gothic screenshot

The first of our Halloween-inspired films for October takes us to the literary roots of both Frankenstein AND Dracula in this bonkers Ken Russell ride with an all-star cast.

We could’ve just as easily chosen Gothic for our Julian Sands tribute episode, as he puts on an incredibly bold and melodramatic performance, along with some opther stellar and emotional acting by Gabriel Byrne, Natasha Richardson, and Timothy Spall. This is a dramatization of the historically true party night between Lord Byron, the Shelley’s and others which inspired Mary to come up with the story for Frankenstein. Truly a movie to be experienced!

gothic poster
Expand to read episode transcript
Automatic Transcript

Gothic (1986)


Craig: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Craig. 

Todd: And I’m Todd.

Craig: And I am introducing the movie this week because I picked it. This week we are doing, we’re doing 1986’s Gothic. The reason that I picked this is because… For the first time in my 20 year career as an English teacher, I am teaching Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

I started working on it, preparing it for my class and stuff, and I got so into it, like, I am just consuming everything Mary Shelley and everything Frankenstein I can, because I’m so into it. And I remembered this movie, and I knew what it was about. I knew that this movie was about the night that Mary Shelley conceived the idea for Frankenstein, and I’ll talk more about that in a minute, but for whatever reason…

I don’t think that I had seen it, but now I’m not sure. Looking, having watched it again, I, I think maybe I’ve seen it, but Really? If that’s the case, it shocks me that I don’t remember it, because this movie is crazy. Yeah, 

Todd: this movie is batshit crazy. And, I remember this movie very well, because the cover art.

Of the poster, which then therefore became the VHS art on the shelves of our local blockbuster. It’s very clear. It’s this demon kind of hunching over this woman who’s laying over this thing. And immediately, you know, the 16 year old Todd is not interested in this movie. 

Craig: I think that, yeah. I think it was the same for me.


Todd: He’s way more interested in the Slumber Party Massacre. Half naked bucks and babes between the two legs of the driller killer with his, you know. He literally looked at this movie and said, Nah, this is not for me. This is gonna be too, whatever. It’s gonna be too artsy. Highfalutin 

Craig: Yeah, it’s too artsy.

You can tell, right? I know, which is interesting to me because… 43? I think I’m 43. 43 year old Craig looks at that box art and I’m like, oh my god, that is so compelling. Right? Um, it’s Natasha Richardson, who plays Mary Shelley in the movie, like, on her back, draped over a bed with her hair, like, flowing down to the ground, and this little demon perched on her chest.

And it’s inspired by a famous painting called The Nightmare. Uh, which features prominently in the movie, and the scene on the box art is, you know, a scene directly pulled from the movie. But I think you’re right, I think I felt the same way. I was like, no, this is gonna be some artsy fartsy period piece, not interested.

Yeah. And so I don’t re I don’t recall ever picking it up. But… I was excited. Okay, so I was already excited about, you know, the connection to Frankenstein and all that stuff. But, when you and I talked about it last week after the show, I got even more excited about it because you pointed out that it’s directed by Ken Russell.

Mmm. Who we’ve done at least one of his movies before. We did The Lair of the White Worm, is that what it’s called? Which I had no interest in seeing. And… In the beginning I’m like, uh, God, this is dumb, and then it just got crazy, and I ended up really liking it. Yeah, 

Todd: well, full disclosure, if you don’t know who Ken Russell is, he’s a British director, and He’s the kind of guy that I would have been into in college because I was really into film and I was really into esoteric, artsy kind of stuff.

I was seeking the stuff out. I didn’t happen to hear of Ken Russell at that time, but he is well known for doing all kinds of crazy shit. And I admire the guy because I like people who have a singular vision, who follow it unapologetically, and who are… artistic, and smart, and actually have something to say, and are not pretentious.

And I kind of feel like everything I’ve seen of Ken Russell so far, checks most of those boxes. Like you said, we did uh, Layer of the White Worm, and I think, I haven’t gone back to listen to our episode on that, but I’m pretty sure that we thought it was quirky, and weird, and interesting, and funny, yet we, we felt like, probably it was a little above our heads.

You know? There were things here that this guy had in mind that he was saying that we couldn’t possibly cover in an hour long podcast, but It was seriously entertaining regardless, and I, uh, also watched the film Altered States. Yeah, I haven’t seen it. Yeah, you’ve probably seen it on the shelves for decades and heard of it.

But I actually ended up watching it here in Beijing in some little film festival that they were doing horror films, and I thought, this is the most bonkers movie. Especially, like, three quarters in, it’s just weird. And yet, I liked it. I thought, this guy’s saying things that… I mean, he’s communicating something.

Like, art should communicate something. Feelings, emotions, whatever. And despite the fact that I thought the movie kind of went off the rails three quarters of the way through and got stupid, I still felt like I admired this guy and I respected him and I… Walked away from that experience of watching his movie like I’m still talking about it today These are the kind of movies that I think Ken Russell makes.

Yeah, he’s made a number of films. He’s done music videos He’s done all kinds of stuff. He’s made horror movies There are a couple that he’s made that I’m pretty sure we’ll cover on this podcast at some point just because they’re notorious for being extreme and shocking and whatever I love that. I do, too.

Craig: He’s really unique. That’s what I like about him You know Julian Sands is in this movie and he had just come off of the movie that he was nominated or won I don’t remember An academy award for it was another period piece. I just had it in my head No, i’m not gonna be able to think of what it is But he came off of that movie and did this movie which is also a period piece and he talked about how the experiences were so different because he talked about how The film that he had made, the first one, the director, everything was so proper and everything was so perfect, uh, and then he came on to this movie, and it was a period piece, much like the first movie that he had done, but this guy’s method was just so much more gonzo, and it was so much more about trying things and experimenting with things and letting the actors try different 

Todd: things.

I could totally see that, yeah. Yeah, me 

Craig: too. And you said something about, talking about the experience of seeing Altered States. That, I would say that about this, this movie is more of an experience than a movie. 

Todd: You’re absolutely right. And that’s what I, actually, this is what I admire so much about this movie, is that, so, this film, Is centered around the historical event of Mary Shelley and her friends coming together at Lord Byron’s estate and having a party.

As they did at this time before the internet and she came away with it, inspired to write Frankenstein and did. Not only did she come away with it, inspired to write Frankenstein. Frankenstein, but one of the other people at this party came away with it, inspired to write a story about vampire, which ended up sort of setting the stage, really, for the gothic vampire tradition, and inspiring Bram Stoker’s Dracula, among others, so.

