EDITOR'S NOTE: No, "Frankenstein" is not the name of Dr. Frankenstein's monster in FRANKENSTEIN. For ease of conversation, however, the monster will be referred to as such throughout this piece. Please remain calm. The following is very serious.
It all began with me showing my partner Alexandra Petri’s hilarious summary of Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, in which she asserts that the monster is, in fact, an incel.
“Why didn’t they just get the poor guy a dog?” I wondered out loud.
“Because you can’t fuck a dog, babe.” my partner said.
Is that what Frankenstein wants, I thought, to fuck? The monster bemoans his loneliness, his inability to be accepted. He demands companionship, but we all understand what that means. Or at least what we’re meant to understand what that means. It’s the undercurrent lurking beneath nearly every old monster movie, implicit in nearly every old monster movie poster. The monsters are here and they want to fuck.
Before Guillermo del Toro’s 2017 monsterfucking masterpiece THE SHAPE OF WATER quelled all doubt, we figured that Creature didn’t kidnap Kay so he would have someone to play Magic: The Gathering with. The Wolfman, Dracula, every furry, scaly, slimy creature that’s ever carried a woman away to the swelling shrieks of violins, we knew what they wanted. To go on down to bone town.
(And by bone town, I mean sexual assault town! Yikes! This is part of the long, shitty history of misogyny in genre. But that’s another article.)
Accepting that, Frankenstein is a reanimated man with a corpse dick. Perhaps the more important question here is... does it work?
My immediate reaction was no the hell it does not. Then I started giving it some (I’m sorry) hard thought. If American hero Lorena Bobbit’s turd of a husband can still use his shitty dick, maybe a creature assembled from the parts of various corpses could, too.
I consulted with my friend, writer and former mortician ace ratcliff. They replied that yes, he could. Depending on one very important factor.
“ ... it depends on the care of the scientist reanimating the decedent as well as the level of decomposition in the tissue. So long as the arterial system was reconnected and filled with blood, assuming that’s the way this body would function, and the corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum were both in good enough shape to actually expand, yes. Alternatively, if there were erectile complications, one can always assume a pump could be used. I mean, if the rest of the body is being recreated as such.”
So yes, Frankenstein could use his dick if Dr. Frankenstein wanted him to. The doctor would have to choose a corpse dong that was in decent enough shape and make sure to hook that shit up. That means that Frankenstein’s ability to bone is more of a reflection of the doctor’s desire for him to bone.
Is this a hope for the monster to be able to sexually enjoy himself? A symptom - the mad scientist version of Truck Nutz - of creepy and toxic displays of masculinity? Or merely anatomical thoroughness, a wish to make all parts of the body work?
An investigation into the various film versions of FRANKENSTEIN yields few results. It’s perhaps for the best that we usually don’t see Frankie in the nude. The best glimpse we get is in the oft-maligned 1994 version by Kenneth Branagh, with Robert De Niro playing the monster.
Even here, things are - maybe intentionally - inconclusive. We’ll never know conclusively if he has a dick at all. You don’t need a wiener to be a man.
We must guess at the doctor’s intentions. We know that there’s a possibility of a Franken-boner. It’s horror’s own THE LADY OR THE TIGER?.
The question lies, therefore, with the viewer.
So, you tell me ... does Frankenstein fuck?