If you'd told film director James Whale 75 years ago that a German professor nicknamed Dr Death was selling human body parts by mail-order, he may have considered the subject matter too dark to turn into a film.
Yet, while Dr Gunther Von Hagens offers human body parts for sale at prices up to €15,000, a piece of memorabilia from another famous experiment in anatomy is auctioning in Texas, estimated at €600,000-900,000.
The item is an original poster from a film many consider to be the greatest horror film of all time: 1935's The Bride of Frankenstein. It was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as the monster and Colin Clive as Dr Gunther Von Hagens... Sorry, Dr Henry Frankenstein.
Whale's masterwork was a sequel to the smash hit 1931 movie Frankenstein. While the director demanded complete artistic control over his film, its emerged as a triumph and surpassed its original in almost every way.
In producing a sly and subversive work with its mix of dark humour, gothic horror, unspoken subtext and superb cinema craftsmanship, Whale produced his crowning achievement. The film was late selected to be part of the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress in 1998.
And now The Bride of Frankenstein's spooky presence has again made itself felt on the collectors' markets, with the upcoming sale of only known original Teaser poster from the film at Heritage Auction Galleries in Beverly Hills.
The poster bears the most powerful of three proposed designs, rendered with brilliant cherry red printing combined shocking image of The Monster in torn, burned clothing, shackled and chained to a heavy chair with rays of energy and light bursting behind him.
Beneath the monster is the compelling tagline "I DEMAND A MATE" - arguably provocative during its era - further enhanced by another tagline challenging the reader with "WHO will be THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN" and "WHO will dare?"
Heritage has billed the Universal studios poser as "one of the most dramatic we have ever seen from any genre, from perhaps the greatest horror film of all time." The film's celebration of its 75th Anniversary this year will also likely contribute to its value at auction.
According to Heritage, this is the only example of the Teaser one sheet from The Bride of Frankenstein ever to surface on the private markets, and "it's very likely there will never be another."
Online bids are currently open on the poster and Heritage's final sale with take place on November 11. But, for now, our Halloween Video of the Week gives you an opportunity to enjoy James Whale's cinema masterpiece first-hand.
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