x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

The art of the movie remake

As Aaron Eckhart prepares for his role in I, Frankenstein, a look at other big-screen portrayals of classic characters.

Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. Universal Studios Home Entertainment / AP Photo
Boris Karloff in Frankenstein. Universal Studios Home Entertainment / AP Photo

It looks like one of cinema’s most iconic monsters is set to spook audiences once again. As the American actor Aaron Eckhart prepares to play the role in a modern adaptation – called I, Frankenstein – of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, we look at previous portrayals.

Take Five... Van Helsing (2004)

A tribute to horror-film monsters – including Dracula and the werewolves – this portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster is the most accurate of recent times. For one thing, the creature is not only bulky but also intelligent and empathetic.

Take Four... Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)

The director Kenneth Branagh attempted to draw on his flair for bringing classic texts to life but was roundly criticised for creating a lush yet bloated picture that didn’t make good use of Robert De Niro as the monster.

Take Three... Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)

In his typically eccentric take, Andy Warhol’s film follows a scientist who attempts to breed a new race out of a pair of zombies. Too bad the heroic handyman has other ideas and attempts to sabotage the scientist’s mad plans.

Take Two... Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)

In the Japanese film’s prologue, the heart of Frankenstein’s monster is stolen from a Nazi laboratory during the Second World War and brought to Japan. There, it survives the Hiroshima bombings only to be eaten by a survivor who in turns uses its strength to fight the monster Baragon who has been terrorising Japanese villages.

Take One... Frankenstein (1931)

This horror classic stars Boris Karloff in the title role. A brilliant scientist successfully conducts an experiment to create new life from disparate body parts. However, his plan to humanely destroy his creation goes awry after the monster escapes, with tragic results.