by Judi Uthus
As part of the 91301 Film Series, the Agoura Hills Cultural Arts Council (CAC) presented “Classics at the Adobe,” celebrating the 80th anniversary of Bride of Frankenstein with a screening under the stars at the historic Reyes Adobe.
The program included a panel discussion with sci-fi/ horror film critics led by local science fiction writer Peter H. Brothers with journalist David Del Valle and producer/ writer Scott Essman who shared highlights about one of Hollywood’s greatest classic films. “The image of Frankenstein is timeless,” Essman said, “just as recognizable today as Disney’s Mickey Mouse.”
The panel related stories about the making of “Frankenstein” and its popular sequel the Bride of Frankenstei” and the 1930’s Golden Age of Horror that also included such films as Dracula and The Mummy. “The depression brought a renaissance of horror films,” Del Valle told the audience. “This particular film was a jigsaw puzzle of parts that made history—the make-up of Jack Pierce, the acting of Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester and the directing of James Whale—all contributed to its outrageously popular success at the time.”
Brothers added, “Bride of Frankenstein is perhaps the most stylish horror film ever made; many have called it the ‘perfect’ horror film with it’s mixture of fright, irony, Biblical references and macabre humor.”