#FBF: The “Frankenstein Resurrectus” Edition

Happy The Mummy Release Day, Monster Mashers! ūüôā
The film marks the beginning of Universal’s Dark Universe, a series of interconnecting monster movies featuring our favorite ghouls of the past. While we wish they had stuck to pure Gothic Ho-rror, anything that brings attention to Cinema’s Greatest Monsters is worth supporting. And it only makes sense that the Universal Monsters would join in on “shared universe” craze. After all, they created the cinematic sci-fi crossover with 1943’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.

Ho-wever, while The Mummy is the first attempt to start a franchise to under the Dark Universe banner, it wasn’t the first attempt to eXXXhume the great monsters…
Back in the late ’90s, Universal had planned a straight Black-and-White throwback to the classic Frankenstein films, done entirely in CGI! In October 1998, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Universal head (;)) Casey Silver had green-lit the film for release in 2000. The film was set to be the first full-length animated feature by Industrial Light & Magic and was¬†budgeted at 80 million dollars. If all of that wasn’t enough, The Wolfman was also supposed to be in the picture!

Alas, this beautiful nightmare was not meant to be. The project died, but Universal did resurrect the creeps in 2004’s Van Helsing.¬†Oy.
Only 16 seconds of test footage exists for the film, but it’s pretty fang-tastic! The tower is perfect and Frankie’s got those Karloff-ish good looks we all love so very much. ¬†How magical would it have been to have a modern monster film like this?! Hopefully, if the Dark Universe goes on, we may get some installments that have that classic Universal Monsters flavor.

For 16 seconds of pure Monster Magic, check out the video below:

Scary Shorties: Mickey’s Mechanical Man (1933)

Before Richard Matheson¬†brought a robot into the ring and Toho¬†had one rough up an ape, Disney gave us both of those wonderful things in 1933’s Mickey’s¬†Mechanical Man,¬†a knockabout cartoon caper that pits machine against beast. The short is about Mickey Mouse training a robot to fight an ape in a boxing match and… do I need to say anything else!? I mean, that’s pure monster movie¬†magic¬†as it is! Disney has produced more sophisticated shorts, but who needs sophistication when you have beastly brutes monster-mashing each other in glorious black-and-white?!

Mickey’s Mechanical Man¬†is a fairly one-note short, but it plays that note so magnificently! There are gags aplenty and enough machine-on-monster action to satisfy ¬†all you creature-craving crazies out there. Mickey and Minnie are always welcome, and the ape is as perfectly monstrous as one could hope for. As for the animation, it’s fluid, lively, and… well, Disney!
While there’s much to love about this ‘toon, the highlight is the tit-ular Mechanical Man. I’m a sucker for vintage/retro robots, and this affable automaton certainly fits the bill. Every bit of animation for the ro-boxer is brilliantly herky-jerky. The spasmodic, robotic pugilist moves like a wind-up toy with very little use for physics. It’s this kind of character and animation that make these cartoons such a blast to watch!¬†Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!

Check out the Battle of the Century below: