Monster Diva: Why “Bride of Frankenstein” Is the Gayest Monster Movie


Director James Whale

Released in 1935, Bride of Frankenstein was helmed by openly gay director (in the 20s, people!), James Whale and starred Boris Karloff as the monster. It is a sequel to Frankenstein. And it’s pretty gay. Here’s why: Na, na, na, diva is a female version of a monsta. The aforementioned Bride is a DIVA. If you enjoy making lists as much as I do then certainly somewhere between homeroom and American History in 2001 you realized that the Bride is the only female movie monster.

Elsa Lanchester as The Bride

They try and add Medusa or Cleopatra into lists sometimes, or forgettable daughters of Dracula. But nope, the Bride is the only true and memorable lady monster. DIVA. She has the hair and the dress to prove it.

The film’s plot lends itself to a queer lens. Vito Russo argued that Doctor Pretorius (played by alleged gay actor, Ernest Thesiger) serves as what else? A gay villain. He’s trying to tempt Dr. Frankenstein (another rumored gay or bisexual, Colin Clove) to “leave” his wife to work on their ultimate collaboration – the creation of a mate for Frankenstein’s monster. So, like gay sex and stuff.

Film scholars have also discussed that the monster addresses the hermit and the Bride with the same language, “Friend.” He’s basically saying, “Hey, girl, hey” to both of them.

The Bride of Frankenstein also gave us the camp classic The Bride starring a sexy and young Sting and professional on-screen lesbian Jennifer Beals.

It is not good. It is great. Check this:

Also from The Bride of Frankenstein loins came Academy-Award nominated film, Gods and Monster starring out legend Sir Ian McKellan, a shirtless Dudley Do-Right and Lynn Redgrave munching on scenery.

And most importantly we have Bride of Frankenstein to thank for great drag like this!

Have you seen Bride of Frankenstein? Do you buy the queer subtext, or do you think that’s amateur criticism? We can all agree on the hair though, right?

 

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