It is a… singular moment that we can identify in literary history where authors came and It’s kind of a magical moment. And so it makes sense to make a story about this moment Oh my god, 

Craig: and it’s such a wonderful story and Ken Russell had said that he had been interested in making A movie about this story for like a decade and he had even been given a another script that told this true story but he just felt like it was just dry it was just kind of a straight historical kind of thing um and so then when he got this script he said it was very visual and there was so much that he could do with it visual and he thought that he could make it really scary.

I don’t know if it’s really scary, it’s creepy in parts, but it’s an hour and twenty five minutes long, and really not even that long if you cut out the credits, it’s more like an hour twenty. It’s a short movie. But it took me At least two hours to watch it. Yeah. 

Todd: Cause you were stopping it, right? All the time.

You’re, I was literally looking shit up on Wikipedia. Me too! While I was like, I know these are real people and the things that are coming up in this movie, I’m like, I got to Google that. Like I need to know more about these people. And it did not disappoint. That was the thing. This movie, look, I got on IMDb after I watched it.

And I looked at the trivia. There are nine trivia points on IMDb. That is way too few. I know! I’m disappointed in humanity. I’m disappointed in the collective consciousness of the internet. That there are only nine. Elements of trivia of this film that requires, I don’t know, 90. This movie is so deep. It’s juicy!

References historical events. You’re right, it’s juicy. It talks about people. This is like the Entertainment Tonight of 1819. Exactly! It really is! It is like… All of the interesting shit that was going down with these very interesting people who ended up having an impact on literature, on culture, on all this stuff, who came together on this magical night and birthed this thing.

Why are there only nine dumb things in the IMDb trivia about this movie? Ken Russell and his screenwriter, Stephen Volk, are super clever because they managed to weave a lot of Interesting historical facts into a screenplay that ends up not only including those historical facts, but being highly entertaining and, in my view, placing you in the moment.

I felt like I was there this night with these people who were doing all these drugs. Uh huh. They’re drinking this thing called… Laudanum. Yeah, which is I looked this up too because I was super interested. It’s like a 10 percent opium extract Uh huh mixed with alcohol like these people had no idea what they were doing like right This is the equivalent of like mushrooms and LSD.

Right. They used to 

Craig: use laudanum to treat Opioid addictions. Samuel, Samuel, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, famous romantic poet, was addicted to opium, sought medical treatment for his addiction, and they prescribed him laudanum, which he then became incredibly addicted to. 

Todd: Like, what an insane time to document, in a way.

But, basically, a bunch of people get together for a party, they get super, super high, and they themselves come to this party with all this baggage. They’re all f ing each other. Oh my god. They’ve got all these, like, weird ass relationships that only, like, super rich British people at this time, who had estates and manners and nothing else to do with their time, could do.

Then they take these drugs and have a party and, like, go crazy. And… I have to imagine, to be honest with you, that their real life experience couldn’t have been too far removed from what we saw in 

Craig: this movie. It probably was not. That is what is so fantastic about, I, so, in researching Frankenstein, I’m reading all of this stuff about Mary Shelley, and the thing that always stuck out in my mind was that she wrote, I mean, if you’ve read Frankenstein, it’s so great.

It is, and I’ve read it. It’s not what you think. think it’s going to be because it’s not like the universal movie at all. The universal movie is just the most exciting part. The monster part, you know, bringing somebody to life and then the monster being scary, blah, blah, blah. That’s really not what the book is about at all.

In fact, in the book, the monster is highly articulate, intelligent, lonely, a totally sympathetic character who has been abandoned by his creator, which is what this is all about. Yeah. This movie too. Anyway, great book, but the thing that always stuck out to me was that Mary Shelley began writing this book when she was 18 years old.

It was published when she was 19, but she started reading it when she was 18. Unbelievable. It is un believable. But the other thing, then, if you look more into her life, she and her friends…

were scandalous. Yes. They scandalized Europe. Mary Shelley was 16 when she fell in love with Percy Byrne Shelley, another very famous poet, who was already married. They began an affair that carried on and produced a child until his wife died and then they were able to be married. Yes. She was an adulteress.

Her son was 

Todd: a bastard. Her husband was a free love guy. No, this is far from it. Oh, yeah. Lord 

Craig: Byron was scandalous because of claims of, uh, incest and all kinds of crazy shit. Lord 

Todd: Byron didn’t give a shit about anything. If you read about Lord Byron, and I watch this movie and I think, yeah, he must have been this way.

Like, this guy didn’t give a shit about anything. He was totally about following his own whims and doing his own thing. Whatever, you know what like I don’t want to say this out loud, but like I can’t find fault with the guy like follow your own path Well, I’m right, you know, that’s 

Craig: the thing. They were they were free 

Todd: thinkers far ahead of their time 

Craig: in a way Mary Shelley justified her relationship with Shelley by saying, you know, why do we put limitations on love?

You love who you love and Marriage or no marriage be damned who cares they were hippies. Yeah, they were artists they Indulged in mind altering substances, um, and they practiced free love, and they did. And so, Byron was not, like, literally or legally run out of, uh, England, but because he was so disreputable socially, he moved for a time to Switzerland.

Mary, I don’t remember what her maiden name was, but Mary Shelley, Percy by Shelley, and Mary Shelley’s sister all came. to visit Byron and Mary Shelley’s sister was having an affair with Byron and, you know, the, the movie paints this evening as entirely hedonistic, which it may very well have been because they were all about free love and, and all of that stuff.

Yeah, it could have been. So, so all of that stuff is True and makes for such a fascinating story and what happened was this was like historically a really bad summer There had been some sort of natural occurrence where for whatever reason the weather was just really bad that summer and so on their visit The weather was terrible and was raining and so they were forced to stay inside and amuse themselves And so they they amuse themselves by reading German Horror 

Todd: stories.

Uh, Phantasmagoria. Right. A French anthology of German horror stories, translated and published in 1812. This is the time that we’re talking 

Craig: about. Yeah. Right. And, uh, once they had done that, then, uh, the story, who, who came up with the idea? Most people attribute it to Byron. Byron challenged them to see who could write the scariest ghost story.

And they didn’t sit down and write them all in that night, but it did inspire Mary Shelley to write the short story that she would then expand into the novel that became Frankenstein that she published anonymously because women weren’t respected at that time. And the, the other guy, the doctor who was there too, Dr.

Polidori, yeah, Dr. Polidori. John Polidori, yep. He went on to write The Vampire, V A M P Y R E, which is believed to be the first instance of kind of the sexy, romantic vampire before they had always been kind of monstrous and like, you know, demony. Um, but he wrote about a vampire who was good looking and charming and seductive and many believe that that’s where Bram Stoker was inspired to write Dracula.

So, it’s such a cool story in itself. And then this movie… Tells that story, but then the movie posits a world where they, maybe, I don’t know, it gets really weird. They may, like, in coming up with these ideas for these stories, they literally manifest them? 


Craig: think, I think that’s what the movie wants us to believe.

