Frankenstein, the Monster, and the Movies.
Frankenstein's monster has been portrayed over 50 times in as many films. The most memorable of the monsters is Boris Karloff, who was the first to bring the monster to life in the talkies, or talking films. Boris's monster was so horrific that during the December 1931 premier in Santa Barbara, California, audience members went screaming down the isles and suffered from fainting spells. Although audiences no longer look at Frankenstein's monster with such horror, the monster of the most recent film still forces the audience members to look at life and death. The monsters from the 1931film, titled Frankenstein and the 1994 film, titled Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, are very different. .
When we think of Frankenstein's monster, we often think of Boris Karloff. Boris created the monster with the help of make-up artist, Jack Pierce. The costume and make-up took an astonishing five hours to put on and two to remove. Boris wore thirty-pound boots and braces on his legs that forced his now-famous lurking walk. .
In great contrast to Karloff's monster of 1931, is Robert De Niro's 1994 portrayal of the same character. The appearance of Robert De Niro's monster is very different than the look of Boris Karloff's. De Niro's monster is more humanistic and less unidentifiable than Karloff's. It is obvious that De Niro was built to be a man created from men, where as Karloff does not appear very humanistic with his squared head and stiff, box-like appearance. Like Karloff however, De Niro does sport the sutures that are so prominent in Karloff's monster. It is almost like the monster has been pieced together like a puzzle. De Niro's stature also varies greatly from Karloff's. The De Niro monster is a smaller monster; his movements are smoother and more man-like.
The monster from the 1931 film was doomed to become bad, as Fritz had given him a brain clearly marked the "criminal brain".