Tag Archives: frankenstein

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Forget all the Frankenstein stereotypes you know. Forget Igor, grave robbing, neck bolts, electricity, and mobs of angry villagers carrying torches. Victor Frankenstein is a student of natural philosophy (what science was evidently called back then) who plays with chemicals in order to create life from dead tissue. The monster, which remains nameless throughout the story, so frightens Victor that he runs away and tries to forget about it. The monster, initially gentle but driven to cruelty by the repeated condemnation by mankind, vows to ruin Victor’s life in return for creating his misery. It’s an interesting story, one that touches less obviously on the ethics of scientific experimentation, but says quite a lot about the unfortunate importance of beauty in society. Victor is more naive and pitiful than evil or mad. Definitely one worth reading, but don’t go in expecting anything like those famous old movies.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Van Helsing

Van Helsing is a very silly movie. The basic premise: Gabriel van Helsing is a centuries-old demon fighter who works for an underground order of religious folk dedicated to the fight against evil. He had his memories erased for some reason they never explained. At the beginning of the movie he battles Mr. Hyde (of Jekyll & Hyde fame) before being sent on to Romania to battle Dracula. The famous Count is holed up in Frankenstein’s castle, trying to use the technology that created Frankenstein’s monster to animate his children (who are born dead and bear a remarkable resemblance to gargoyles). Oh yeah, and he keeps werewolves as attack dogs. I felt like I was watching an elaborate piece of fanfiction.

The acting was ridiculously melodramatic and probably intentionally so, but the tongue-in-cheek factor was too low otherwise, making the overacting appear as if it was meant to be taken seriously. To its credit, the score was incredible (to the point that I’m thinking of buying the soundtrack, which is something I almost never do), and the CG was smoothly integrated (noticeable but not obnoxiously so). But please oh please, will somebody teach those actors how to affect a convincing Romanian accent? They sounded like James Bond extras.

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