Yeah, maybe. Yeah, okay. I know I’ve been rambling for a long time, but I just wanted to say the first 45 minutes of this movie Tells all of that true stuff and it’s fun and these actors are all great But as it was getting close to the halfway part, I’m I was thinking, you know, this is fun Watching, you know kind of their hedonistic shenanigans, but we’re almost halfway in and you know Nothing really scary has really happened or anything and then it just got bad Shit crazy for the last for the last half of the movie.

Oh my I was like, what is Happening 

Todd: and you know a movie is bad shit crazy when you almost just stop taking notes Like I know you’re just like like what’s the point right, right? I’m trying to write down all the interesting things that I find, and I’m, I’m, I would be pausing the movie every five seconds to write down all the interesting things that are happening, and so I kind of stopped, but then I felt obligated because I have this podcast, so let me just say, Ken Russell, I know you’re dead now, but like, it was an enormous burden for us to try to make notes Because it’s so dense and it’s so interesting and what better compliment for a director than that, right?

Craig: have two full pages of typed single space notes I never take that many notes and you’re right I was pausing every five seconds because you would just get flashes of images that would be on the screen for a second or two And you’re like, what is that? What is happening? Yeah It’s insane and brilliant 

Todd: dialogue insightful Things, everything feels meaningful in this movie.

Craig: know, and I don’t even know how we’re going to be able to go about talking about it. 

Todd: We can’t, we can’t. But, Not in an hour. Ugh, 

Craig: it’s just so good. And, and this is one of the horniest movies I have ever seen. 

Todd: There are, there are nipples that come alive in this movie. Let’s just put it that way. 

Craig: These people are the horniest people.

Yeah. Ever in the world. Super jealous. It, it, they’ll just be doing mundane things, like reading stories and fondling each other. Yeah. There’s a, a full out orgy, like, at one and the one guy, poor Dr. Polidori, like, before they cut to the orgy, you just see Dr. Polidori sitting there, looking at something anxiously.

In my mind, I’m like, oh, he’s watching them f and then it cuts to them f ing. And 

Todd: they are. I called that. I totally called that. We might as well get into the story, but I don’t think this is going to be our typical podcast where we can go through everything beat by beat because there are just too many beats.

Craig: Yeah. 45 minutes is basically the story. That I told just playing 

Todd: out there are a couple things. I do want to point out though first of all We’ve got us an all star cast Julian Sands is Percy Shelley he’s referred to as Shiloh through this by Lord Byron. It was a 

Craig: room with a view by the way A room with a view is the movie.


Todd: there you go. Okay, yeah. Alba Byron is Gabriel Byrne. Uh, Claire, Mary’s half sister. We’ve got John Polidori, who was played by, um… Timothy Spall. Who many people nowadays might know as Peter Pettigrew from the, um… Was that him? Yeah, from the Harry Potter series. Yep, yep, yep. And Mary Shelley, who was obviously, uh, what’s her name, 

Craig: um…

Natasha Richardson. Yeah. Beautiful, talented actress, she was married to Liam Neeson, daughter of, um, oh, Vanessa Redgrave. Yes. Died tragically in a skiing accident, which was, you know, terrible. I’m pretty sure she had kids, and I think, I don’t remember, but, uh, she was a beautiful woman. Beautiful actress.

Probably, you know, in the prime of her career at the time of her death. That’s too bad. And she’s great in this movie! This is her first movie. 

Todd: She is fantastic in this movie. And then, the music! By Thomas Dolby, and anybody who’s… Really into music, like, Tom Stilby has a long and well respected career in the musical field.

A pioneer of electronic music, really behind the scenes, uh, a huge inspiration for a lot of modern musicians, uh, and the music in this movie is just fantastic. It’s very good. It’s so good, it just always fits the scene, and, and sometimes it feels a little more modern and electronic, sometimes it feels very older.


Craig: to the period, yes. It feels appropriate to the period, but in heightened moments it does get a little more synth y and modern, but it fits, it makes sense, it does serve to heighten those moments. The music is great. It’s beautifully shot. There’s so much good about this movie. It’s absolutely gorgeous in its shooting.

You know, it takes place in this big gothic mansion. The rooms that they are in are palatious. Like they’re just enormous. And then sometimes they’ll be in very confined, like, narrow, dark hallways and the lighting is beautiful, the costume, I mean, it’s a beautiful period movie. Take all of the horror out of it and it’s a beautiful 

Todd: period movie.

It really is. I mean, you could be, take all the horror out of it and you’re in some sort of Jane Austen type, you know, kind of like thing. I love the fact that it’s sort of bookended by this tour group. So there’s this at the time tour group Lord Byron’s house apparently was very popular at the time And there are these victorian dressed people who are on a boat in the lake or whatever across from the house Looking through these binoculars Toward the house while the person is saying and there are ladies and gentlemen On the other side of the 


Craig: we have the famous Villa Diodati, where Lord Byron, greatest living English poet, resides in exile.

Romantic, scholar, dualist, and best selling author of child heraldry. He was forced to leave his native land after many scandals, including incest. The adultery with Lady Caroline Lamb. Mad, bad… 

Todd: This gets bookended later on when we get a modern tour group at the very end of the movie doing the very exact same thing.

Kind of showing that this thing, not only is it interesting to us now, But it was interesting to the very same people in the past. And then, my god, like, it’s just, the movie kind of assaults your senses with just weird imagery, which is something that the director tends to do, you know, in his films. Mary Shelley and her crew.

Arrive by canoe. Heh heh, amidst the tour group, whatever, across the lake. And immediately there’s this cute chase. You know, you imagine these Victorian times. They didn’t have a lot to do to entertain themselves. So they got cute and they just entertained themselves. You know, by like, telling stories, and chasing after each other, and having affairs, and like, all this stuff.

Yeah. I love it. 

Craig: Yeah, I do too, and there’s nothing that’s really out of the realm of reality in these opening scenes. Not at all. But there’s a surreality to it. Yes. Like, when they’re coming, they’re coming across the boat, and Claire… Who is Mary Shelley’s, uh, half sister. Is like, doing the, I’m the king of the world thing off the prow of the boat.

Like, she’s leaning up over the prow. And they, they, and they get off the boat and some young girls come out of nowhere and chase Shelley and take his coat off. And, and this is never explained why. Then he throws a peacock and he runs to the house and the, like, it’s, it’s so weird. When they get inside, Byron appears at the top of the stairs, in front of a huge portrait.

Of himself. Yes. Oh my god. And then just such, such weird things like, Mary goes upstairs and runs into a giant 

Todd: goat and… Which has like, the goat itself has like giant tits. 

