Lotsa Ways To Sell A Monster ...
When Frankenstein Had Many Creators
|Caricature Art For The Monster|
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Frankenstein Lobby Display
A threshold question might have been: Do we show the monster in ads? In smaller situations especially, you could keep his face a secret and let everyone be stunned at Karloff's reveal in Frankenstein. That scene is certainly played in terms of surprise, with slow build, BK entering backwards, then "shock" close-ups of a soon-to-be iconic image. Staged as though here was where we'd have our first-ever glimpse of the monster, James Whale and co. may not have reckoned with Universal merchandising's later decision to use Karloff as key art for virtually all posters. Viewers entering Frankenstein would have at least known what the title character's creation looked like. Was that giving too much of the game away? A local manager could reshuffle cards by keeping the monster a mystery --- let his face for purpose of ads be obscured, or even show a headless threat (as at right), that last a perhaps more frightful prospect to some than what the film ultimately showed.
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