Forgotten Fridays: The Bride

Thanks for checking out our Forgotten Fridays feature. This is a feature to review some older films that maybe you have forgotten about or maybe never got around to seeing that we just want to share. They may not be old, maybe not forgotten, but they are not new. Just fun to share.

Today, we review : The Bride

Genre: Horror/Drama

Directed by: Franc Roddam

Starring: Sting, Jennifer Beals, Clancy Brown, Anthony Higgins, Cary Elwes and David Rappaport

Released: August 16, 1985

Baron Charles Frankenstein (Sting) has already re-animated The Creature (Brown), who will later be named Victor. The Doctor is now re-animating a potential companion for Victor, and is successful. However, two things happen upon her awakening: in confusion, she is terrified of Victor and Doctor Frankenstein becomes attracted to her. The Creature protests, and is presumed to be destroyed from an accident. Frankenstein names his new creation Eva, who as she grows in intellegence, wants tobe more independent and wants to know more about her origins; Victor meanwhile, attempts to fit into society and becomes best friends with Rinaldo (Rappaport) who teaches him self-worth as they go off to join the circus in Budapest. However, Victor and Eva discover that they share a psychic bond with one another, and can feel the other’s joy and pain.

It goes without saying that this film, in the 80s, had three things that was universally loved- the overall look of the film thanks to production design by Michael Seymour, and the “B” story with Victor and Rinaldo which had two “outcasts” facing prejudice and turning limitations into advantages. The main story also carries a message of questions of identity both in past and present. It is the overall story threads and inquiries of the human condition which has made this box-office dud turn into a cult film favorite for many. The characters and the situations they are placed in (especially Victor’s and Rinaldo’s) are subjects which most audiences can hang a hat on and identify with on some level. In addition, Victor becomes the surprise ‘hero’ of the film. But then again, Frankenstein’s monster was usually symbolic as not being something (someone) to be feared but someone just misunderstood and the real horror is the fear of him.
And if I love the characters, then I have to love the actor’s performances as well. Jennifer Beals took a lot of flack in her post Flashdance parts (she’s gotten more props in more recent times) and it’s easy to see why, at least when the film starts. But as the story gets going, her performance gets better.

Sting is okay, nothing too special, but the two big scene stealers of the film- even if you cared less about Sting and Beals- are without question Clancy Brown and the late Michael Rappaport as Victor and Rinaldo.

The ending (accoding to Roddam on the Dvd commentary) was re-shot and rushed due to a mandate from the studio. The sudden action does seem a little forced, but it still works because of the character buildup from the rest of the film. It works for me and others; for some it doesn’t and I understand that. Still, Victor being the hero of the film…? I never complained once about it, and I’m not starting now.

Like I said, Sting is okay, he’s not too creepy, even in pouring rain, and Jennifer’s Eva takes a bit getting used to early on. The B story is great, but it overshadows the main story so much that the main story is interesting, but not as engaging as Victor and Rinaldo’s journey. Another reason for this is that the subplot take place mostly in day scenes, where as most of Doctor Frankenstein and Eva’s scenes are on rainy nights. Contrast is nice, but which two characters would you be most likely to be hoping to follow? When one character dies in one of the plots, you feel something. When another character dies in the other, you feel almost nothing.

I tend to like both plot threads in the film, the circus/carnival bit, the writing by Lloyd Fonville has great dialog. It took me a few years to appreciate the Beals-Sting half of the film, but I always admired it. It’s not bad- but it still can’t hold a candle to the other half of the film. But that’s what’s great about this film- it has a little something for everyone.

Since all of these Forgotten Friday reviews are going to be what I would already give a high rating to, I had a Tv, Rent or Buy scale going on, but it would seem that an overwhelming majority of my picks get a BUY rating.

So with every Forgotten Friday you see from now on, you get to rate your anticipation for yourself!

TV If you are at least a little curious, catch it if it comes on TV.

Rent If it is something you have heard of and forgotten, or just remember enjoying this as much as I did once upon a time, go rent it.

Buy But if you are like me, and you agree with my review you should go buy it. If its featured here, I already have.

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About Darren

"Revenge is sweet and not fattening." Alfred Hitchcock

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