The film Young Frankenstein is often viewed by many critics as one Mel Brooks’ best works because it eloquently demonstrates the best elements of parody as a cinematographic genre. To some degree, this movie illustrates the way in which classical literary archetypes can be dramatically transformed.
In particular, Mel Brooks relies on the motifs of Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus; however, these motifs are use to produced a comic effect. Furthermore, Mel Brooks parodies many of the films about Frankenstein which were shot in the first half of the twentieth century. On the whole, the director enables viewers to take a new look at conventional horror films. These are the main issues that should be discussed in great detail.
First, it should be noted that this movie contains the elements of a farce. There are many unexpected and improbable twists of the plot. Very often, these twists of the plot appear to be rather absurd. Moreover, this genre is predominantly aimed at entertaining the audience. Overall, the tone of the film contrasts dramatically with the conventional screen versions of Mary Shelley’s novel. In many cases, they raise the questions about moral responsibility of a scientist or the way in which a person can turn into a monster.
In turn, Mel Brooks departs from this tradition and produces a comedy which is not related to the themes explored in conventional Frankenstein films. In particular, the director shows that the protagonist of the movie is able to avoid the tragedy which befell Victor Frankenstein.
Moreover, this individual is not concerned with the questions related to the responsibility of a person who acts as a creator. Additionally, Mel Brooks does not take much interest in social problems which are of great concern to Marry Shelley. This is one of the points that can be made.
Additionally, one should focus on the cinematographic elements of this movie. This film is shot in black and white, even though Mel Brooks could use color. In this way, the director imitates the Frankenstein movies shot in the thirties. For instance, one can mention such movies as Bride of Frankenstein or Son of Frankenstein. Moreover, the director uses camera angles that were typical of classic thrillers.
To a great extent, Mel Brooks makes references to the films directed by James Whale who is known for his horror movies. Many of his books are still regarded as classic thrillers; in turn, Mel Brooks departs from this canon by introducing comic elements such as running gags which enable the viewers to forget about the tragic attributes of such a character as the monster envisioned by Mary Shelley. This is one of the details that can be distinguished because it is important for understanding the way in which a parody is produced.
Additionally, it is important to discuss the way in which characters are developed. Conventional horror movies incorporate stereotypical characters; for instance, it is possible to speak about the monster revived by the mad scientist. As a rule, such characters are described as tragic individuals who are doomed to loneliness and misfortune.
However, Mel Brooks’ characters are able to find happiness. Additionally, they are often placed in comic situations. For instance, Mel Brooks shows that the monster created by the scientists can acts in a very courteous manner. This behavior falls short of viewers’ expectations, and they cannot suppress a smile. These are some of the techniques that the director adopts.
Additionally, the film incorporates sound tracks that are not compatible with horror films. For instance, one can mention such a song as Puttin’ on the Ritz. This musical composition enables the viewers to see that Young Frankenstein depart from the canon of horror movies. Due to these innovations, this film has been praised by many viewers and critics. To a great extent, this movie signified the birth of a new genre in cinematography.
It should be noted that Mel Brooks is famous for his parodies. In particular, he often referred to such genres as epic films or thrillers. Additionally, he often makes use of gothic characters who are incorporated into traditional horror films. For instance, he made a comedy about Count Dracula who is viewed as a tragic figure.
One can say that this director was the founder of parody as a cinematographic genre. In turn, Young Frankenstein is one of his best works. It is also possible to say that this work paved the way to other film-makers who wanted to create parodies. This is one of the reasons why this film should not be overlooked.
On the whole, these examples indicate that Young Frankenstein is an excellent example of a parody in which conventional literary characters are developed to produce a comic effect. Apart from that, Mel Brooks demonstrates that a typical horror story can be applied to create a farce that can entertain the audience. This work paved the way to other film-makers who wanted to work in this genre. These are the main arguments that can be put forward.
Crick, Robert. The Big Screen Comedies of Mel Brooks, New York: McFarland, 2002. Print.
Glut, Donald. The Frankenstein Archive: Essays on the Monster, the Myth, the Movies, and More, New York: McFarland, 2002. Print.
Holte, James. Dracula in the Dark: The Dracula Film Adaptations, New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997. Print.
Picart, Caroline. Remaking the Frankenstein Myth on Film: Between Laughter and Horror, New York: SUNY Press, 2003. Print.
Tueth, Michael. Reeling with Laughter: American Film Comedies: From Anarchy to Mockumentary, New York: Scarecrow Press, 2012. Print.