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raisinbread
03-29-2003, 11:49 AM
Why was his head flat in the movie? Because it looked cool? Some reference in the original story?

betenoir
03-29-2003, 12:04 PM
Because it looked cool. Absolutly no reference to the original story.

C K Dexter Haven
03-29-2003, 12:07 PM
For amusement: Straight Dope Staff Report: Would Frankenstein's monster be possible today? (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mfrankenstein.html)

Short Guy
03-29-2003, 12:56 PM
Here's the story as I know it: Jack Pierce, the man who designed the Frankenstein make-up, tried to come up with "low-tech" ways a mad scientist could possibly think of to remove a brain from a human skull and replace it with another. The idea he finally settled on was that the good doctor made an incision (front to back) in the skull, cracked it open, replaced the brain, and crudely sewed the skull (which, of course, was for the most part irreparably broken) back together. The 'flat head' of the monster is supposed to convey this effect.

Interesting trivia: Karloffs long time colleague Bela Lugosi was originally cast as the monster, but insisted on doing his own make-up. His (apparently hideous) design was rejected, and Lugosi walked out. Lugosi's design would have featured a much larger head and nasty looking sores all over the body, and was, needless to say, very different from the design we all know and love.

Speaker for the Dead
03-29-2003, 01:06 PM
Why would the Doctor need more than one body? Why couldn't he take one and just reanimate the whole thing?

Short Guy
03-29-2003, 01:18 PM
I believe the idea was to create a 'perfect' being: a strong body and a brilliant mind, or something to that effect. At any rate, the original book (it's been a long time since I've read it) focuses more on the creation of life out of... well, nothing, than the reanimation of dead bodies. Incidentally, for a good horror story about reanimation, I heartily recommend "Herbert West, Re-Animator" by HP Lovecraft.

Earl Snake-Hips Tucker
03-29-2003, 01:37 PM
The monster was supposed to have a large, looming presence (in the book, I think he was "really tall"). Karloff, however, was just "average-sized." I think part of the reason for the klunky thick-soled boots and extra "head" was to make him a more imposing figure.

Side note: I've wondered if the movements of the Whale's monster was inspired by "The Golem" from a decade earlier. But, could just be coincidence. Maybe that's how all newly-animated life-forms walk.

Revtim
03-29-2003, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by Speaker for the Dead
Why would the Doctor need more than one body? Why couldn't he take one and just reanimate the whole thing? I think the goal was to make a new person, not to reanimate an old one. Obviously, it's a judgement call whether you can call the end result a "new" person.

If I make a car from 100 percent used parts, I wouldn't exactly consider it a new car, myself.

Sock Munkey
03-30-2003, 04:03 AM
The boots were weighted and Karloff had a metal rod strapped to his back under the costume.

Rico
03-30-2003, 02:08 PM
Plus, he "must have had an enormous schwanstucker!"

carnivorousplant
03-30-2003, 02:36 PM
Frau Blucher!

vertigo
03-30-2003, 06:08 PM
Originally posted by Rico
Plus, he "must have had an enormous schwanstucker!"
That goes without saying...

kaylasdad99
03-30-2003, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by carnivorousplant
Frau Blucher!
WHINNYNEIGHFRIGHTENEDHORSEYSCREAM!!!

kaylasdad99
03-30-2003, 06:44 PM
Originally posted by carnivorousplant
Frau Blucher!
WHINNYNEIGHFRIGHTENEDHORSEYSCREAM!!!

kaylasdad99
03-30-2003, 06:49 PM
I swear I only hit "Submit" once!

carnivorousplant
03-30-2003, 07:30 PM
Where wolf?

Simbelmyne
03-30-2003, 07:33 PM
is this the Transylvania station?:p

look!ninjas
03-30-2003, 07:39 PM
Ja, Ja!

Kezermezer
03-30-2003, 08:03 PM
There, wolf!

Baldwin
03-30-2003, 10:40 PM
I always thought it was funny that Dr. Frankenstein apparently had learned how to perform the microsurgery necessary to connect the nervous systems of different body parts together so that they actually worked, and yet when it came to closing the outside of the body, he used some big ugly stitches.

Baker
03-30-2003, 11:41 PM
YES, YES, SAY IT! HE VAS MY BOYFRIEND!

Simbelmyne
03-30-2003, 11:44 PM
No escaping death for me!
Destiny! Destiny!

Ellen Cherry
03-30-2003, 11:55 PM
No tongue!

Rico
03-31-2003, 02:35 AM
Oh jeeze, I've created a monster....

