When Godzilla Became Frankenstein
Super duper annoying when (and I use the term loosely) people mistakenly – to this franken day – think Frankenstein is the monster instead of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the guy who puzzled together the monster from scrap corpse parts. And while the brute doesn’t have a proper title other than “the monster,” you get the misnomer; the name “Frankenstein” is pretty dang classic, right up there with iconic nom de plumes names like “Godzilla,” “Dracula” and “Lord Voldemort.”
No surprise the Germans – Frankenstein’s kin — regularly slapped the popular “monster” name on imported horror advertising art to help sell movie tickets, even though Frank wasn’t so much as in the credits. (Did Frankenstein or his heirs get paid for this unlicensed usage? Hölle nein!)
An example of this is Ebirah, Horror From the Deep, aka, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966). Initial German ad art had the movie titled, Frankenstein und die Ungeheuer dem Meer (or, Frankenstein and the Beast from the Sea). And while the advertising depicts Godzilla (what – no promo headshot?), they didn’t want to gamble the movie’s box office on a name that’s only been around for a few relative years, whereas Frankenstein was globally established and universally recognized since 1931. In that context, it makes sense.
Frankenstein’s good name has been co-opted/dragged through the mud over the years for this very same reason. But think about it – would you rather take your queasy vehicle to Bob’s Car Care or Frankenstein’s Complete Auto Restoration? I rest my case.
Gasp in awe at the misbranded examples above, including King Kong: Frankenstein’s Son (aka, King Kong Escapes/1962) that’ll leave you staunen (“stunned” for all you Bob’s Car Care types).
P.S. Only Spain’s Santo Contra La Hija De Frankestein (aka, Santo Against Daughter Frankenstein/1972) and Santo y Blue Demon Contra el Dr. Frankestein (aka, Santo and Blue Demon Against Dr. Frankenstein/1974) got it at least medically correct even though they couldn’t spell Frank’s name right on the advertising.