Starting here and all this coming week, I will undertake to list the Top 5 Frankenstein Events of 2007.
This list, of course, is entirely personal, wildly arbitrary and seriously subjective. These are the events I interpret as being significant. The only criteria used here is What Struck Me. Anyone else might remix the list in a different order or come up with a whole different batch of events that deserve mention. I cannot judge films, plays, books, toys and merchandising I haven’t seen, so unless any of these garnered uncommon critical praise or high media visibility, they can’t make the list.
Perhaps, if we’re still meeting here in a year’s time, if you like the concept, I might assemble a panel of experts from among our very knowledgeable readers and come up with a more informed and inclusive list of Frankenstein Events for 2008. We’ll see. For now, without pretensions, here’s my list, with my heartfelt Season’s Greeting to all.
First, some runners-up…
GIANT FRANKENSTEIN PEZ DISPENSER
It is one of the most common search engine terms leading to this blog. The folks at Pez Candy, Inc. produced this special, limited edition, Universal-licensed, Frankenstein head Pez dispenser. It’s a foot tall, it lights up and makes noise. Candy and batteries are included, and both taste the same. You are more likely to find one on eBay than in your local pharmacy’s notions department.
THE BEDSIDE FRANKENSTEIN
Continuum Publishing’s playful series invites its readers to sample their books at leisure, serving up its contents in bite-size articles, sidebars and capsules. The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Frankenstein, written by Carol Adams, with Douglas Buchanan and Kelly Gesch, encompasses all aspects of Frankenstein’s stride through popular history, complete with quizzes, a crossword puzzle, flip-books, “monsterbilia”, and maps of Mary Shelley and Victor Frankenstein’s travels. There are interviews with Forrest J Ackerman and Frankenstein uber-expert Don Glut. I love the great cover by Dan Piraro.
You can sample pages from the book on Amazon’s Online Reader.
The Monster’s heart, a Nazi submarine, the bombing of Hiroshima… And that’s just the beginning of this, one of the most delirious Frankenstein films ever made. It ends with a 25-foot tall, flathead, caveman Frankenstein battling what appears to be a giant vinyl octopus. And its got Nick Adams in it, too.
Frankenstein Conquers The World, aka Frankenstein vs Barugon (1965) makes the Year’s Best DVD list over at Tim Lucas’ Video WatchBlog. David Kalat calls it “A stellar job, a DVD done right”. Fellow reviewer Sheldon Inkol says, “you owe it to yourself to experience the unbelievably loopy Devilfish finale.”
My #5 pick for Frankenstein Event of 2007 goes to Marion Mousse’s gorgeous graphic novel version of Mary Shelley’s book, which I previously blogged about here.
The art is loose and confident, cartoony, yet accurate and detailed. This engrossing adaptation is very faithful to the original, and still allows for exploration and development of the themes and characters. Volume one (of three) ends, tantalizingly, with the creation scene. The next two episodes are coming out in 2008.
Published by Delcourt of Paris, this one deserves to be translated into English, perhaps collecting the three 48-page parts together into one book. Like I said in my original review, pending a translation, this one is worth getting for the artwork alone.
Next up: The countdown continues with a Frankenstein Controversy!