Craig: Yeah. It’s so weird. And Byron’s like, oh yeah, I don’t go anywhere without my menagerie. This is true. Lord Byron was an animal lover. He had multiple pets, both domestic and exotic, that he…

get had with him all the time. Crazy. Um, then we meet, uh, Dr. Polidori, who is commissioned to write Byron’s biography again, historically accurate. And they’re all drinking laudanum. And then Byron says something like, sometimes when I look upon a face that I have loved, I only see the changes that death will make.

And so he’s obsessed with death. Yeah. He’s just a weird guy. He’s a weird, he’s very enigmatic. He seems to be magnetic, like everybody is drawn to him, but he’s also a dick. It’s like, 

Todd: it’s like an intentional eccentricity, right? Like he himself, like, sort of takes pleasure in the fact that he’s a man. Who doesn’t have to worry about shit, right?

Like he doesn’t need a job. He’s got an inheritance. He has this manor, you know, well, I This isn’t his manor. I think they rented this place, right? It’s rented Yeah But anyway, like, like a lot of people that we read about in literature from this time are of a certain class where they don’t Have to worry about anything, right?

So they can go off on their fancies and they can, you know, write stories and they can do whatever and and they can be weird and He’s eccentric and free love and whatever and they really don’t have to worry about anything. So he’s got this menagerie. He’s got this servant. He’s got this guy doing his biography and they’re in this fancy place.

And it’s kind of fun to step into this world a little bit and experience it through them. But in the same sense, he’s also cute about it. And so… 

Craig: Sometimes, but then sometimes he’s also violent. Yeah, he’s a dick at times. Infatuated. They’re having an affair. Claire 

Todd: is, by the way, Mary Shelley’s half sister.

She’s like a stepsister of hers, yes. Remember I’m Swiss, you beast! Ah, but of course. 

Craig: Switzerland is a selfish, cursed, swinish country of brutes. It just happens to be placed in the most romantic region of the world. Only the English are more unbearable. Which is why I am here, the imprisoned poet. 

Todd: The exile lord.

The fugitive. Fugitive? From what crime? From fact and fantasy. Tell 

Craig: the truth, I’ll beg. He’s the devil. Show them your cloven hooves! She kneels down to take his shoes off and he kicks her, like, across the room and she hits her head on, uh, thing by the fireplace and then he holds her head to the fire and then they make out.

Like, this is the weird dynamic of these people. Like, they just are so passionate in every moment. Usually leads to sex, and like I said, this is the horniest movie ever. They’re all f ed. Like, Byron is f ing all of them, except for maybe, maybe he’s not f ing Mary Shelley. But the rest of them, yeah. 

Todd: Yeah, male or female, it doesn’t 

Craig: matter.

Yeah. And, and when I say, when I say that this is the horniest movie, like, it’s f ing hot. I think. 

Todd: Like, I agree. 

Craig: It’s really hedonistic and sexy and 16 year old me would have worn myself out watching this movie. No shit. For sure. There’s, there’s guy on girl action, guy on guy action, naked Julian Sands more than once looking good.

Like, dang. Yeah. It’s an erotic film. 

Todd: It is. Honestly, and this is probably why, like, uh, you know, 10 year old Todd was maybe a little turned off by it. He could kind of see it by the cover. Yeah. You know, 16 year old Todd should have taken a second look at this. But there’s a part, there’s a part in this, you know, they’re doing these party games.

I mean, if 

Craig: you’ve read They play hide and seek. 

Todd: If you’ve read Victorian era literature, you’re very familiar with this kind of thing. Oh, you know, people get together and, you know, these are these parlor stories, and they have these amusements, and they play these games and whatever. And anyway, they do hide and seek.

While everybody else is running off, Byron says to John, John seems very uncomfortable at this, the doctor. He’s like, party games. And then he says, is fear a game? And Byron, you know, it’s like. You will play as long as you are a guest in my house. You will play my games. And he’s like, uh, okay, I think I’m going to go off to bed.

He’s John sets himself apart from the group pretty early on and is very uncomfortable. And, and, uh, and that, you know, kind of comes to play later on. But there’s this very interesting soundtrack and we just get this tour de force of the mansion Which might as well be a tour de force of our imagination.

I feel like the mansion itself in this movie is It’s not even a real place. It’s just room upon room with fantastical things in it. There’s a suit of armor with snakes on it. Somebody stumbles into a room with an automaton. I think it’s, um, it’s Percy who, who comes into a room. It’s kind of dressed up like the Arabian Nights and there’s this automaton.

And an automaton, I mean, it’s like a robot. An animatronic. Yeah, animatronic, kind of, of the era. Uh, that is a belly dancer, and she moves back and forth, and then she drops her top, and then she drops her pants, and then he pushes her nipple, and then she drops her underwear, and then he looks at her, and then he kind of whacks her away.

It’s cute, because Well, and it’s all 

Craig: it’s all very surreal, because it’s an It’s all surreal. It’s supposed to be an animatronic, but that’s it’s a it’s a person. It’s obviously a it’s 

Todd: a person in there, but Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, yeah, for the movie, yeah. And everyone is going different places. Some people are going to the cellar, Mary Shelley is running around, and the music is just, it changes based on where they’re going.

Number one, we’re talking about sort of the genesis of Frankenstein in a way. And so there are lots of moments in this movie that are referencing that and are making that connection. And the fact that they’re… Uh, these mechanical dolls, these sort of creations of man that are nevertheless not natural, right?

Throughout it are obviously a, a visual reference to that sort of thing. And I thought that was cool. Like there are moments where they cut back to them and the parlor and they’re talking amongst these automatons that are playing the piano or whatever, you know, they’re kind of 

Craig: messing around. Well, the, the game of hide and seek ends with Percy, Shelly naked.

on the roof in a lightning storm. Yeah, 

Todd: that’s pretty pointed. You’re 

Craig: right. They get him back inside, and then they’re all sitting around talking, and he says, lightning is the fundamental force of the universe, the ether, the spirit. And he talks about studying old scientists. I think one of the ones he mentioned was Arepa.

These are the occultist scientists that Frankenstein, the, the maker, not the monster, studies. In the novel. So yeah, it’s really immersing itself in the details of the novel. Shelly talks about how he surrounded himself with the instruments of life, and Byron calls him Shelly, the modern Prometheus. Yeah.

The original title of Frankenstein is Frankenstein. Or, the modern Prometheus. It’s super interesting. And the whole thing about electricity is interesting because that is, uh, really not a product of the novel. Frankenstein does show interest in electricity as a child, but in the novel, he pointedly does not explain how he reanimated the monster.

Like, he makes a point of saying, I did it, but I’m not gonna tell you how. Because. It was a terrible mistake, and I don’t want anybody else to do the same thing. So, the whole electricity bringing the monster to life is more a product of the movies. 

