Not many people may know this, but the Boris Karloff Frankenstein film was not the original version of Mary Shelly’s novel. This 1910 version of Frankenstein is the original Frankenstein and is one of the first horror films ever created. This version was considered a lost film as it was banned when it first came out because people considered this film as un-godly and blasphemous because it features man creating man. All of the known copies of this film was destroyed, but one copy survived. Alois F. Dettlaff, a collector and preserver of rare films, has the only surviving theatrical 35 mm version of this lost film, and has finally decided to release it onto a very limited DVD release on a double bill with Nosferatu. Now, over ninety years since its original release, you are available to see the original version of Frankenstein!
Victor Frankenstein is heading off to college to become a doctor. While he does his studies, and two years after leaving him, he has found the secret of life and will create the perfect human being. His experiment goes terribly wrong as he realizes that he hasn’t created a perfect human, but instead a hideous monster. Now, he abandons his creation, only to have it return on his wedding night to seek revenge.
This is a very short film created in 1910. It is only 15 or so minutes long, but it still tells the Frankenstein story. The Frankenstein monster is created differently in this film version as it is created through a potion and it builds itself together. First we see a skeleton and we watch as skin starts to cover the bones. I was really surprised by this considering this film was made almost a hundred years ago, and that was a very nicely done special effects scene. Another thing that surprised me with this film is the quality. For this being such an old film and to have been lost for so long with only one copy in existence, it actually wasn’t all that bad. I could read all the words, even when he writes the letter to Elizabeth. With this being a very limited release, I highly recommend that every horror fan snag a copy. It isn’t sold in stores, only through one Internet site called Creepy Classics, but if you want a true lost film, and one of the first horror films ever created, I highly recommend you getting a copy. It’s not as good as the 1931 film starring Boris Karloff, but this is only a 15 minute movie and a collector’s item for every horror fan, and film fan in general. Sure, it’s by no means scary today, but definitely worth owning. I give it a 7 out of 10.