Igor (fictional character)

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A sign featuring Igor with a woman

Ygor (or sometimes Igor) is the traditional stock character or cliché hunch-backed assistant or butler to many types of villain, such as Count Dracula or a Dr. Victor Frankenstein, familiar from many horror movies and horror movie parodies. Though Dr. Frankenstein had a huchback assistant in the 1931 film Frankenstein his name was Fritz. Van Helsing[1] also included a hunchback assistant to Dr. Frankenstein named Igor.

Origins[edit]

Dwight Frye's hunch-backed lab assistant in the first film of the Frankenstein series (1931) is the main source for the "Igor" of public imagination, though this character was actually named "Fritz". The sequels Son of Frankenstein (1939) and The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) featured a character named "Ygor", played by Bela Lugosi. This character, however, is neither a hunchback nor a lab assistant, but an insane blacksmith with a broken neck and twisted back. He reanimates the Monster as an instrument of vengeance against the townspeople who attempted to hang him for graverobbing. He survives a near-fatal gunshot and appears in the next film in which his brain is placed in the Monster's body.

Universal Pictures would actively cement the idea of the hunchbacked assistant to the "mad scientist" in the Frankenstein film series House of Frankenstein (1944) with J. Carrol Naish playing a hunch backed lab assistant named Daniel.

In the 1933 horror film Mystery of the Wax Museum, "Ivan Igor" is the name of the mad wax museum curator. The film was remade as House of Wax in 1953, but the name "Igor" was given to the curator's henchman (played by a young Charles Bronson) rather than the curator himself. Not a hunchback, the character is deaf and mute, and is portrayed as an unconditionally devoted servant.

In other media[edit]

Pop music[edit]

The 1962 novelty song "Monster Mash" by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers mentions Igor: "The scene was rockin', all were digging the sounds / Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds."

The Alice Cooper album Love it to Death features the song Ballad of Dwight Frye, which is loosely based on Igor's character.

Film and television[edit]

  • In the 1971 Canadian sketch show The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Igor is the burly, bumbling, green-skinned assistant of Count Frightenstein played by Fishka Rais. His catchphrases are "Yes Master" and "I'd rather not get involved".
  • Igor is featured in Mad Mad Mad Monsters (a "prequel of sorts" to Mad Monster Party?) voiced by Allen Swift. He is shown to be the assistant of Baron Henry von Frankenstein. When Baron Henry von Frankenstein creates a mate for Frankenstein's Monster, Igor wanted Henry to give the female to him only for Henry to keep reminding him that the female is for the Monster. Igor has often tried to take the female for himself which doesn't go well in his attempts.
  • The cartoon series Count Duckula features the titular character's faithful old family retainer, Igor, who is portrayed as an anthropomorphic vulture (hence the hunchback). Igor is a traditionalist and often schemes to convert his vegetarian master to a diet of blood, as was the case with Duckula's previous incarnations.
  • The big-budget monster movie Van Helsing (2004) also included a deformed character named Igor, who is played by Kevin J. O'Connor. In the film, he is the former assistant of Victor Frankenstein and the current assistant of Count Dracula. He is a spiteful, hate-filled creature who takes pleasure in harming others. He is killed in a combined effort between Van Helsing's companion Carl and Frankenstein's monster.
  • Igor appears in the animated series Frankenhole, a cartoon show which is a modern update of the Frankenstein mythos.
  • In Igor (2008), the main character of the film (voiced by John Cusack) is the former assistant of a now-deceased mad scientist. He takes over his master's research and dreams of becoming the most famous scientist in the world.
  • Igor makes a cameo appearance in an episode of the fairy tale television series Once Upon a Time. Once again, he's Dr. Frankenstein's assistant and helps him to reanimate his brother Gerhardt (who was accidentally shot and killed) into the infamous monster.

Print[edit]

  • The comic book story "Transilvane" (Legends of the DC Universe #22–23, written by Jean-Marc Lofficier and drawn by José Ladrönn) depicts Dabney Donovan, a mad scientist who has created a whole world based on old horror movie characters. In that world, Igor is the servant of the vampire leader, Count Dragorin.
  • A hunchbacked character named Igor is a recurring character in The Far Side comics, in typical mad scientist or other horror situations.

Video games[edit]

  • In the video game Quest for Glory IV, Igor is the local gravekeeper and the lab assistant to Dr. Cranium.
  • In the Persona video game series, Igor is a recurring character who assists the main characters by helping them create new Personas.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Page Title". Writingstudio.co.za. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  2. ^ http://www.scifiscripts.com/cartoon/nightmare.txt
  3. ^ Hello Igor... Daniel Radcliffe gets into character on the set of the brand new Frankenstein movie, The Daily Mail
  4. ^ DANIEL RADCLIFFE REVEALS THE ‘FRANKENSTEIN’ AND IGOR WE THOUGHT WE KNEW
  5. ^ "Against the Trumpets – a Monstrous Regiment fansite". Hyel.thedanamark.net. Retrieved 2009-08-28. [dead link]

External links[edit]