October 8, 2015
By the time BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN came around in 1935, not quite four years after the original FRANKENSTEIN, The Monster was already a pop culture icon, recognized worldwide, referenced and often spoofed in musical shorts or animated cartoons. Reflecting this new, comfortable attitude towards the very Monster that had once awed or disturbed critics, many reviews of the new film, almost universally positive, were lighthearted and peppered with jokes. The Monster was a Romeo, the Bride wore an “asparagus-tip hairdo” and a sequel would invariably be “Frankenstein’s Baby”.
One of the most unusual and whimsical reviews appeared 19 July 1935 in The Newcastle Sun of New South Wales, Australia. It was one of a series of “Rhymed Reviews” penned by writer and critic Robin Slessor, whose knack for amusing verse was no doubt triggered by his older brother, Kenneth Slessor (1901-1971), hailed as one of Australia’s greatest poets.
Here, to facilitate reading, is a transcript of this unique, fun, touching, and very special Rhymed Review.
Bride of Frankenstein, by Robin Slessor
A year or two ago, in mortal fear I fear, we gripped the seat
And trembled at the mere approach of Karloff’s heavy feet
The monster made us shudder, as around the countryside
He blundered, wreaking havoc ‘mid the people far and wide.
Though striking far more terror than the worst of all banditti
He tinged our human horror with a modicum of pity,
The sequel to this horror film of man-created life
Shows Frankenstein, assisting in the moulding of a wife —
A mate for his monstrosity — a partner to command,
Who wakes in him a feeling that he cannot understand.
The film is far more thrilling than the former one, and yet
Despite the man’s repulsiveness, one cannot quite forget
The pathos of the story of this manufactured twosome, —
The tragic side is curiously mingled with the gruesome.