Todd: They go back in, and then they start reading this book. Uh, Byron pulls a book off a shelf and says, Hey, this is a little something I picked up somewhere, we should read it.

It’s called Phantasmagoria, and this is an actual, like they literally read this book at this time and this historical event. It’s a French anthology of German ghost stories, translated anonymously, and it was published in 1812. And Phantasmagoria means… Fantasy or hallucination and I think that is sort of a driver for how we need to interpret the rest of the film going on and the event of this night.

They immediately start drinking this laudanum and everything else that happens to them, it can only be interpreted as Their own hallucinations. And it’s all rooted deeply in their own problems and issues. That’s what makes the movie so interesting, I think. Mary Shelley, we learn, has had a child that, uh, was, was, um, prematurely born and died.

All these things are historical facts. Right. And she’s haunted. 

Craig: She was fascinated with creation and birth. Her own mother died in childbirth with her, which haunted her her whole life. And then in her relationship with Shelley, who was the only man that she was ever in a committed relationship with, she was pregnant four times, but only one of those kids survived, and only for a while.

Yeah. Died, died young. There are huge themes of creationism, birth, you know, uh, be, the, the act of being a creator and creating life. These are huge themes, uh, in Frankenstein. It’s great. Yeah. Like, and it, it plays out here and it’s alluded to, but I feel like if you know the history, it enlightens the experience of the movie.

It just makes it even more fascinating to know that this is. It’s true, and compelling, and there’s even more to it than the movie has time to divulge. It’s just so, 

Todd: I love it. And you know what also I love about this movie is that it talks about the act of invention. Not just in the invention of like a monster or whatever like Frankenstein, but it talks about inventing stories and inventing monsters in your head.

At one point, Byron proposes, and again, this is historical, why don’t we invent our own ghost stories? And so, the rest of the movie revolves around this idea that, through their imaginations, they have invented, ultimately, like, this creature that is haunting them. I think it’s different for each person here, but in essence, the movie carries through this theme that they have created something through their imaginations and through their hallucinations or whatever.

That then, therefore, they end up feeling like God. And that they, then, because they’re so threatened by their creations, because they’re in their hallucinatory state and they’re haunted by it, they feel the need to destroy. And that has parallels to number one, Frankenstein. Right? That’s, that’s the Frankenstein story.

There’s a monster is created, and so the man is God suddenly, but then the creation runs amok and then they feel the need to destroy it, but then you have sympathy for the creation, you know, it becomes complex. It’s the same thing with this story, and it’s the same thing with this movie. It’s the same thing thematically.

By the end of the movie, they’re all saying, well, isn’t this how God is? Like he’s created his creation, but maybe his creations run amok. And now he wants to destroy his creation, but the creation is too powerful. The creation destroys God itself. You know, it’s a threat to God. You know, it’s so interesting the way that this plays out in a very real way.

And. in filmic form. I, I, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Craig: I think so too. And, you know, being in the depths of really studying Frankenstein right now, this is just also fascinating to me. But yeah, when they’re telling their stories or when the contest is suggested, uh, Dr. Polidori suggests a story about a fiend that sucks women dry of their blood.

Obviously that will eventually become the vampire. Then they have the orgy. Hot. While he, while he watches, while Polidori watches. Yeah. And then, like a tree gets struck by lightning, and they’re fascinated by that. I think it’s Byron. It’s either Byron or Percy, I don’t remember. It says something about how it’s more exciting to make a ghost.

Then a ghost story and Mary Shelley gets uncomfortable with this conversation for some reason and and she goes out and she talks to Dr. Polidori about how she lost a child and she says, I’d give anything to bring that child back again, kind of foreshadowing and then they have this seance for lack of a better word.

They have a human skull, they all stand around it and hold hands. And Byron says, Conjure up your deepest, darkest fears. It’s like they’re trying, They want to make a ghost or, or something. So Claire convulses, like it, It looks like she’s coming for like, Yeah. 

Todd: 30 seconds. She is, And, She’s foaming at the mouth.

But then 

Craig: she’s going, Stop them, daddy, they’re hurting me. What? What is happening? And she breaks from the circle, and falls to the floor, foaming at the mouth. I was 

Todd: not surprised that Claire had daddy issues. 

Craig: Yeah, well, the way she’s into Byron, it’s creepy. It’s, uh, it’s weird. They take her upstairs, and this is when weird stuff starts happening.

Mary says that Claire has had episodes like this since she was a kid. She calls it Claire’s horrors, and she says that there was one time that, you know, she had one of these fits and her bed started shaking. It sounds like she was possessed or something. And then Polidori is super gay for Byron, like there’s a, a scene where he like snuggles up to him and he’s like, if there’s, uh, anything I can do for you, but then he gets, but then he totally gets rejected.

Like, I felt kind of bad for this guy because it seems implied that before the arrival of these other three, that Byron and Polidori were engaged. In an affair. Yeah. But with the arrival of these other three, now Byron is distracted by not only Claire, but Byron is CLEARLY super into Percy. Yeah. 

Todd: And Percy’s into it.

Yeah, for sure. Well, probably, Percy’s kind of into anything, but he’s like a free love guy, and again, that tracks sort of historically, I suppose. Uh huh. Uh, Pavlodory is a… Super sympathetic character in this. I, I particularly enjoyed the scene where Byron and Claire are or are not, I’m actually not sure, hooking up in the room behind his, and Polidori himself seems so distraught by this that there’s a crucifix above his bed.

I mean, God, man. The symbolism through this movie is just insane. He’s like, obviously troubled by his homosexuality or whatever. Religiously, whatever. Anyway, there’s this crucifix he kind of takes down from the wall, but there’s a nail that’s sticking out of the wall. And as the other two are moaning or whatever’s going on, he is basically flagellating himself.

He’s hurting himself by slamming his hand repeatedly against that nail in the wall. Yeah. And then he’s like, sucks his own blood, I mean, it’s so Yeah, 

Craig: at this point it just gets so weird, like, I still have over a page of notes, but it’s just a a series of bizarre things that happen. I don’t know, Byron has a weird sex encounter with A servant named Justine, but he like puts a mask on her and calls her by a different name.

Todd: She calls, he calls her Augusta. Now did you read, I don’t know how much, how deep you read 

Craig: into all this. I, I looked into it, but there’s a prominent businessman in America named. August Byron. And that’s all I 

Todd: could find. No, here’s the deal. Um, So Byron and Claire, Again, it’s a theme through this movie that Claire is pregnant with Byron’s kid.

And Byron is 100 percent not interested in having 

Craig: a child. Right. And then he eats it out of her. Yeah, 

Todd: wow, that was nuts. When Byron shows up with blood on his mouth, oh my god. After eating her 

Craig: out, I, like, so I read everything I could find about it, I read the Wikipedia plot summary and it’s like, he eats, he, he performs oral sex which results in a miscarriage, what?

