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Victor Zuckel Meet Monster MOF

The Monster of Frankenstein is the second animated film based on Marvel Comics after Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned. Both were produced by Toei Animation as part of a deal to bring Marvel Characters to animation, though these were the only two made. The film was released thirty-five years ago this week on July 27, 1981. While the comics have maintained the origin set in the famous Mary Shelley book, this film more closely follows the 1931 Universal film by James Whale featuring Boris Karloff.

It was a dark and stormy night. Doctor Victor Frankenstein and his assistant Zuckel work in an empty castle, harnessing the power of the storm to reanimate a corpse they made from various body parts. Horrified by his creation's monstrous appearance, he orders Zuckel to kill it who is then overpowered and loses his eye. Victor returns to his home in Geneva to his wife Elizabeth and daughter Emily. Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Bellebeau investigates a series of gruesome murders where the victims have been eaten as well as vicious crimes against the Frankenstein family.

Victor is haunted by the memories of what he's done and suspects his monster is still alive. Zuckel reappears and blackmails the doctor in payment for his missing eye. Victor is granted a highly respected position and fears that his gruesome experiments will be found out. The monster arrives in Geneva and kills any villager who attacks him. After Zuckel threatens Emily, Victor decides to kill his assistant. However, the monster appears first and strangles him.

Bellebeau finds Victor's gun at Zuckel's murder scene, and begins suspecting him of being involved. Elizabeth lies to Bellebeau to protect her husband, then seeks answers from Victor's father. He tells her that Victor continued some unholy experiments that he started but stopped. While crashing a wedding, the monster flees from fire, a fear brought on when he was caught on fire after his "birth." Bellebeau and his men chase him but lose him around Grandfather Frankenstein's cabin. The monster listens to Emily sing and is touched, realizing how horrific he appears. He returns to the cabin and Grandfather, though blind, recognizes the monster as his son's creation. Emily's fear of him draws Victor. In the woods, the monster knocks out his creator but kills a bear that is attacking Emily. Emily then accepts the monster and begins teaching him to talk, bake, and about the love of God their creator.

When Emily's friend Philip sees the monster, he brings an angry mob and the police. They chase the monster into the woods accidentally starting an enormous forest fire. Grandfather goes into the fire to protect the monster and Elizabeth follows to protect him. The monster protects Grandfather but Elizabeth is killed. The town assume that the monster killed her and tried to kill Grandfather. Philip confronts the monster but the monster accidentally kills him. Feeling betrayed, Emily shoots him. He wanders into a church and seeing a statue of Jesus on the cross compares his hand, which was shot clean through, to the crucified hand.

Emily learns that the monster tried to protect Grandfather and Elizabeth, but was overwhelmed by the fire. The monster is driven to a cliffside by the police. He kills several before sparing Bellebeau because of Emily. Victor tries to kill his creation again, but is stopped by Emily. She apologizes to the monster. Realizing the damage he is causing, the monster leaps off the cliff to his death. Victor is struck by his creation's sacrifice and turns his gun on himself. Emily is left alone while Bellebeau visits the monster's grave near Grandfather's cabin.

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