Blu-ray Review: The Bride

Casting is both a blessing and a curse for a movie. A producer needs to land hot stars for leading roles in order to secure a healthy production budget. But the stars have a way of changing the gravitational pull of the film’s marketing. In the case of The Bride, Sting was cast as Baron Frankenstein. This was the time that singer had broken up The Police released his first solo album The Dream of the Blue Turtles. Likewise Jennifer Beals was super hot with the mega-hit Flashdance. All the publicity was focused on Sting and Jennifer teaming up on screen. This made things a bit awkward when people showed up at the cineplex and discovered half the film was about Clancy Brown (The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension ) and David Rappaport (Time Bandits). The Bride sadly went up in flames upon release. Now it can be appreciated by a new generation who can enjoy the film without being wrapped up in the hype.

Baron Frankenstein (Sting), Dr. Zalhus (Orlando‘s Quentin Crisp), and his assistant Paulus (Harry Potter and…‘s Timothy Spall) are caught up in the labrotory doing their best to create a woman as they harness the lighting. Unlike The Bride of Frankenstein, Eva (Beals) looks like a perfect woman. She has no scars or stuck up electrified hair. When the original Monster (Clancy Brown) arrives to claim his bride, she doesn’t want anything to do with the stitched together creation. The Monster doesn’t take well to the rejection, throws a temper tantrum and heads into the woods. While on his journey he meets Rinaldo (David Rappaport) while the dwarf is being attacked by children. The Monster puts an end to that and finds himself with a travelling companion that turns into a friend. Eventually the duo join a circus led by Alexei Sayle (The Young Ones). They play a “that’s my baby” routine with Rinaldo on a trapeze and the Monster dressed as the mother. The some circus people take an issue to their new act and things get heated. Back at the Castle Frankenstein, the Baron and Eva embark on making her the perfect lady. Things get weird when a Captain Josef Schoden (The Princess Bride‘s Cary Elwes) takes a liking to Eva without knowing her family tree is grafted. This gets the Baron a touch jealous since he has also taken a non-scientific attraction to his creation. Eva isn’t too key on hooking up with her creator.

The Bride truly does deserve a second chance. Jennifer Beals was mocked upon release including winning a Razzie. But she handles the awkwardness of being a creature passing for human better than remembered in 1985. Sting’s coldness is right for his character. And Clancy Brown remains a surprise since you’d never imagined he was in the film and his Monster the most romantic of the leads. His Monster had more of a heart than the Baron. The Bride was more than the marriage of Sting and Flashdance.

Video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The sets and locations look amazing in the high resolution. Audio is 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Stereo. The sound mix works best in the chaos of Frankenstein’s laboratory. The movie is subtitled.

Audio Commentary with director Franc Roddam has him re-examine the films after all the years. He talks about how he brought in an inventor to create the lab. The inventor has a cameo with his head in a bottle. Roddam created MasterChef.

Interview with Director Franc Roddam (30:06) talks of how he was disappointed with the film after it was finished. But now he’s seeing more in The Bride. He has affection for his creation. Roddam originally directed Sting in Quadrophenia. He wanted Sting to play a smaller character, but the Sting demanded he play Frankenstein.

Monster (40:50) is a two part interview with Clancy Brown. Things start off with director Franc Roddam praising what Clancy brought to the role. Clancy talks of his start in Chicago. He talks of how his approach to acting was changed by the realities of Hollywood auditions. He fell in love with the script. He talks about his research and prep work to play the Monster of Frankenstein. Clancy considers the film a love story between the Monster and Rinaldo the Dwarf. He was starstruck to work with David Rappaport. He talks of his time in the makeup chair.

TV Spot (0:31) focuses completely on Sting and Jennifer Beales.

Shout! Factory presents The Bride. Directed by Franc Roddam. Screenplay by: Lloyd Fonvielle. Starring: Sting, Jennifer Beals, Geraldine Page, Clancy Brown & David Rappaport. Rated: Rated PG-13. Running Time: 119 minutes. Released: September 25, 2018.

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