Legion of Frankensteins – Who’s Who

While most of the creatures here do have a specific inspiration, only a few of them are intended to be direct representations of a specific creature. I haven’t seen all the films that these creatures have appeared in. I only know them from photos or plot descriptions. Since this is was meant to be a fun diversion I didn’t worry about whether any of them looked much like their original inspirations.

1. A Brain That Would Not Die – Lots of inspirations and therefore not based on any one story. There are plenty of stories featuring disembodied brains that then develop amazing psychic abilities. I thought of just drawing a brain in a jar but went with the mummified head because I thought it worked better with the rest of illustration.

2. The O’Brien – Inspired by the monster in Willis O’Brien’s unmade King Kong vs. Frankenstein. I haven’t been able to find much about the plot of that story. I imagine that the monster must have been made from the parts of large animals rearranged to resemble something more human – a sort of reanimated Moreau thing.

3. The Aborted – When I was in London in 1983 I saw posters on buses for a novel Spawn by Shaun Hutson. For some reason the poster image burned itself into my memory. I finally read the novel last year. It concerns (among other things) evil reanimated aborted fetuses with psychic powers.

4. The Heart-Eater – I’m surprised that there haven’t been more Japanese versions of Frankenstein. As far as I know Frankenstein Conquers the World is the only one.

5. Henry – If I were to illustrate Mary Shelly’s original novel this is how I would represent Frankenstein’s monster. I named him Henry after the Frankenstein in the 1931 film.

6. Leftovers – One of two creatures here inspired by the movie The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. It’s a movie that, sadly, I haven’t seen. No doubt it would fail to live up to my expectation. Number 6 here is the thing in the closet composed of the leftover body parts of previous experiments.

7. The Unknown – Originally I was going to draw a golem here. The Golem story is arguably one of the inspirations for Frankenstein. I decided against it because then I felt like I’d need to include more than one version of the Golem. And may I should include a cyborg or two. So this fellow isn’t inspired by any specific creature.

8. The Hood Inspired by I Was A Teenage Frankenstein. The monster in the movie is actually much uglier than this.

9. Beauty – For some reason the Frankensteins seem to have had better luck with their female creations than their male ones. This lady here was inspired by a number of good looking creatures, most specifically Jane Seymour in Frankenstein, the True Story and Susan Denberg in Frankenstein Created Woman.

10. The Doctor – The Hammer Studios series of Frankenstein films featured the Doctor, rather than the Monster, as their anti-hero. Peter Cushing played the character in all but one entry. In one of the films he was killed and then reanimated, making him both creator and creation.

11. Eddie – Of course there was a blaxsloitation version of Frankenstein.

12. Prowse – This one is loosely inspired by the David Prowse version of the creature from Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell, the last of the Hammer Frankenstein series.

13. Old Faithful – Obviously based on the 1931 Universal Pictures version of the story. This design of the creature is trademarked by Universal. They used it in all their subsequent sequels. And products. (And Herman Munster.)

14. Cursed – Since Unversal had trademarked the make-up for their version of the creature, Hammer had to come up with something very different for their version. Number 14 is inspired by the Christopher Lee portrayed monster in The Curse of Frankenstein.

15. Apenstein – Does anyone need a reason to draw a gorilla version of the creature? Of course not. Frankly I’m surprised that there haven’t been any ape versions of the creature in any of the movies.

16. Edison – Number 16 here is inspired by the creature in the Edison Films version of the story – the first filmed version of the novel.

17. Ivory and Ebony – Very loosely inspired by the creature in The Thing With Two Heads. The movie featured Ray Milland and Rosey Greer as the monster, but you’d never know it from my version.

18. Elsa – as in Elsa Lancaster who plays the title character in Bride of Frankenstein. (Technically the title should have been Bride of Frankenstein’s Monster but that would have sounded awkward.)

19. Not Beauty – I’m not sure which film inspired this creature. It may not have been a Frankenstein movie at all. I just have an image of this heavy browed woman stuck in my head. I’ve tried finding it online but had no luck.

20. Lurker – also known as There’s An Empty Space In This Illustration That Must Be Filled By Something Weird and Sort of Formless.

21. Liza – inspired by the Helena Bonham Carter creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, movie that is a closer adaptation of the novel than many before it but still hardly a faithful adaptation.

22. The Head – my version of the title creature from The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.

23/24. The Hounds – my excuse for these critters is two-fold. One, Tim Burton’s first movie was Frankenweenie concerning young Victor’s restoration of his pet to life. Two, most medical experiments are performed on animals before they are performed on people. At least one Frankenstein must have experimented on the “lower animals” before stitching together human corpses.

6 thoughts on “Legion of Frankensteins – Who’s Who

  1. Thanks Curt. I got some of my inspiration from reading your posts reviewing the Donald Glut Frankenstein series and the Frankenstein German (it was German wasn’t it?) comic book. I’d never heard of them before.

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