James Whale’s Frankenstein was released on November 21, 1931—85 years ago. The film not only began the American horror tradition but has remained enormously generative. Its influence can be seen not only in its contemporaries, like King Kong (1933), but also in films of the 1950s such as The Thing from Another World (1951) and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), and in still later horror monsters such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface (Tobe Hooper, 1974) and Halloween’s mute and malevolent Michael Myers (John Carpenter, 1978).
Frankenstein has also clearly had a powerful influence on the zombie film: it’s hard not to see the specter of Henry Frankenstein’s creation in the first “ghoul” of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), for instance. Both Frankenstein’s creature and Romero’s ghouls were born in the graveyard, born from humans doing what they should not. Read more