Frankenstein's Aunt

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Frankenstein's Aunt
Frankensteinsaunt.jpg
Viveca Lindfors as Hannah Frankenstein and Jacques Herlin as Igor
Created by Juraj Jakubisko
Starring Viveca Lindfors as Hannah Frankenstein
Martin Hreben as Max
Gerhard Karzel as Albert
Barbara De Rossi as Klara
Eddie Constantine as Alois
Flavio Bucci as Talbot
and others.
Country of origin Austria, Germany, France, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Sweden, Italy
No. of episodes 7
Production
Running time approx. 55 min (per episode)
Broadcast
Original channel see Production
Original airing 1987

Frankenstein's Aunt is the protagonist of three novels - two by Allan Rune Pettersson and a seven-episode TV miniseries based on the first one. The story is a humorous homage to the Universal Horror Frankenstein films.

Novels[edit]

Frankenstein's Aunt[edit]

Main article: Frankenstein's Aunt (novel)

Although the later TV series is based on the first novel by Allan Rune Pettersson, there are many differences in the TV series: Characters were edited out and added, the story was changed and expanded, and it has another ending.

Frankenstein's Aunt Returns[edit]

Main article: Frankenstein's Aunt Returns

The book is a direct sequel to the first novel and therefore does not revive the story of the TV series.

Third novel[edit]

Frankensteins Tante
Frankensteinstante.jpg
Author Werner Meier
Country Austria
Language German
Publisher Loewe
Publication date
1987

A novel by Werner Meier was published in German in Austria in 1987 which retells the story of the TV series with almost no differences. The book has the title "Frankensteins Tante" which just means Frankenstein's Aunt.

Television series[edit]

Story[edit]

Similar to the first book by Allan Rune Pettersson, Aunt Hannah comes to Frankenstein with the aim of finding a bride for her nephew so that the family will gain some little Frankensteins. He, however, is too busy for anything like that. He tries to create a man with the power of a machine and the brain of a genius. Unlike in the novel, Aunt Hannah meets more spooks like a merman, a fire spirit and a White Lady and the orphan Max, who is running away from a circus.

Intention[edit]

The makers of "Frankenstein's Aunt" Jaroslav Dietl and Juraj Jakubisko interpreted the classic Frankenstein theme in a humourful way tending to parody. But they did not only want to entertain the audience, but to emphasize the triumph of reason and sanity over human aggressiveness and intolerance.[1]

Production[edit]

The director J. Jakubisko about the production: "This seven country co-production was a challenge for me. The producers' wish was to see spooks from every single culture so it would be familiar for children around the world. So we found ourselves in Babylon during the production - many languages, many spooks" [2]

Among others, Hohenwerfen Castle was used to film the exterior of Frankenstein's Castle

The series was a coproduction from:

Filming location were Hallstatt, the environ of Salzburg, Dachstein, Boskovice and Werfen with Burg Hohenwerfen.[3]

Jacques Herlin, who played Igor, said in an interview,[4] that the filming was a lot of fun, the only bad side being Viveca Lindfors who hated the director from the first day. According to him, she said to the director: "As far as I'm concerned, you're a shit. I've signed the contract, but won't agree with you. My character will smoke a cigar, even if you don't like it. Go fuck yourself". Nevertheless, Herlin added that he actually liked Viveca. He described the director as crazy - a poet, ex painter and friend of Fellini.

The character of the "White Lady" (played by Mercedes Sampietro) was inspired in Elizabeth Bathory[5] (1560–1614). She is thought to have tortured hundreds of maids to death, and according to the legend she was cursed to haunt her castle. Her character in the series was moderated, similarities are still the same first name and some insinuations. The series' director, Juraj Jakubisko made also Bathory, a movie about her, which was released in 2008.

Ferdy Mayne, who played Count Dracula, played a similar character as Count Krolock in The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967).

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

  1. The Birth
  2. The Clean-Up
  3. The Bride
  4. The Cradle
  5. The Ladies' Man
  6. The Car
  7. The Wedding

Alternative and other versions[edit]

A recut of the series in a 96 minute movie was made with the title Freckled Max and the Spooks.

A musical for schools is based on the novel of Allan Rune Petterson.[6]

Nomination[edit]

In 1988 it was nominated best film in the International Fantasy Film Awards.[7]

Video release[edit]

The series was first released on DVD in Germany on March 17, 2008. This is currently the only release of the series on video so far and includes only the German-language version.

Notes[edit]

Literature[edit]

External links[edit]