Steph Lady & Frank Darabont
From the novel by
Mary W. Shelley
2ND REVISED DRAFT
February 8, 1993
TITLES UNFOLD IN BLACKNESS as we are lulled by the distant
flute-like sounds of a recorder. Overall the effect is
mournful and haunting, elegant and serene...
...and we CRASH TO:
EXT - BARENTS SEA - NIGHT
...a storm of inconceivable force and violence. Merciless
arctic winds whip the sea in a frenzy of thirty-foot swells.
This is the last place in God's creation that any human being
should be. And yet...
...the prow of a three-masted ship rises massively before
us, looming from the darkness and chaos. it crashes upward
through a swell and slams back down again, plunging nose-
first into the trough. The sails on the forward mast are
still deployed. It's insane; in this weather they should be
stowed (as is already the case with masts 2 and 3).
Hurtling toward us. Rising and falling. Thundering through
the swells. And as she sweeps past CAMERA within a seeming
hairbreadth, we PAN with the ship and find ourselves...
EXT - SHIP - NIGHT
...aboard the "Alexander Nevsky," along for the ride whether
we like it or not. There are men all around us, dark screaming
FIGURES glimpsed and half-glimpsed, heavy oilskin clothes
flapping in the gale. A GROUP OF MEN are in a life-or-death
tug of war
PULL, YOU BASTARDS! PULL!
Riiiiippp! All eyes turn skyward as the uppermost sail tears
loose, the heavy canvas shredding away in huge billowing
tatters. The jib-arm wrenches free and plummets toward us,
trailing rope and fabric. The men dive aside as the jib
smashes into the deck like an exploding bomb. Splintered
shards of wood cartwheel through the air like shrapnel.
Walton catches a glancing blow to the head and slams face-
down on the pitching deck.
GRIGORI, the first mate, scrambles to Walton's aid. Walton
shoves him off, pushes painfully to his knees. LIGHTNING
throws his face into a stark relief map of pain and fury:
blood is streaming from his hairline, freezing in his eyes,
staining his teeth. He gazes up at the mainsail, still intact
and straining against the wind. We hear a huge CRACK!
The base of the mast is starting to give.
Cut the damn rigging free before we
lose the mast!
Long-handled axes are grabbed from their mounts. Frantic men
begin hacking at the ropes. Walton snatches an axe from a
passing crewman and elbows his way to the front. He attacks
a guy-rope with primal fury, CAMERA rising and falling with
the motion of his axe. Suddenly, a chilling cry from high
THE CROW'S NEST (MAST #2)
The LOOKOUT is lashed to the mast by means of a safety rope
knotted at the chest. He points ahead.
WALTON and the others spin to look as A PANORAMIC SHOT OF
THE BARENTS SEA reveals a magnificent vista of storming fury.
The ship is heading into an enormous field of icebergs dotting
the ocean like boulders in a quarry, The Nevsky is plying
these waters like a man running pell-mell through a mine
An iceberg passes massively and unexpectedly in the
foreground, rumbling within yards of the camera, wiping us
EXT - NEVSKY - NIGHT
...and we wipe from darkness as a flapping piece of canvas
billows away to reveal 'Walton and the crew, gazing in
breathless horror as an iceberg looms from the gale before
them like a ghostly white mountain. Walton finds his voice:
HARD TO PORT!
THE PILOT fights to turn the wheel. Men rush to his aid,
throw their backs into it, straining to the limit. The wheel
is grudging, fighting them every inch of the way.
PUSH IN on Walton and the crew:
It's going to ram us.
It wouldn't dare.
THE CROW'S NEST (MAST #2)
The lookout fumbles under his coat, grabs the rosary around
his neck, clutches the crucifix tightly in both hands. Face
white with terror. Breath coming in ragged gasps.
Crashing through the swells. Rising and falling. Tilting the
world and the audience on its ear. iceberg looming. For a
brief moment we seem to be veering past. But then we swing
back in a final, churning, vertiginous plunge...
...and smack the ice.
VARIOUS QUICK-CUT ANGLES
God just hit the ship with an anvil. Mast #1 snaps at the
base with a thunderous CRACK and begins to topple in a
symphony of shattering wood and tangled rigging...
The lookout on mast #2 is vaulted through the railing of the
crow's nest, screaming through the air, arms and legs
windmilling as he plummets head-first toward the deck below...
