Horror to be Thankful for – Young Frankenstein
Note: This entry is the first part of a continuous series in which I list, describe, ridicule, poke fun at, and sing my praises for horror films I am thankful for. Check for weekly updates until the end of November.
When I hear the words horror spoof, I think of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein and I cannot stop myself from thinking that it has been a while (meaning a month or two months) since I last saw the film. And that needs to be rectified. I watched it last night, Mel Brooks is a genius when it comes to the satirical.
Summoned by a will to his late grandfather’s castle in Transylvania, young Dr. Frederick Frankenstein soon discovers the scientist’s step-by-step manual explaining how to bring a corpse to life. It is an off-the-wall tribute to Mary Shelley’s classic novel, poking fun at just about every Frankenstein film ever created.
Top 5 Moments of the Film
1. Let’s begin with the question: Is it Frankenst(e)in or Frankenste(i)n? The grandson of the original doctor is finally coming home to the castle, and to welcome his arrival is his soon-to-be trusty sidekick Igor. “You’re putting me on,” Igor chimes in when the good doctor tells him the correct pronunciation of his last name, which he has differentiated from his grandfather’s surname.
2. The never-ending running gag throughout Mel Brooks’ films is “walk this way.” It is spectacularly funny in this Frankenstein spoof, especially when Igor brandishes a shortened walking stick to walk down the steps of the train station platform.
3. “Call it a hunch,” Igor says motioning to the trademark hump on his back. Igor’s hump is not mentioned by the aforementioned character, but everyone else notices the hump protruding underneath his black shirt. It moves from one side to the other, it disappears and it reappears. And I can never get enough of this gag.
4. Life or death charades, Dr. Frankenstein finds himself in the clutches of his creation. However, his trusty assistants cannot understand what he is trying to tell them. Without much time as the life is being choked out of him, Dr. Frankenstein begins a humorous game of charades to save his life.
5. Gene Hackman stars as a blind man who only wants some company in his dreary, dismal life. The monster knocks on his door, but the blind man does more damage than the monstrous creation. Soup is poured onto the monster’s lap, and his cup filled with wine is destroyed without a drop touching his lips.
Young Frankenstein makes the thankful list because it is the classic horror spoof. It isn’t overtly sexual or over-the-top compared to the Scary Movie film franchise, Young Frankenstein has a subtle humor and slapstick comedy that warms my heart this holiday season. No worries, the blood will be coming with these Thanksgiving posts.