11 horror movies given a second life by LGBTQ audiences

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2. The Bride of Frankenstein

The queer readings for this film started with the strong homoeroticism taking place within Mary Shelley’s original novel published in 1818, controversial themes that were largely removed from the 1931 film adaptation. The sequel, Bride of Frankenstein however, returned to the root relationship between Frankenstein and his Monster and even added a same-sex couple into the mix.

In the film, Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) teams up with Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) in order to make another monster (Elsa Lanchester), becoming a “couple” determined to birth life together. At first, Frankenstein is against returning to his experiments because he believes them to be against God, but Pretorius easily convinces him otherwise. Take the science out of the equation and it sounds like a case of two men trying to resist their ultimate desire, no matter how sinful everyone else says it is.

The Monster (Boris Karloff) himself has always been deemed a representation of the cruelty society bestows on the LGBTQ community. Though intelligent and kind and harmless (until he attacks out of fear), they treat the Monster as if he’s something evil. In the film, the Monster is given two companions that consist of a blind hermit and a bride same in nature, yet only one accepts him. His bride, or “friend” as he calls her, instantly rejects him, whereas the male companion openly embraces his presence.