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SECRET ORIGINS OF FRANKENSTEIN - CHAPTER 19 of 18!
The CATACLYSMIC CONCLUSION

Hi reader! Sadly, it's time to wrap up our Secret Origins of the Frankenstein Monster series. All good things must end! But not necessarily when we expect them to. As detailed in our previous issue, the Monster was last seen in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, enveloped in flames, a "special effect" accomplished by immolating a dummy...
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This Franken-stand-in was similar to one used in the very first Frankenstein film, to test lighting set-ups. Below, Karloff has a chat with Dummy Frankenstein.
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Dummy Frankenstein had lots of interesting friends. Below, cinematographer John J. Mescall and the director of the first film, James Whale...
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BELOW: No dummy, this is the real thing. The Uncanny One!
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...who, after meeting Abbott and Costello, met a "Strange" end in a burst of flames!
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But this time the Monster really WAS gone, as far as Universal was concerned. Never again would he rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes of a lab fire, the confines of an ice block, or the ruins of the place where it all began, the castle named after its construction material, stones (steins) taken from a nearby Frankish quarry -- legendary Castle Frankenstein. (Our final ani-motion! You're going to MISS ani-motion, aren't you reader!)
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THE PLOTS THICKEN

Percy Shelley drowned in a boating accident in 1822. Mary Shelly died due to a brain tumor in 1851.

Colin Clive, the original Dr. Frankenstein, died of Pneumonia in I937 at the young age of 37. Bela Lugosi had a fatal heart attack in I956 at age 74, and was buried in his Dracula cape. James Whale committed suicide a year later.

Jack Pierce, creator of the famous make-up, passed away in I968 at age 79. Boris Karloff, Karloff the Uncanny, first to play Universal's Frankenstein monster, died in I969 at 82.

Lon Chaney Jr. was 67 when he died of a heart attack in 1973. Glen Strange was 74 when he died in I973. And finally, screenwriter Curt Siodmak died in his sleep on September 2, 2000.
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THE MONSTER'S SECRET

Today, I39 years after he was dreamt up by Mary Shelley, 80 years after Universal's first Frankenstein film, the immortal, world-famous Frankenstein Monster remains one of the most recognizable fictional characters EVER created. Why? Because his story deals with the Xmost incredible and sought-after secret in human existence: The secret of life and death.

Reader, let's recap what we have seen in this epic 19-issue series. The face of startling possibilities. The teenage girl who was quite contrary. The Uncanny One. The illustrators. The comical creatures. The movies. The knock-offs. The comedians. Fire bad. By now, if you've read this series, you know one thing -- YOU KNOW THE MONSTER.

Reader, from now on, don't think of the Monster as a brainless henchman, a character on "Saturday Night Live," or a pink breakfast cereal. These knock-offs may make us laugh, they may stay crispy in milk, but now you know -- they are NOT the Frankenstein Monster.

Why? Because they are not reanimated corpses. They do not possess the strength of a hundred men. They do not have abnormal brains capable of violence, brutality, and murder. They have never hanged a hunchback from a rope until he was dead. Shall I go on? I will.

They never threw a woman out a window to her death. They were never burned alive, or frozen in ice, or immobilized in sulphur. They never shared a last supper with a blind man. XThey were never subjected to a ghoulish mock crucifixion. They are not the Christ dressed in black. And so, reader, they are NOT the Frankenstein Monster.

A FLASH OF LIGHTNING

There is only ONE Frankenstein Monster -- he is a primal force who lives in the darkest depths of our collective unconscious. He is a personification of the ID, and we can never escape him. In our waking hours, he appears in the form of mobs, murder, and mayhem. When we Xsleep, he comes to us in our dreams -- not as the stuff of nightmares -- let other monsters be known as the "stuff" of nightmares. Frankenstein's immortal creation is the not the "STUFF" of nightmares, he is the very nightmare ITSELF. [Cue lightning bolt!]

Reader, have you heard? It's impossible to catch lightning in a bottle. It can't be done. YOU can't do it. And neither can I. But Mary Shelley, Boris Karloff and James Whale CAN. They not only can... they DID.

Ygor once said, "Frankenstein was his father, his mother was the lightning!"

Lord Byron called him "a monster created from cadavers out of rifled graves."

And in the words of Robby Reed, author of this series and creator of this web site, Frankenstein's unholy child is, and always will be, THE KING OF MONSTERS.

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EPILOGUE: The COMPUTER CREATURE

In 1999, Industrial Light and Magic, the special effects company founded by George Lucas, produced a brief clip of the Monster as part of a proposed sequel to the Frankenstein films. Although the project was shelved, the computer-animated test footage still exists -- 13 seconds of awesomeness. Want to see it? Reader, I'm telling you for the LAST TIME -- CLICK PLAY!
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BIBLIOGRAPHY

"The Films of Boris Karloff" by Richard Bojarski

"Classics of the Horror Film" by William Everson

"A Pictorial History of Horror Films" by Dennis Gifford

"The Frankenstein Scrapbook" by Stephen Jones

"Mary Shelley: Her life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters" by Anne Mellor

"Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man The Original Shooting Script" by Curt Siodmak

"Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus" by Mary Shelley

"The Monster Show by David Skal

"Bela Lugosi" edited by Gary and Susan Svehla

"Making A Monster" by Al and Roy Taylor

"Bud & Lou: The Abbott & Costello Story" by Bob Thomas

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ELECTRIFYING NEWS FLASH!

THE 18-ISSUE SERIES THAT RAN 19 ISSUES
ISN'T OVER YET!
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