t recognize them. It’s wonderful of course, monumental and tragic. Interestingly my wife noticed that Mary Shelley is listed in the opening credits as Mrs. Percy B. Shelley.

If you’ve never read Mary Shelley’s novel and you enjoy horror and/or great storytelling you can do a lot worse. You can even read it free on the web, here’s the Project Gutenberg link: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/84 .

I read the novel in its entirety a couple of decades ago. I sat up in bed late at night reading and reading, and parts of the book were genuinely unsettling (the drowning of the little girl being a prime example). The book asks serious questions about ethics and what it means to be human, and where are, or where should be, the limits of research. SciFi and Horror owe much to Mary Shelley and her classic work.

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