The evolution of Frankestein’s creature

Here are interesting facts about the evolution of Frankestein’s monster! Enjoy!

  • In 1910, the Edison Company made a movie of 15 minutes based on Shelley’s novel. The short film focused mostly on the creature’s creation and reanimation. The film was a success and it wasremade in 1931 by Universal.
  • The creature characterized by the 1930s and 1950s is the monster that influenced the most popular culture.
  • In 1931, the actor Boris Karloff played Frankenstein’s creature. Because of him,  people associate stiched forehead, green skin, and neck electrodes as physical characteristics to the monster.
  • The Bride of Frankenstein was made in 1935 and inspired by the movie of 1931. The movie is considered closer to the original story than the movie, in which the creature is played by Karloff.
  • Universal also released Son of FrankensteinGhost of Frankenstein, and Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. However, they portrayed the creature as a murderer with an inability to speak .
  • In the 1960s and 1970s, Shelley’s monster is characterized as less serious and scary than before. He became mostly used for comic relief. The monster started to appear in TV shows and the original situations described in Shelly’s novel about Frankenstein and his creature are modified.
  • The Addams Family‘s character Lurch, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and The Munster‘s character Herman Munster are parodies of the creature.
  •  During the 1980s and the 1990s, the new adaptations of the novel contained more characteristics described in Shelley’s novel than before but new ideas are also integrated. The popular culture of the 1980s and 1990s linked the old and modern concepts of the creature.
  • Shelley’s Creature (1985) is a play in which the creature is not entirely a monster. He is more human.
  • Frankenstein Unbound (1991) is a movie about a scientist who creates a weapon to kill monsters. The main character uses a time-travel machine to try to prevent Frankenstein to create his monster. However, he fails. By killing Frankenstein’s creature, his weapon also ends up destroying the world.
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994) is a movie in which Frankenstein’s monster is showed with human characteristics. The monster is literate and intelligent. The movie keeps details from the original novel and integrates ideas from popular culture.
  • Science Fiction became very popular in the late 20th century. Shelley’s novel influenced various modern movies, such as Van Helsing, , Victor Frankenstein, and I, Frankenstein.


“A History of Classic Monsters: Frankenstein’s creature.” The Central Rappahannock Regional Library, creature. Accessed 4 April 2017.



6 Replies to “The evolution of Frankestein’s creature”

  1. Love your post! Very great idea to present the evolution and perception that the novel by Mary Shelley has taken throughout the years. One can really observe the difference between the original work and new adaptation’s such as “I, Frankenstein”.


    1. Thnak you. Yes I was difficult to find every adaptation of the novel and the small apparences of the monster in small TV-shows but I the end I only put the elements that really showed the evolution.


  2. Whoah Daphné!
    Those are very interesting facts
    It is impressive to see the influence of a book through an entire century (1900’s) !
    Funny thing is that it still does not stop, Shelley’s book clearly influenced the horror industry, as movies of her book keep and keep and keep making movies.
    It is also not rare to see the Creature on the 31st of October… Get it?! 😉
    Great post,
    Philippe Boucher


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