Horror Remake Watch: Edison’s Frankenstein

It really doesn’t matter what you think of all these horror remakes, ’cause they’re here to stay, and there will be more – many, many more. Here’s the latest “re-imagined” scarefest from the Hollywood nightmare machine.

Back in 1910 (one hundred years ago, for those keeping count), Thomas Edison commissioned a moving picture adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic horror novel, for no particular reason other than because he could. Edison liked his toys, and he liked to show them off, and he was kind of an insufferable jerk, and you put all that together and you’ve got Edison’s Frankenstein.

It’s barely watchable and amateurish in the extreme, but does that really come as a surprise? It was made in 1910. Nobody knew how to make movies in 1910. Nobody knew how to do anything in 1910. Everyone just sat around in three-piece suits and porkpie hats and drank tea and whatnot. So back then, Edison’s Frankenstein must’ve been pretty impressive. And Charles Ogle as the Creature is pretty freaky, you have to admit. But whatever.

Flash-forward 80 years to 1990, and someone named Robert David makes a remake of Edison’s Frankenstein. Like its predecessor of eight decades earlier, it was a silent film and presented in “classic silent film style,” which means the actors always look like they’re freaking out. Not sure why David decided to do a remake specifically of Edison’s Frankenstein when he probably could’ve just made his own Frankenstein. Anyway, who are we to question a man’s passion? That’s what Frankenstein is all about, after all.

Edison's Frankenstein

Now it’s 2010. It’s been a hundred years since Edison gave us his Frankenstein. So what better way to celebrate the centennial of Edison’s ego trip by bringing the Creature back to life? Edison’s Frankenstein is set for a remake, this time by a major studio with major funding. And, true to its predecessor, it will be a silent film. A feature-length silent film… will today’s ADD audiences be able to sit through a movie with no yammering in it? If they want to see the damn movie they will.

Who to play the Creature? Someone who can convey all that anger and anguish without even being able to grunt. Someone who’s a master at the physical aspects of acting. Someone who will be able to spend all that time in the makeup chair like a man and not bitch and moan about it.

It’s a tough call, no? What say you?

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