And is jerked to an abrupt stop by the safety line around
his chest, We hear another horrible CRACK... the sound of
his back breaking...
Men are sliding, tumbling, screaming. Mast #1 completes its
fall, slamming massively to the deck, shattering a section
of the gunwale to splinters. Utter panic. Total chaos...
Sheer mortal terror. And as the sequence builds to a final
brain-splitting crescendo of sound and fury, we
SMASH CUT TO:
ARCTIC - TWILIGHT
Total, stunning silence.
A glittering wasteland of ice. Breathlessly cold. Even the
sun seems frozen, barely hanging on the horizon. Pellets of
snow scour the permafrost like broken glass, driven by a
desolate arctic wind. It's as if Hell had erupted through
the floor of the Earth in the form of ice. Nothing could
survive here. Nothing.
SLOW PAN reveals a distant ship frozen in the ice, tilted at
a permanent list. Silent. We see no signs of life.
SUPE TITLE: "The Arctic, 1839."
VARIOUS LINGERING ANGLES provide ominous detail-shots of the
A flap of frozen canvas creaks in the wind...
The pilot's wheel is now a crystalline sculpture of ice. The
forward mast lies across the deck like a broken limb,
extending out over the ice on a tangle of rigging...
The ship's prow is smashed open above the water line...
A familiar rosary lies broken on the deck. Beads scattered.
|A tiny Christ figure lies with arms thrown wide, painted
eyes staring up at the sky through a thin sheet of ice...
HIGH, HIGH ANGLE
From the top of mast #2. A breathtaking perspective of the
entire ship below, guaranteed to induce vertigo. The corpse
of the lookout is suspended below us at the end of the frozen
rope, His posture mimics the Christ figure: His arms thrown
wide, dead eyes staring up at the sky through a thin sheet
of ice. A ghastly still-life, the corpse twisting ever-so-
slightly on the wind, rope creaking...
A SAILOR thrusts into frame swaying precariously in the
rigging, WIDEN to reveal TWO MORE MEN as they reach out with
long gaffing poles to snag the corpse.
EXT - NEVSKY - LOW ANGLE FROM ICE - TWILIGHT
Walton watches them reel the body in. ANGLE SHIFTS as he
turns, revealing the rest of the crew working desperately to
free the ship. Axes and picks rise and fall in waves, slamming
into the ice, throwing up frozen chips. The men are near
collapse, exhaustion carved in their faces. The dogs are
nearby, huskies and malamutes huddled in the snow. Walton
rejoins the men, rams his axe fiercely into the ice.
Put your backs into it!
What's the use? This godless ice
stretches for miles! Would you have
us chow our way back to England?
No. But we'll chop our way to the
North Pole if we have to. Inch by
You can't mean to go on! Our journey
is ended! The best we can hope for
now is to get out of this alive!
Aye, if the ice ever lets us!
The ice will break. And when it does,
we proceed north... as planned.
Cries of dismay from the men. Grigori thrusts his arm toward
the sky, pointing at the corpse on the mast.
At the cost of how many more lives?
He's interrupted by a long, chilling HOWL. The lead husky
rises to its feet, hackles up, HOWLING at some unseen thing
in the distance. The other dogs start rising around him,
joining in, staring off across the ice.
There's something out there.
The dogs are going berserk. The lead husky breaks free and
launches himself across the ice. The men scramble to restrain
the animals, but three more break away and take off after
their leader. Walton snatches up his rifle.
You five come with me! The rest stay
with the ship!
EXT - ARCTIC PANORAMA - TWILIGHT
The Nevsky in the distance. The dogs come howling across the
ice toward us. The men trail substantially behind.
BOOM DOWN to the icy boulders f.g. A massive hand comes
briefly to rest in one of the crags, ghastly gray skin
rippling with harsh ligaments and sinewy veins, brutal
surgical scars marring the wrist. A HUGE DARK FIGURE wipes
frame, fleeing into the rocks. The dogs come bounding past
in pursuit, snarling and slavering.
THE RUNNING MEN hear an INHUMAN HOWL rise amidst those of
the dogs. A vicious free-for-all echoes from the rocks.
Barking gives way to shrill squeals. An object is launched
from the crags, catapulted through the air in a high arc.
Some men slip and fall as the object slams to the ground
with tremendous impact before them...
...and they find themselves staring in horror At the sight
of the lead dog. Silence now. Those who have fallen, rise.
