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Film / The Bride

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The Bride is a 1985 period horror film directed by Franc Roddam, and starring Sting, Jennifer Beals, Geraldine Page, and Clancy Brown.

After the creation of his creature, Dr. Frankenstein researches and creates the perfect woman, Eva, to be the mate of the creature. However, the anxiety of the creature creates havoc in the laboratory, which is burnt down and explodes, killing Frankenstein's assistants, Dr. Zahlus and Paulus. Dr. Frankenstein believes the creature died too, but he has fled to the woods. Soon the creature meets and befriends the dwarf Rinaldo, who gives him the name Viktor, and invites him to work in a circus in Budapest. Meanwhile, Frankenstein and his house keeper, Mrs. Baumann, teach Eva how to behave and to be independent. One day, Frankenstein introduces Eva to the high-society, telling her that she was an amnesic found in the woods and has become his protégée. Frankenstein becomes obsessed with Eva, while she and Viktor have a strange connection. This connection causes him to make his way back to the scene of their mutual creation. There, he finds the girl embroiled in a love triangle between a callow suitor and Frankenstein himself.


  • Adaptation Name Change: Here, Dr. Frankenstein is named Charles rather than Viktor. That name instead is given to his first creation (instead of just "the creature" or "Adam") by someone else.
  • Attempted Rape: Frankenstein attempts to rape Eva, but Viktor, who has sensed Eva's distress through their Psychic Link, bursts into the room in time to stop him.
  • Attractive Zombie: Baron Charles Frankenstein, Dr. Zalhus, and Frankenstein's assistant, Paulus, attempt to create a female mate, Eva, for his creation. The team of scientists succeed in creating Eva, who is physically identical to a human and lacking the deformities of the monster. As such, she is revolted by the monster and rejects him. This causes the monster to fly into a rage and destroy Frankenstein's laboratory. Frankenstein, believing the monster has died, flees with Eva back to Castle Frankenstein. There he falls in love with her and, with the help of his friend Charles Clerval and housekeeper Mrs. Baumann, educates her with the goal of making her a perfect human mate.
  • Blade Enthusiast: Bela, the chief enforcer to the Repulsive Ringmaster of Circus Magar, is constantly playing with a clasp knife in a threatening manner. He eventually uses it to cut Rinaldo's safety line.
  • Blind Alley: While being chased through the town by the angry mob, Viktor steps into an alcove in the wall and the entire mob runs past him without seeing him.
  • Book Burning: Baron Frankenstein and Eva have an argument over the authorship of Prometheus Unbound, with Frankenstein saying it was Keats and Eva Shelley. After Frankenstein angrily dismisses her, Eva leaves, comes back with a copy of the book that she tosses down next to him, and then leaves again. When Frankenstein looks at the book and sees that Eva was right, he angrily tosses the book into the fire, muttering "Whose Prometheus is it now?"
  • Breaking the Bonds: While shackled to the wall of the jail, Viktor senses Eva's emotional distress through their Psychic Link and rips the shackles out of the wall in order to go to her aid.
  • Cane Fu: On finding Captain Josef Schoden seducing Eva, Frankenstein its him over the head with his Classy Cane.
  • Disney Villain Death: Viktor breaks free from his shackles and flees by horse to Castle Frankenstein, where the Baron confronts him. A fight ensues, and Viktor is chased to the top of the laboratory, where he throws the Baron to his death.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: The film actually opens on Dr. Frankenstein creating his second monster, a woman who will be the bride of the first (thus the title). As in the 1931 film the male is a large man who says little at first, with visible deformities and scars. However, the bride (Eva, as she's later named) is beautiful and looks the same as a normal woman. She's repulsed upon first seeing her "groom", so he flies into a rage, destroys the laboratory and flees. They go their separate ways, but retain a psychic link, although neither realizes this initially.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: After learning that Bela was responsible for Rinaldo's death, Viktor grabs him bodily, lifts him above his head and hurls him at the lion's cage.
  • The Igor: Initially, Dr. Frankenstein has two assistants. Dr. Zahlus is a fellow scientist, but Paulus is a hunchback whose main function seems to be to handle the physical labour for the scientists.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: After learning that Bela was responsible for Rinaldo's death, Viktor grabs him bodily, lifts him above his head and hurls him at the lion's cage, where he is impaled on one of the bars.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Eva walks downstairs to Frankenstein early on stark naked, with no knowledge of how this might seem or would be considered indecent, given she's very newly "born" and thus ignorant.
  • Jabba Table Manners: When Frankenstein and Mrs. Baumann are attempting to teach Eva civilised manners, they allow her to eat after she correctly says she is about to eat chicken. However, when the plate is placed in front of her, she starts to eat by lowering her face directly onto the plate.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Eva begins as a corpse, completely smothered in medical fabric, who is brought to life with intense blasts of electricity from lightning.
  • Man on Fire: Frankenstein's hunchbacked assistant Paulus catches fire and suffers a Railing Kill during the explosion in the laboratory.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: Part of Sting's attempt to forge an acting career.
  • Odd Couple: Viktor, Frankenstein's Monster, is a very large man who initially doesn't say much (as he's not that knowledgeable) and doesn't know much of the world. He pairs up with Rinaldo, a garrulous, worldly little man with dwarfism. They even grow into a double act at the circus in Budapest.
  • Psychic Link: Viktor and Eva share a psychic connection, so when Eva is spinning around, Viktor also gets dizzy. This psychic link eventually draws him back to the site of their mutual creation.
  • Pygmalion Plot: Disgusted by his dim-witted and ugly original creation, Dr. Frankenstein sets out to animate an improved version. Though lovely on the outside, Eva begins her new life as little more than an animal. With the help of his trusty housekeeper, however, Frankenstein soon grooms the beautiful zombie into a reasonable facsimile of an upper-class debutante.
  • Railing Kill: Frankenstein's hunchbacked assistant Paulus catches fire and then falls to his death off the gantry during the laboratory explosion.
  • Repulsive Ringmaster: Viktor and Rinaldo travel by foot through Europe, eventually arriving in Budapest, where they become involved with a circus owner named Magar, who hires them despite his dislike for Rinaldo. During a trapeze performance with the circus, Rinaldo is fatally injured in a fall. When Viktor learns that Magar's henchman Bela deliberately tampered with Rinaldo's harness, causing the fall, he flies into a rage, flipping Magar's caravan over before murdering Bela.
  • Shout-Out: The dwarf in the film is named Rinaldo, after the name of blacklisted Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein screenwriter Frederic I. Rinaldo.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: When the circus learns Viktor is in town, they rouse the local guards and form a mob to hunt him down: carrying lanterns and variety of makeshift weapons, including pitchforks.