Special effects? Nature can provide something much more special, when films are shown in unusual locations. In this case, it was the 1935 classic Bride of Frankenstein in the eery night-time setting of Castell Coch on Sunday (February 2 2014), complete with its resident bat population.
Last October, I raved (and punned) about Hammer’s Dracula in the undercroft of Cardiff Castle. This was even better – although we were “in” Castell Coch, that only means in the courtyard, still exposed to nature (thankfully, just cold and bats, rather than rain or hail, which might have dampened our enthusiasm).
This “fairy tale” castle on a wooded hill is a spooky location on a winter’s night, and this really is one of the great horror films. The second and best of Universal’s Frankenstein series, it’s still moving, (intentionally) funny, and suspenseful, nearly 80 years after it was made.
It tells of Frankenstein’s creation, played by Boris Karloff, vainly seeking friendship and love, while avoiding angry villagers, and occasionally consoling himself with a cigar and a glass of booze – “Drink. Good.”
I guess being called ‘The Monster’ isn’t going to do much for your self-esteem, and when the woman who was literally made for him screams at first sight, well there’s not much left to hope for.
Wait! Is that a lever that will vaporise us all? Oh dear.
Congratulations and thanks to Chapter, Darkened Rooms and CADW for making this happen. And to students from the University of South Wales for some highly suitable visual and sound effects, including the bat projection, above, photographed by Helen Byrne.
Here’s to the next time. “Film. In castle. Good.”