Todd: But in reality, uh, Claire had this child. Oh, I didn’t know that. Claire had this child. He wanted to kind of name her after him. His name is Alba, and he wanted to call her like Albie or something she wanted to. He insisted that she name their child Augusta. So, there is this… Uh, this was Augusta Byron. This was the name of this child, and she sadly only lived to be five years old.

Oh, geez. And Claire. It’s weird, right? It’s like this odd kind of circumstance where Byron didn’t wanna have this child. Claire ended up having the child anyway, he kind of abandoned her as a father. Even though the child ended up going to, you know, had a nanny and had a kind of schooling and whatnot up to five.

But the child died of illness, but Claire, for the rest of her life, blamed Byron. Sort of felt like Byron’s abandonment of his child led to her death. And he himself accepted a lot of blame for her death. And, uh, in later writings, basically laid this bare and said, Yeah, I feel super, super guilty that I abandoned this child and, and I feel responsible for her death.

So, a lot of that is, I think, reflected in the movie. Like, he’s got this, this thing. Like, he calls a maid into his room to service him sexually, basically. But puts a mask on her and calls her Augusta. The movie is very… Not only is it… Sort of purporting to be, thematically anyway, a historical account of this evening.

But also it has lots of references to what will happen later. Yeah. Like these characters sort of foreshadow their own fates. Yes. And so, if you understand and read about the history, you can kind of understand the movie a little better as well. 

Craig: Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s true. But, again, like… There’s just, oh my god, there’s so much going on.

It’s a mess. There’s too much. 

Todd: No, I like it. I love it. No, I’m not saying it’s It’s too much for us to talk about. That’s what I mean. It’s 

Craig: gonna throw all this stuff at you, and it’s not gonna go out of its way to explain it. But you know the historical context, or you don’t. And I don’t think that you need to know it.

It’s still a fascinating movie, but there are gonna be lots of things that happen that you’re gonna be like, what? Like It, and it’s not going to be answered. So Mary looks at some sex book, like a really graphic illustrated sex book, and then she finds a sketch of Lord Byron on it and gets super horny.

And then, and then she looks at that painting, the nightmare, and has that dream that she’s in it where there’s a little demon like perched on her chest. And she wakes up terrified and thinks she sees a Frankenstein type monster outside of. Her door, but Percy wakes her up and says, it was just a dream.

And she’s like, no, there’s a weird noise outside. Go check it out. So he goes out to the barn and he sees something too. He sees some kind of weird creature and a giant spider. And he is then freaked out for the rest 

Todd: of the movie. Yeah, he’s kind of gone for most of 

Craig: it. He comes running in and he’s freaking out to Byron.

And he’s like, I have narcolepsy and I never know if I’m like. Asleep and dreaming or awake and he’s freaking out and Byron like caresses him. Percy is is on the floor. Like clinging to Byron’s leg and Byron tells him you need to forget about those women poor poets are for each other Yeah and starts kissing his neck and it’s so hot and then Mary walks in and cock blocks him and He’s super mad about it.

Oh god, and then they have a big that they have a big fight that also involves making out violence and making out and fondling In a pool room. I don’t know! 

Todd: There’s so much! 

Craig: Oh boy, god, I don’t 

Todd: know. It’s heightened emotions. It is. The 

Craig: performances, like, this is all nuts, but they are all, they’re so good.

Like, they are just giving it a hundred percent. They really are. The performances are intense. These are all very, very talented. Actors and have all done, you know, other great films and stage work and, um, so they know what they’re doing. And, uh, it just, it feels very real. Even the violence, I just appreciate stuff like that because that’s difficult for actors to portray, um, violence in a believable way.

And this feels very… natural and real. It’s just, it’s fantastic. I don’t know, she tells Byron that Claire is pregnant and he says Dr. Polidori can do An abortion. Yeah. And then Claire’s tits out on the bed and Byron climbs on top of her. 

Todd: It’s just insane. I love the bit where Byron, who’s like, you know, Claire, I see her.

I have these visions. Claire’s nipples are Eyeballs, that’s 

Craig: percy percy. He says that he he sees he sees a woman with uh, Yeah with eyeballs in her breasts and he keeps talking about that Throughout and he’s going nuts. And again, like there’s just a bunch of weird shit going on I explain he keeps saying it’s near I can smell it.

I smell the decay and they keep finding huge puddles of cum everywhere

Todd: I’m not sure what that was all about. I’m not sure either 

Craig: But they keep finding them and putting their hands in them. I’m like, ew, 

Todd: don’t touch it. That catches the moonlight like the trail of a slug. I don’t understand that bit. Actually. I would love for somebody to interpret that for me. That bit where they’re kind of looking at the attic and they insist there’s something up there, Percy and Mary.

Who have quite a, it’s like a ten minute scene, right? Where they’re by the ladder that leads to the attic, and they find that thing, and Oh god, and, and he insists there’s something up there, but then they get sort of distracted and they go elsewhere, yet, there is this spotlight on that. Ladder. It’s almost like a place they’re supposed to go but they never go.

I, I, I just, I can’t figure that out for the life of me. But, uh, it’s gotta mean something in this movie. 

Craig: It’s lit like a video game. Like, you know you’re supposed to go up there. It’s true. I think that what it’s doing is that it’s trying to establish that they have physically manifested something in what they’re doing, and there literally is something up there.

Um, but when they run away, Mary is by herself and she stands at the bottom of this staircase and Polidori is standing above her, leaning over the banister, dripping blood over her face, and he claims that he was… Attacked by a vampire, both Mary and Percy have seen things, um, but Byron insists that it’s just their imagination.

And he says something like, we are gods, we are creators. I don’t know, it gets really trippy. 

Todd: It does, but, but in the same sense, like, it’s like he’s saying we are gods, we are creators, sort of in a, in a literary sense, like we’re manifesting something. something with our imagination, but it becomes a very real thing for these people.

Like this is a danger. Like we’ve literally created something that is threatening us and we need to shut it down. We need to exercise the demon. We need to destroy the skull. We need to whatever. And I liked that it brought these greater themes of God and humanity into things. I don’t know what to make of all of it, but, uh, it was.

It felt heavy. Well, it 

Craig: kind of, but it’s also just confusing at this point. Because at this point, honest to God, I could go through them all and there’s a part of me that wants to but there’s just not the time. Like, it cuts to vampy Claire sitting on a pool table and Percy comes in and she whips her tits out and she says, Look into my eyes.

And he does and she says, I said, look into my eyes, and he looks down at her boobs, and her eyeballs, and her nipples, and they open up, it was so creepy. 

