Film: The Bride
Director: Franc Roddam
Writer: Lloyd Fonvielle
Starring: Sting, Jennifer Beals and Anthony Higgins
This film begins with a scientist conducting an experiment, he is played by Sting. Helping him is a doctor, played by Quentin Crisp, and Timothy Spall, who seems to be a hunchback. They are trying to use lightning during a storm to bring life to a creature lying on a table before them. On the second level of this laboratory is another person, played by Clancy Brown. Brown is actually the first experiment conducted by Sting. He is an ugly monster and they are trying to create a bride for him. They get the new creature up high enough to be struck, but it doesn’t look like it worked. Crisp notices it moved and they take off the sheets.
Underneath is a beautiful woman, played by Jennifer Beals. Sting changes his mind and does not want Brown to have her. He then goes on a rampage and destroys the laboratory. Everyone has to escape.
Brown wanders the countryside, trying to find food and he encounters a dwarf who is being picked on, played by David Rappaport. He is going to Budapest to join the circus so he can make money to go to Venice. He befriends the monstrous Brown to help him and join the circus as well.
Beals on the other hand is kept with Sting and she is taught the ways of being a lady. He has help from Geraldine Page to make this happen. At first though, it is rough. She enters the room that Sting is in, completely naked and Page comes in, scolding her for what she is doing. They teach her how to read, write, culture and proper manners. This includes horseback riding as well. Sting has a friend who is interested in the beautiful Page; he is played by Anthony Higgins. We see that Sting seems to be more interested in making Beals a strong, independent woman to change how society views them.
The duo makes it to a circus where they meet the manager of it, played by Alexi Sayle. He is not interested in hiring Rappaport, as their acts are all the same and he doesn’t think it will go well. He does convince him to hire Brown for his strength, but also tells him that they are packaged deal. Rappaport also makes it where Sayle has to hire him for his act. Brown makes it even bigger to where they are getting full salaries.
Sting takes Beals to meet the countess, who is played by Veruschka von Lehndorff, and her husband, played by Guy Rolfe. Lehndorff is really intrigued by Beals and she also catches the eye of a young soldier, played by Cary Elwes. They also have an encounter when Beals is out horse back riding. When she tells Sting about it, we see that he is a little bit jealous and his thoughts on her seem to be changing.
The film also introduces to us that Beals and Brown seem to be connected. There is a time when she is upset that Brown can feel it. She gets dizzy and he does as well. She is also horseback riding and Brown all of a sudden really wants to ride a horse.
Sayle doesn’t like how greedy that Rappaport is becoming so he has his man rob him. In the process, he also cuts the rope for the act that Rappaport does. Brown encounters him messing with it, but cannot tell Rappaport in time. He goes to jump from his trapeze, but he falls to the ground. Brown carries him out and Rappaport tells him to go to the love his life. The dwarf then dies.
Beals does fall for Elwes and attempts to run away with him. Sting won’t have that and confronts them. We see then that he doesn’t really love her and she is hurt by both men. What will she do? Will she realize that Brown is ugly, but truly loves her? Or will she go off on her own as well?
I have to say that I didn’t know a lot about this film and was interested to see that this is a remake of The Bride of Frankenstein, but this is not a sequel to any Frankenstein film and is a stand alone film. I thought the acting was really good. I had never seen Sting act before and I think he did a solid job at Frankenstein. What is interesting about him is that when he thinks that Beals will be with him forever, he wants her to grow and become a strong woman, until he thinks he will lose her. He then reverts back to the stereotype. Beals was beautiful in this role and as I said the rest of the cast was solid. Something else that was interesting about this film to me was that this is almost a feminist take on The Bride of Frankenstein. I also really liked the ending of the film as well. It goes against what I usually like in an ending, but as a romantic, it is great to see.
My biggest issue with this film though is that it is almost two hours long and it takes so long for Brown and Beals to meet after that initial scene. I also didn’t like to see Brown give up when he thinks she will not like the gift that he bought her. He was content with just leaving her to be happy. Now I know this is due to having no self-confidence and it is a logical way to play this out, but I wanted to see some fight. I also didn’t really care for Elwes reaction to when Sting showed up. I guess it goes with the feminist feel of the film, but I tend to look for the best in people and his reaction seemed unrealistic and petty. The final issue I had was Brown doesn’t seem to recognize Beals when they meet in the forest, their second meeting of the film. He knows she was being created for him and he’s wanted to find her, but he seems to have no idea which was weird to me.
Now with that said, this is definitely a very interesting take on Frankenstein and the Bride of the monster. The acting in this one is pretty good across the board. The concept of this film is great as well. I like the different take on the original. Now I did have some issues with how the film is put together, the reaction of some of the characters at times, but that is not enough to completely ruin the film. I think this is a solid movie to view especially with the ending and how things play out. I would recommend giving this one a viewing, especially if you like the Frankenstein films.
My Rating: 6 out of 10