Forgive me for hijacking your serious thread so thoroughly...

damn, that was fun.....

jayjay
03-31-2003, 10:09 AM
Young Frankenstein (that's Frankenshteen!) and Monty Python and the Holy Grail appear to be guaranteed thread hijack triggers around here.

Revtim
03-31-2003, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by Baldwin
I always thought it was funny that Dr. Frankenstein apparently had learned how to perform the microsurgery necessary to connect the nervous systems of different body parts together so that they actually worked, and yet when it came to closing the outside of the body, he used some big ugly stitches.
IIRC, Stephen King makes a similar point in his book Danse Macabre. In Frankenstein (the book), the creature convinces the doctor to make a female mate for him, but when the doc thinks of the possibility of the two of them reproducing, he destroys her.

King points out that it would child's play for the doc to have made the mate sterile; in fact it probably would have been very difficult to make her fertile.

And it occurs to me now that even if they did somehow manage to conceive, wouldn't the child just be a normal child anyway? Genetically it would be the child of whoever "donated" the male creature's testicles and woman who originally owned the eggs.

Ethilrist
03-31-2003, 12:01 PM
"Taffeta, darling."
"Taffeta to you, too, dear."

Rocketeer
03-31-2003, 01:39 PM
David Skal, in The Monster Show, traces the Monster's look to a cubist/modernist aesthetic that was "cutting-edge" in the Thirties. The flat head is intended to provide a tension between organic and mechanical.

As are the neck rivets.

Earlier concepts were ape-man-like or even pure robot; from that they seem to have arrived at the organic/mechanical fusion of the final design.

The play (prior to the movie) depicted the monster as a lurching, gauche, oddly colored doppelganger of its creator.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
03-31-2003, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by Rocketeer
David Skal, in The Monster Show, traces the Monster's look to a cubist/modernist aesthetic that was "cutting-edge" in the Thirties. The flat head is intended to provide a tension between organic and mechanical.

As are the neck rivets.

Earlier concepts were ape-man-like or even pure robot; from that they seem to have arrived at the organic/mechanical fusion of the final design.
underlining by Me

Then, the Borg are the children of Frankenstein.

After I typed that, it seems so obvious....

carnivorousplant
03-31-2003, 01:50 PM
Originally posted by Revtim

And it occurs to me now that even if they did somehow manage to conceive, wouldn't the child just be a normal child anyway?

I don't know how much Mary Shelley knew about biology. The Russians under Lenin were still using the theory of inheriting acquired characteristics; if you cut of a frog's legs, his offspring would have no legs.

Was Mary Shelley exhumed by Percy Byshe Shelley or so I have my Shellys confused?

FordPrefect
03-31-2003, 02:00 PM
The book was written in the 1800s. What I remember is that Dr. F. was working on an elixar that would either allow transplants to occur without any hitches, or restore life to dead people. The best way to test it was to make a person from human remains from the university's medical department. IIRC the book was a treatise on the potential horrors of vivisection.

Fish42
03-31-2003, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by carnivorousplant

Was Mary Shelley exhumed by Percy Byshe Shelley or so I have my Shellys confused?

Well, since Mary Shelley outlived Percy B., I doubt he could've exhumed her.

kaylasdad99
03-31-2003, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by carnivorousplant
I don't know how much Mary Shelley knew about biology. The Russians under Lenin were still using the theory of inheriting acquired characteristics; if you cut of a frog's legs, his offspring would have no legs.

Was Mary Shelley exhumed by Percy Byshe Shelley or so I have my Shellys confused? Exhumed? I'm not sure of the significance of that term in the context of this discussion.

In any event, I've always been under the impression that they were husband and wife.

CaptMurdock
03-31-2003, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by Baldwin
I always thought it was funny that Dr. Frankenstein apparently had learned how to perform the microsurgery necessary to connect the nervous systems of different body parts together so that they actually worked, and yet when it came to closing the outside of the body, he used some big ugly stitches.


"My grandfather's work was doo-doo!"

carnivorousplant
03-31-2003, 02:48 PM
It was Rossetti.
So much for remembering English Lit.

The Beggar Maid who still stirs us today is dead Elizabeth Siddal, whose body Rossetti once exhumed in order to retrieve the poems he had impetuously buried with her.

http://216.156.253.178/triggs/Artpoetry.html

Revtim
03-31-2003, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by carnivorousplant
I don't know how much Mary Shelley knew about biology. The Russians under Lenin were still using the theory of inheriting acquired characteristics; if you cut of a frog's legs, his offspring would have no legs.Yes, one must certainly allow for the state of medical knowledge for the time.

BMalion
03-31-2003, 04:14 PM
"LIFE!!! GIVE MY CREATION... LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!!!!!!!"

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