Todd: And then like, John runs off, and it’s like he’s gonna kill himself, because he’s tormented, and he puts his head into a noose, and he sits on a horse, and the horse is gonna gallop away, and he’s gonna hang himself, but he didn’t even…

Tie the thing, I guess, up in the rafters. So he falls down, but then as the horse runs off, some kind of demon or Frankenstein’s 

Craig: monster 

Todd: jumps down out of the thing and gets on the horse and runs off like, what does that mean? I don’t know. 

Craig: Again, I, I think it’s just that, uh, they have manifested. So like, you know, that, that is Frankenstein’s monster.

I think she has manifested it for, I don’t know, or the inspiration for what will be. 

Todd: I can’t 

Craig: go through that again. I can’t. For God’s sake, Mary, we can do it. What we created with our minds, we can 

Todd: destroy. Yes, like God, we have created. And perhaps God, like us, wants to destroy his creatures before 

Craig: they destroy their creator.

But God is 

Todd: already dead,

and then 

Craig: there’s a whole very heady conversation about it. Yeah, it’s here. It’s too late. There’s no time. Yes, that is time. 

Todd: We 

Craig: must

rid ourselves Purge. Claire understands. She knows.

We must be free. And then Claire runs down the stairs in Rewind, like I have in my note, she runs down the stairs backwards, but which is true, but it’s clearly a reverse shot of her running up the stairs that they’re playing in reverse, so it’s got that surreal. Weird things to it and so then they go looking for her and they find her filthy and naked and crawling around on the ground With a rat in her mouth.

Yeah, and Mary says it doesn’t even make any sense She’s she’s terrified of rats and one of the one of the men says she’s telling us that we need to kill our fears It’s coming for us. Empty your minds. Quickly. Swallow all the hate, the horror. We can wipe it away like we can from a dream. No, thoughts are immortal.

Thoughts can’t die. They can die if we join together. And we form one mind. Hold my hand. God


Shirley! Mad Shirley! Mad creator of life! we can’t get rid of the horror? What if we create more Oh! What love between a mad god and the devil! Yes. Yes, I am the devil. Yes, Mother Mary, Mother of Christ. I am the devil that has possessed your lover. A position that destroys like your wife was destroyed by your sodomy.

Like every lover you’ve ever raped!

Women, men, boys, and even Augusta! For Christ’s sake, Mary! Go on! Tell us, my lord, how does it feel to…

This is all very confusing. Byron and, Byron and Shelley are convinced that they need to redo the seance because they can’t exercise, they don’t believe in God, so they can’t send the, these things that they’ve created out of their minds. They can’t send them to heaven or hell. So what they have to do is they have to.

Banish them back into their minds. Shelly and Byron are all about this. Claire is just swinging naked on a gate. Back and forth. So they can just grab her. Right, so they can just grab her to help out as necessary. But Mary’s not into it. I have no idea what’s going on. Yeah. 

Todd: In my notes, literally all it says is pandemonium.


Craig: Just crazy shit happens. Like, they’re doing this thing, and it’s pandemonium all around, and she grabs a huge Mary grabs a huge rock and smashes the skull, which causes, like, demon wind. I don’t know, they’re, like, in the catacombs, and all of a sudden it’s super windy. And she tries to stab Byron, but Percy throws his body on Byron’s and says no, and then starts Passionately making out with him.

It’s so hot. Oh god, Julian stands in Gabriel Byrne. Oh boy. That was some good stuff. Then I don’t even know what happens after that. So she, oh, that’s what she, so she runs out and she runs into the goat and then she hears a child’s voice calling her and she opens the door and then everything is nuts. 

Todd: I, I don’t even know.

She goes to like, she’s like in a passageways where there are multiple doors and she pops out a wand and John’s being consumed by, you know, he’s had the poison. By the way, John ended up killing himself in real life. Cockroaches are coming out of his mouth and she’s back in the room with the doors and then she’s out in the garden where everyone’s blindfolded and…

Byron’s, like, going to lay a little child on something, and then she gets pulled back in. That’s super weird. Oh, it’s just like 15 different things, 

Craig: and then She falls into the past where she’s giving birth and the baby is stillborn, and 

Todd: Percy gets, like, pulled by in the water, uh, by some things. And I looked this up, cause I just knew it.

I watched this and I was like Did the real life Percy die in a boating accident? And yeah, he did. That happened. 

Craig: She’s, yeah, she sees Byron naked and covered in leeches, which he’s scared of. And then, and then she almost jumps off the balcony, but Shelly pulls her in and throws her down on the bed. They’re, they’re laying together arm in arm in the bed.

And she says, I almost did it. If I, if I jump off, it’ll all go away. And he says, no, the storm is over. Fade to black. Then it’s the next morning and She’s sitting in front of her mirror like brushing her hair And she says in VO that our monsters will stay with us until it sees us to our deaths And then she walks into the garden past a big cage of baboons Yeah And finds everybody just acting normal, like…

Todd: Chillin in the garden, havin a picnic. Dr. Polidori 

Craig: and Byron are sitting together very intimately, like, you know, snuggled up to one another, both of them seem happy, and Byron says, You’re probably tired out from our little night of theater. Uh, but it was, it was just the imagination, nothing more. I don’t mind that the movie doesn’t clearly lay out.

What happened if any of it like I’m willing to believe that they were all just stoned and kind of freaking out That’s fine Maybe it was all a dream. I’m fine with that. Like, I don’t care. I would actually rather it be ambiguous. Yeah. But, he asks her, you know, if she was in, what, what she’s thinking about.

And then she basically lays out the plot of Frankenstein. Yeah. She talks about, it’s, it’s, it’s about this creature who’s created by a man, but the man abandons him. And, um, then the creature is alone and la la la la. And it’s, it’s great. I mean, she lays it out. Exactly as, uh, it will eventually play out. And then it jumps, like you said, to the frame story, basically, of, uh, these modern day, you know, 1986 modern day tourists, giv being given a tour of this estate, and told all of the true historical salacious…

Stories about these people. Yeah. And basically, this serves, this voiceover of this tour guide, serves as an epilogue because it lays out the fate of all of the characters that we’ve been with through the whole movie. And you’ve pretty much explained it. But something created that night, 170 years ago, lives on.

Still haunting us to this day. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

And it shows, uh, like an infant. Under the water. And then in my notes I have, THE END. HOLY SHIT. It’s just… See, the movie is an experience. It really is an experience. We cannot do it justice. In fact, we should have said at the beginning, you should watch this before… Listening 

Todd: to it. Now I feel bad about that, because the movie is really just an experience.

Like, there’s no amount of recapping we can do that would really, uh, do justice to the film, or give you It’s not just a plot! It’s smart. And it’s artistic, and it is visceral, and it’s emotional. 

Craig: Visceral is a great word to describe it, it certainly is. 

