It all began with a meeting in 1816 between friends Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Percy Bysshe Shelley and that ladies man, Lord Byron. Who would have imagined that the novel inspired from that fateful gathering would still be an object of cultural significance almost 200 years later!
Here's the official retrospace favorite pop culture Frankensteins. (Oh, and please don't comment to tell me that the scientist was named Frankenstein, not the monster - I get it.) I should also mention that if you want to see an absolutely top notch blog on Frankenstein and all his pop culture incarnations, look no further than Frankensteinia . On the other hand, if you want to see a sloppily put together pop culture list, stay here.
1. Ted Cassidy deserves a mention since he played two Frankenstein characters: He was not only Lurch in "The Addams Family", but he also voiced the robot hero Frankenstein Jr.
(Note: Ted Cassidy also provided the opening narration on the 1970s TV show "The Incredible Hulk" and the voice of the villain Black Manta on the "Superfriends". Ted rules!)
2. It's been a long time since I've heard of an instrumental breaking the top ten, and "Frankenstein" by The Edgar Winter Group is one of my favorites. The song was titled "Frankenstein" because the recording was so heavily edited and cut and pasted together (like Frankenstein's monster). Although, Edgar Winter has commented that the instrumental does have a feel that is somewhat reminiscent of Boris Karloff's Frankenstein. Watch the video and feel rock's majesty condensed into ten minutes!
3. Death Race 2000 is like a nightmarish version of Cannonball Run. I mean, it's about running over innocent people for God's sake! I don't know anything about the remake, but I assume it's equally disturbing. That being said, Carradine, no matter what role he's playing, is always extremely cool. In Death Race 2000 he plays "Frankenstein", the futureworld's top racer who was supposedly part machine (after being rebuilt numerous times after crashes).
4. Peter Cushing played the Dr. Frankenstein and Van Helsing roles so well that he was eventually typecast as a horror actor. Not to mention, he had a certain look and demeanor that lent itself perfectly to the macabre roles. In real life, however, Cushing was a quiet and gentle man. But he knew what the audiences wanted, so he stuck with the horror roles for the most part, instead of trying to branch out too much. He once remarked, "If I played Hamlet, they'd call it a horror film." He was probably right.
I'm not sure who to thank for the awesome painting above, it's been languishing on my home computer for so long. If I ripped you off, feel free to blast me in a comment.
5. Dr. Frank-N-Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show; a movie with a budget of just over one million. After initially failing at the box office, the film resurfaced a year later as a nationwide phenomenon, and an unparalleled cult classic. It has continually run for over thirty years and has grossed around $140 million!
6. Phil Hartman was particularly funny as Frankenstein in those SNL skits which included Tonto (John Lovitz) and Tarzan (Kevin Nealon).
7. Frankenberry has always been my favorite General Mills monster cereal, followed closely by Boo Berry, then Count Chocula, then the discontinued Fruit Brute (Quentin Tarrantino's favorite cereal), and finally Yummy Mummy.
... and speaking of Tarantino, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was Quentin Tarantino's favorite film from childhood. It features not only the Frankenstein monster, but also Dracula (played by Bela Lugosi) and the wolfman (played by Lon Chaney, Jr.).
8. You just can't have a favorite Frank list and not include Fred Gwynn as Herman Munster.
10. And finally, the mother of all Frankensteins, the Grinch himself, Boris Karloff.
Note: Peter Boyle from Young Frankenstein and Christopher Lee should be on here too, but a Top 12 list didn't have a nice ring like a Top 10 list.