Frankenstein Through the Ages

By October 29, 2015 Lists No Comments

Happy National Frankenstein Day!

What? Why do you look so surprised? Wait a minute… Are you saying you forgot? You didn’t even call your mother to wish her a Happy Frankenstein Day? Shame on you!

Alright, so maybe National Frankenstein Day isn’t exactly on your standard page-a-day calendar. But Costume SuperCenter isn’t making it up! As far as national days of celebration go, Frankenstein Day is pretty darn cool. After all, he’s one of the classic monsters, right up there with Dracula, the Werewolf, and the Mummy. Just about everybody knows good ol’ Frank. Since his creation in 1818, storytellers throughout the ages have put their own spin on his renowned tale.

Frankenstein as Literature

Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

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This is it folks, the original tale that birthed a monster. Competing with her friends to see who could write the best horror story, Mary Shelley began work on her novel when she was 18, and published it anonymously in 1818 at the age of 20. The story is told largely by Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the monster, as he tells his tales of mad science and artificial life. Catching on with the public almost immediately, the story was quickly adapted into various theatrical adaptations, spreading the legend of Frankenstein far and wide.

Frankenstein as Classic Monster Movie


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As iconic as the monster who spawned it, James Whale’s 1931 Frankenstein film is as instrumental to the monster’s continued popularity as Mary Shelley’s original novel. The lightning, the hunchbacked assistant, Dr. Frankenstein’s echoing shout of “It’s ALIVE!”—it all comes from this movie. Boris Karloff’s portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster—complete with a massive square forehead and bolts sprouting from his neck—is how many picture him to this day. The film’s massive popularity spawned several sequels, starting with The Bride of Frankenstein in 1935, which added another classic monster to popular culture.

Frankenstein as Humor

Young Frankenstein

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A parody of the classic tale, the film Young Frankenstein, directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder, has become a classic in its own right. Originally conceived by Wilder during the filming of Blazing Saddles, also directed by Brooks, the film became the duo’s next project. With it, they sought to honor both the original Mary Shelley novel and the James Whale monster movies. Since its release, the film has been featured on several lists of the greatest comedy movies of all time, and has been hailed by Brooks as his best work.

Frankenstein as Comic Book Character

DC Comics & Marvel Comics

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Frankenstein: A monster, a tormented soul, and in the DC Comics universe, a secret agent. As an Agent of S.H.A.D.E (Super Human Advanced Defense Executive), Frankenstein led the Creature Commandos in their mission to eradicate monsters who threatened humanity. He then moved on to the Justice League Dark, working with other paranormal protectors to keep magical mayhem at bay.

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In the Marvel Comics universe, Frankenstein was last seen acting as ringleader of the “Murder Circus,” a traveling troupe in search of the descendants of Frankenstein. The Circus ran afoul of the X-Men, and Frank was ultimately taken down by Wolverine. But not before brainwashing him and the rest of the adult X-Men into thinking they were circus performers.

Frankenstein as Action Movie

Victor Frankenstein

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Slated for release later this year, Victor Frankenstein continues the recent trend of putting a modern movie spin on a classic tale. With James McAvoy as the titular Victor Frankenstein, and Daniel Radcliffe as his trusty assistant Igor, the film looks to trade in the brooding, tragic feel of other Frankenstein stories for a more bombastic portrayal complete with action and explosions. While decidedly different than what’s come before, the film reflects the continued power of the Frankenstein story.

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So throw on your Frankenstein costume and prep for Halloween by becoming ALIVE as everybody’s favorite not-so-jolly green giant. Costume SuperCenter has all of the get-ups, bells and whistles to help you piece together your look, just as Dr. Victor Frankenstein pieced together his monster all those years ago.

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