Michael Scott

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The Bride


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Movie: :3stars:
Video: :4stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :3stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:



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Movie

Ahhh, the 1980s. One of the greatest times for horror movies (in my humble opinion), but also one that was so gloriously steeped in 1980s music culture that it gives birth to some seriously chuckle worthy films as well. Coming straight from reviewing Universal’s 1930s-1950s classic monster movies I find it a bit jarring to watch the 1985 film The Bride, which is a modern take (at least in directing style) on the classic Bride of Frankenstein tale. Just with updated musical bits, and starring Sting (no, not the wrestler, the singer from “The Police”) and Jennifer Beals. While it’s not a horrible film by any stretch of the imagination, The Bride feels more like an attempt to infuse the popularity of using popular musicians as film stars (ala David Bowie in Labyrinth) and trying to blend it in with 1980s stylized period pieces to remake a classic with mixed results. The movie is entertaining and fun, but it’s so drastically different in tone and feel than the previous monster movies that it’s almost unrecognizable at times.

Dr. Frankenstein (Sting) has done the impossible and created a “monster” unlike the world has ever seen. This man cobbled from together from body parts is a bit hideous, and a bit zombiesh, but it is a man nonetheless. Naming his creation Viktor (a young Clancy Brown), the mad scientists realizes that his work needs a mate, as even a reanimated man needs company of his own kind. In a crazy twist of fate, Dr. Frankenstein reanimates another corpse, creating the beautiful Eva (Jennifer Beals), who acts as the physical foil to Viktor’s hideously scarred form. In a fit of jealous rage, Viktor destroys Frankenstein’s lab and is thought to be dead in the process. Thinking his monster dead, the “good” Doctor puts all of his efforts into turning the now reanimated Eva into a normal human being.

While that’s what one would consider to be the main “meat” of a Bride of Frankenstein remake, director Franc Roddam adds in a secondary sub tale dealing with the monster Viktor as well. While Frankenstein and Eva are setting up an awkward humanity tale in the foreground, the assumed dead monster finds his way out into the world, where he joins up with a circus and befriends a dwarf named Rinaldo (David Rappaport), turning this little side show into a weird sort of Dumbo like tale (according to Siskel back in 1985, a comparison that I find most apt).
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I’m not sure what went wrong, but I have an inkling that Roddam saw that Beals and Sting had next to no chemistry on screen, and then decided to flesh out the film by adding in the only chemistry that WAS working, which ended up being Viktor and Rinaldo. This drastically changes the tone and direction of the movie, but it also keeps it from being boring as well. Sadly the main plot with Frankenstein and Eva (the Bride, duh), is a bit more sluggish, with the two actors not really meshing well on screen. Sting pulls this off like a Broadway production, but Beals is flat and dull (a part of her being animated, or at least it so seems from first glance), and this lack of any real chemistry between those two leads severely hampers the story.

That being said, The Bride is fun in a campy 80s sort of way. Sting over acts as only a musician trying to act can do, and Clancy Brown is phenomenal as Viktor. His and Rinaldo’s burgeoning friendship is the highlight of the film, which is both fantastic, but also disheartening when you remember that this is a movie about the BRIDE of Frankenstein, not the original creation. Something that is amplified when with the 2 hour run time that gets a bit long in the tooth for comfort at times. It’s a solid movie, and one that has much more potential than is actually realized, but one that is moderately enjoyable at the very least.




Rating:

Rated PG-13 by the MPAA




Video: :4stars:
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I’m not sure on whether it was a 4K or 2K master for the Blu-ray, but
The Bride looks excellent in 1080p, and does great work with the source material. The film’s colors tend to be rather dingy and drab, with lots of earth tones and blue/gray overtones that don’t really scream “look at me!”, but the colors are replicated well, and the detailing is exquisite at times. Facial details look amazing, and the cheap backdrops show off everything they possibly can. Blacks are deep and inky, but there is some crush going on, and a little milkiness here and there that stems from what I can only assume is a boosted contrast level over the entire picture (only mildly though, I had to really look at it to notice the boost in contrast.







Audio: :4stars:
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The 2.0 DTS-HD MA Mono track is quite pleasing to the ear, and (for a mono track), rather full and rich as well. The dialog is always crystal clear up in the front of the room, and there’s actually some fairly low hitting LFE backed into the mono track. Surrounds are naturally absent, but the music fills out the mix quite a bit, with some lovely mixtures of ambient noises (such as when Viktor wakes up in the forest) with the 80s musical score. It may not be a 5.1 or Atmos mix, but as a Mono mix, it is well done in about every way.








Extras: :3stars:
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NEW Audio Commentary With Director Franc Roddam
• NEW Interview With Director Franc Roddam
• NEW Interview With Actor Clancy Brown
• TV Spot







Final Score: :3.5stars:


The Bride is 100% pure 80s at it’s core. A popular musician helming a period piece horror movie, some random nudity, awkward editing, and a burnished look to it that could only come from good old 80s film stock. It’s hilariously inept at times, skillfully done at others, and still comes out rather enjoyable in the end. A hodgepodge of different ideas, The Bride works in many ways, but is hampered by it’s own awkwardness at times. Sting REALLY can’t act (he’s even worse here than he was in Dune), but at least his over acting adds to the campy charm while we get to look at the eye candy that is Jennifer Beals (that is, when she’s in the film, as she’s notoriously absent for a good chunk of it). Scream Factory had given the disc a very nice looking remaster, and the package itself is quite good, with some decent extras as well. Definitely a decent rental for most, but a solid buy for collector’s of 80s horror bits.



Technical Specifications:

Starring: Sting, Jennifer Beals, Anthony Higgins
Directed by: Franc Roddman
Written by: Lloyd Fonvielle
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
Subtitles: English SDH
Studio: Scream Factory
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 119 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: September 25th, 2018






Recommendation: Decent Rental

 
Last edited:

tripplej

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Thanks for the review. Once this is available on amazon prime/netflix, will check it out. :)
 

Asere

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Thank you for the review. I don't remember this film much since I haven't seen it since it first came out.
 

Asere

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tripplej

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Great. Thanks for the checking and the heads up. Will check it out. :)
 
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