Todd: Yeah, and it’s never boring, and you might, I don’t know, I guess if you’re of a certain mindset, you’re just gonna watch the whole thing and you’re just gonna laugh at it the whole time, and say, this is ridiculous, this is bonkers, it doesn’t make any sense.

I laughed 

Craig: out loud several times and I think that that was intentional and it got very mixed reviews, very mixed, like critics either loved it or hated it. Um, but the ones who liked it, uh, cited its dark humor. For sure. Um, and there are parts where things were so crazy or they would say something so absurd that I laughed out loud and I felt like they knew what 

Todd: they were doing.

I think that was intentional. It touches all the emotions, really, at some point or another. It’s not a straightforward plot. In summation, you could just say, dramatization of the night in which Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was born. But that’s an oversimplification of how dramatized it is, you know? It’s a ride you’re gonna go on with them, and honestly, I feel like, uh, As a proponent of film, as a guy who feels like film reaches us and touches us in ways that other mediums don’t, like, I feel like it’s very successful in taking us on this ride.

And maybe even giving us the similar experience of what these people went through in their drugged up states, in their inspired states, and whatever. Also, with the baggage and weight of all the crazy ass drama, human drama that they brought with them to this event, I love the fact that this modernized these people for 

Craig: me.

Yeah, yeah. And humanized them. I mean, it is, it is historical fiction, um, but it’s, it’s rooted deeply in reality. I read a quote from Julian Sands, he said, um, I think these portraits are rooted in reality. If people think otherwise, it’s because of the later Victorian whitewash of them. These were not simply beautiful romantic poets.

They were subversive, anarchic hedonists pursuing a particular line of amorality. The film portrays Lord Byron as demonic, and Shelley is on the verge of madness, but the film is an expressionist piece, and that’s not an unreasonable expression of their realities. For sure. Yeah, I think that’s great.

Todd: Shelly was known as a, uh, she was highly unstable, she had multiple breakdowns, she had issues, and, and good, for good reason, you know, she went through serious trauma, she had these Weird relationships with people. Not weird, but just very different for the time kind of relationships with people. She was a pariah.

Craig: She was, her own father cut off all ties with her because of her relationship with Percy Shelley. Wouldn’t speak to her. So yeah, she, she went through a lot. And I’m sure that, you know, all of those miscarriages, growing up without a mother, feeling guilt for the death of her mother. There was a darkness, uh, in her that, um, is, expressed beautifully.

Now, Frankenstein, as I’m reading it, is not perfect, but it is really, really engaging, and it’s a really engaging exploration of the nature of creation and what that means. Uh, and it explores other things too. I mean, it’s It’s incredibly relevant with the, you know, dawn of an advancements in AI, you know, like just because you can, should you, uh, it’s, it’s themes I think are still pertinent, um, and relevant today.

And I’ve just. really been enjoying it. Like I said, it, you have to kind of willingly suspend your disbelief, but if you look at it as, um, an exploration of some of those themes, it’s really fascinating. And the fact that she wrote it at 18 boggles my mind. She’s far more articulate at 18 than I, at 18 than I will ever be.


Todd: How many people of this era were, though? I mean, to be honest, like, they just lived a different life, they had different views, they had different philosophies, I mean, yeah, you’re right, I agree with you, it just boggles my mind that an 18 year old could come up with this, but then again, like, people in this age of 13 were already becoming mothers, and the weight of responsibility of parenthood, so perhaps they grew up a little earlier than their years.

I don’t know. I know that I came to Frankenstein, uh, I, I hadn’t read the book for ages. I did read the book at one point, but when I was a kid, you know, obviously I was exposed to the Universal Monster Story, uh, I saw, I saw the black and white movie because my dad was into black and white movies, and of course, pop culture and all that.

It was um, Classics Illustrated, I believe, the comic book series that took old literature like this and made it into comic books for kids, and adults, really. So, yeah. I read that and I was floored. I could not believe at that. I don’t know. I was maybe 10 or 11, but I I was shocked that the Frankenstein that I knew wasn’t the Frankenstein that, that wasn’t the original Frankenstein.

Yeah. That comic book, in that form, it was very faithful to the book. The themes of it, and this idea that this guy creates this thing that gets out of control, but the monster’s also sympathetic, and then, therefore, the monster gets resentful towards its creator, and then the monster pursues its creator.

He murders the creator’s bride on her wedding day, and then… And then Frankenstein himself is, like, pursuing him to all eternity to Antarctica, you know, through the end of time. Like, that destroyed me as a child. To this day, it haunts me, this whole story, and the implications of it, too. I’m really glad that we’re starting off October, you know, our series of Halloween horror stories with this.

You know, this kind of thing, like, not only does it have its roots in these sort of classic monsters that we tend to gravitate towards during the season, Yeah. But it also, it explores it in a way that like, I think is fun and we don’t do often enough. We don’t really pursue and maybe we’ll be new for a lot of our listeners.

I think, I think this is a great way to set off the season and I’m really glad we did this movie. Thank you. Me too. So much for finding it. 

Craig: You’re welcome. And thank you for, uh, indulging me. It was a lot of fun and I still am just really enjoying this deep dive into all things Mary Shelley. I, um, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen the original Universal.

Frankenstein, so that may be something we have to check out at some point. It’s 

Todd: better than you would think, you know, I think it kind of holds up today to a certain extent. Thematically, anyway, like, you’d be surprised at how this kind of old black and white, more or less simplified version of the tale, that’s supposed to be a little more salacious and exploitative, actually gets to the heart of the story and is rather…

Craig: And then, uh, I know in 1994 there was another adaptation, Kenneth Branagh, I don’t remember if he directed it, but he plays Victor Frankenstein and Robert De Niro is the monster. I remember that one. Yeah, I think I saw it when it came out, but I don’t remember anything about it, but I’ve read that it’s, you know, uh, a more faithful adaptation of the novel.

And I just saw just this morning that there’s a movie called Mary Shelley, uh, starring one of the fanning characters. Sisters. I can’t remember which one. Wow. But that tells the story of her life. And in particular, this night. So, still lots of stuff to dive into and I’m looking forward to it. But anyway, thank you all for listening.

If you enjoyed this podcast, the best thing that you can do for us really is to, uh, recommend it to a friend. We would love to reach an even wider audience. Or you could leave us a review wherever podcasts. As long as you’re nice. 

Todd: We don’t want to hear from you otherwise. 

Craig: And, uh, if you’re a fan and you want to show us a little bit of monetary support, we do have a Patreon page where we provide, you know, a few little extras for those who want to go that extra mile.

We do some minisodes and some written reviews and stuff like that. And we love interacting with our community on that page and would love for you to join us if you’re so inclined. Until next week, I’m Craig. And I’m Todd. With Two Guys and a Chainsaw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *