Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-31-2003, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 125
Why does Frankinstein have bolts in his neck?

All the other parts and joints are just stitched together.
Were they in the original fairy tail or just the movies?
Old 10-31-2003, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,598
I think it was just in the movie, and it gave the doctor some place to connect the electrodes.


P.S. The doctor's name was Frankenstein. The monster was simply known as "the monster" (or sometimes "Frankenstein's monster")
Old 10-31-2003, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 126
I think that's where doc attached the jumper cables. IIRC, he hoisted the creature thru the roof and lightening struck the lightening rod, passing electricity thru the cables and the neck bolts. This jump-started the monster, bringing him to life.
Old 10-31-2003, 10:09 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Dogpatch/Middle TN.
Posts: 30,792
Much of the Monster came from executed criminals. When men are hung, necks get broken. The bolts are part of a metal implant that holds his neck together.

Or, it looks cool.
"True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written, in writing what deserves to be read."
~~~ Pliny the Elder
Old 10-31-2003, 10:27 AM
SD Curator of Critters
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 39,391
Re: Why does Frankinstein have bolts in his neck?

Originally posted by JohnBarleycorn
All the other parts and joints are just stitched together.
Were they in the original fairy tail or just the movies?
It wasn't a fairy tale, it was a novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly, Frankenstein, or a Modern Prometheus, first published in 1818.

The movie differs greatly from the book, which contains almost no details about how the young student Victor Frankenstein brough life to his creation. This is the extent of the description of the climactic scene in the novel:

It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.
In the movie, the bolts were electrodes to introduce the electricity that brought life to the creature.
Old 10-31-2003, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
In the Boris Karloff movies, the neck bolts were there for conducting electricity, not to hold the neck together. But the monster did havestaples on his forehead and temples, presumably along the line that his cranium was opened to insert the brain.
Old 10-31-2003, 10:16 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Anderson, IN,USA
Posts: 14,741
They're a fashion statement. He's metrosexual, y'know. Platform boots, too.
Old 10-31-2003, 10:36 PM
Right Hand of the Master
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Chicago north suburb
Posts: 16,078
Just watching SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, the third of the series with Karloff (following FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN.) Basil Rathbone, as the Son of Doctor, finds the monster's body and is trying to bring it back to life, holds the bolts and specifically describes them as where his father attached the electrodes.
Old 11-01-2003, 07:38 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 12,720
In the movie My Life, Keaton videotapes instructions to his unborn son on how to use jumper cables to start a car. He says: "Do not use these to play Frankenstein!" and winces at the thought of it.

In Mary Shelley's novel, the monster was usually called "the fiend." I think "Frankenstein's Fiend" sounds way cooler and I wonder why it hasn't caught on. There was a movie titled Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, but I haven't seen it. Anyone who has seen it, is the filmed story more faithful to the novel as the title promises? How is the animation scene played? Any neck electrodes? Do they use the word "fiend"?
Old 11-01-2003, 07:52 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEC
Posts: 13,877
They do at least in one place, where this is quoted:
Old 11-01-2003, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,748
I read somewhere that those neck bolts were copyrighted or protected somehow - by the movie studio that first produced the Frankenstein (FrankenSTEEN!)movies.

That screen monster is a wonderful intellectual property, and the neck bolts make him instantly identifiable. I wonder who thought them up - some unsung yet ingenious makeup man/woman?

If you haven't already, you might want to read Shelley's book.
Old 11-01-2003, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
Jack P. Pierce (1889-1968) was the legendary makeup artist at Universal studios who created the special makeups for Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), Bride of Frankenstein, WereWolf of London (1931), and The Wolf Man (1941).

And yes, the particular look of Universal's Frankenstein monster is under copyright, and must be licensed to be used elsewhere.
Old 11-01-2003, 10:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: America's Dairyland
Posts: 12,780
Now how did that happen. That should be Bride of Frankenstein (1935), WereWolf of London (1935).
Old 11-01-2003, 10:39 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Altered States of America
Posts: 12,720
I wasn't asking whether any other poets like Coleridge used the word "fiend." I was asking about the screenplay for the movie Mary Shelley's Frankenstein that came out a few years ago. According to the credits at, Robert DeNiro starred as "The Creature."

Kenneth Branagh apparently banned the term "Monster" from the set. He insisted that everyone refer to DeNiro's character the way he was identified in the credits, as "The Sharp-Featured Man".

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:23 PM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: paper veneer furniture the cyrcle uncle joey popsicles in plastic analog computer kit cold and damp pronounce genghis khan radio dj names pain in latin fastest laxitive action uri oop did a lot land rider morality is a social construct civilian funeral military uniform why does buddha have long ears how to adjust sleep number bed for back pain honda accord 2004 passenger side mirror condenser fan motor refrigerator wax rings home depot the setup controller has encountered a problem during install do cherry blossom trees grow cherries cutting tile without a wet saw wearing a two way