‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ as the Epitome of Queer Horror [Horror Queers Podcast]

RPDR Universal Monster Edition

After tackling coming-of-age cannibals and killer escape rooms, we’re digging into old Hollywood horror (for the second time in as many months!) with another iconic Universal Monster movie. Last time commenters rioted when we covered Creature From The Black Lagoon, so it’ll be interesting to see how folks respond to The Bride of Frankenstein, which is far more obviously queer.

In the sequel to gay director James Whale‘s masterpiece Frankenstein, the Creature (Boris Karloff) is hunted around the countryside by an angry mob while the conniving Dr. Pretorious (gay actor Ernest Thesiger) tempts Dr. Frankenstein (gay actor Colin Clive) to once again play God. The result: the titular Bride (Elsa Lanchester) who has captivated audiences for decades despite only appearing on screen for ~3 minutes.

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Episode 135 – The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Prep your cone hair and your swan screams because we’re travelling back to the 30s to tackle another James Whale film. This time it’s the iconic The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), which features no shortage of queer talent (Whale, Ernest Thesiger, Colin Clive) OR queer readings (the Creature as Other; Dr. Frankenstein and Pretorius as gay dads; Pretorius as corruptor/mentor to the Creature, etc).

We discuss the importance of the opening sequence featuring Elsa Lanchester as Mary Shelley, criticize the idiocy of Joseph Breen and the Hays Code, and touch on the film’s connection to German Expressionism.

Plus: cum wrestling, praise for Una O’Connor’s hilarious performance, a discussion of whether Whale intended the film to be read as queer, and speculation about why The Bride has become a horror icon (it’s the lewk, henny!)

Cross out The Bride of Frankenstein!

Coming up on Wednesday: We’re closing out July with a far more contemporary film: Daniel Egypt Mortimer’s queer imaginary best friend flick, Daniel Isn’t Real!

– Joe & Trace

P.S. Subscribe to our Patreon for tons of additional content! This month, we’ll have episodes on the Fear Street trilogy, A Quiet Place Part II,Werewolves Within, as well as Shudder exclusive Vicious Fun!