Frankenstein in Pop Culture

by Valeria Gil and Haasi Pidaparthi


Ever since the first Frankenstein movie was created starring Boris Karloff, Frankenstein has spawned many thousands of spin-offs, ranging from sombre meditations on the dangers of science to kitschy cult movies about cross-dressing aliens. And with it comes the image, endlessly reproduced in everything from horror movies to breakfast cereals, of a green-skinned, flat-headed, groaning, lumbering giant with bolts in his neck—a far cry from Mary Shelley's articulate Creature.

How Frankenstein's physical appearance changed

How Hollywood portrays him: Green-skinned, flat-headed, groaning, lumbering giant with bolts in his neck. In fact, Frankenstein's monster had none of those features.

How he was originally described: ''His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful!-Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shriveled complexion and straight black lips''.
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Movies such as I, Frankenstein, Hotel Transylvania, Victor Frankenstein and the very humorous Young Frankenstein have all been part of the Frankenstein juggernaut during the last 50 years.

The best known film version of Frankenstein is the version where Boris Karloff stars in. The film is relatively inaccurate to the book, turning the monster into an inarticulate goon

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Examples of Frankenstein-related books for children include ''Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich'' by Adam Rex and ''Frank N' Goat: A Tale of Freakish Friendship'' by Jessica Watts. ''The Frankenstein Series'' by Dean Koontz is an adult book emphasizing the theme of reanimating/ creating something that should not be revived.


Throughout the years, Frankenstein has been the go-to costume for little kids, and even adults on Halloween.


Teenage Frankenstein - Alice Cooper

Monster Mash - Bobby “Boris” Pickett

Frankenstein - Edgar Winter Group

Some Kind of Monster - Metallica

Science Fiction Double Feature - Rocky Horror Picture Show

Jesus Frankenstein - Rob Zombie

Another Saturday Night - Sam Cooke
Alice Cooper - Feed My Frankenstein

Work Cited

"Romantic Circles." Wollstonecraft Shelley, Mary. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"A Frankenstein for All: How Pop Culture Has Celebrated The Monster." A Frankenstein for All: How Pop Culture Has Celebrated The Monster. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"Legacy of Frankenstein: The Monster Is the One in the White Lab Coat." » American Scientist. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.