Walton cocks his rifle. The group proceeds, picks and axes
held ready, slowly skirting the rocks...
...and the massacre is revealed. Blood-stained ice. Dead,
mangled animals strewn about. One twitching survivor crawls
toward them on broken limbs, whining piteously, dragging its
entrails in a red smear.
They follow his gaze. Bloody tracks lead away from the bodies,
ascending the rocks. Most are smeared and vague... but one
is clearly a bare human footprint. Several men cross
themselves. Walton shoulders the rifle, aims down at the
surviving dog. BLAM! A single bullet to the brain ends its
misery, punching a halo of blood onto the ice. The shot echoes
Back to the ship.
EXT - NEVSKY - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT
Silhouetted against the aurora borealis. The horizon swirls
mysteriously with color and light. Distant slivers of
lightning kiss the earth. Men keep watch in furtive groups,
huddled against the cold, breath punching the air with billows
of vapor. A massive CRACKLING is heard. A YOUNG SAILOR spins,
Only the ice to starboard, boy.
Is it breaking up?
Just dancing on the current. It'll
freeze even tighter come next wind.
CAMERA DRIFTS past to another group:
It was a polar bear. That's what I
Say all you want, but you weren't
there. It left human tracks.
No man could tear those dogs apart.
No human. We've roused a demon from
CLANG-CLANG! The men spin. A SAILOR on starboard has rung
the signal bell. The men race over, crowding the gunwale.
Something. In the mist.
Walton appears from his cabin and crowds his way to the front,
rifle aimed at the sky. The men wait. Holding their breath.
Scanning the darkness.
AN APPARITION looms eerily from the mist on a creaking floe
of ice, silhouetted by the shifting light of the borealis.
The figure's pose is uncanny and weird: neither standing nor
kneeling, but something in between, arm dangling at its side
and lolling slowly with the motion of the current.
It's the demon! Shoot while you've a
The Pilot lights the kerosene wick of a reflector box
spotlight and swings it around. The beam seeks out the specter
and pins it in a dim circle of light... revealing a man
collapsed on a dog sled, lashed to tiller upright stanchions
with frozen leather straps, Dead dogs lie in icy heaps around
EXT - NEVSKY - NIGHT
The men venture onto the shifting ice with lanterns raised.
Grappling lines are unslung and thrown, the ice floe snagged.
Gaffs reach out, drawing it closer. Men clasp arms, forming
a human chain. Grigori is the first to reach the motionless
figure on the dog sled.
Grigori cautiously eases his hand into the darkness of the
furred hood to search the neck for a pulse...
...and the figure scares the shit out of him. With a
convulsive shudder and a gasping intake of breath, the hood
rises up, revealing a haggard face tortured white with frost,
beard frozen solid, eyes blazingly intelligent and aware.
Walton finds himself in an extended beat of eye contact with
EXT - NEVSKY - ON DECK - NIGHT
A HOWLING WIND has kicked up, pelting the huddled sentries
with sleet. CAMERA TRACKS past, moving steadily toward the
dimly-glowing window of Walton's cabin...
INT - WALTON'S CABIN - NIGHT
...where we find Walton and Grigori in tense discussion:
Captain, I implore you. The men are
frightened and angry. They want your
They knew the risks when they signed
on. I've come too far to turn back
Then you run the danger of pushing
them to mutiny.
Walton pulls a pistol from his drawer and slams it flat on
the table before him.
Let them try.
Grigori is taken aback. He hears a shifting of blankets and
glances to the captain's bed. Walton follows his look.
Frankenstein has awakened and is watching them.
Grigori exits, uneasy under Frankenstein's gaze. Walton rises,
retrieves a pot from the stove.
You're awake. I've prepared some
broth. It'll help restore you.
Victor draws a hand from under the blanket and holds it before
his face. Fingers skeletal and black.
Frostbite. Gangrene. A simple
Are you a physician?
How is it you come to be here?
There's a startling question, coming
I'm captain of this ship. We sailed
from Archangel a month ago, seeking
a passage to the North Pole.
Ah. An explorer.
Would-be. I'm plagued with my share
of difficulties just at the moment.
I can't say I blame them. We're
trapped in this ice and bedeviled by
some sort of... creature.
Creature? A... human like creature?
You know of it?
Your men are right to be afraid.
Then explain it, whatever it is. It
could save the voyage. I've spent
years planning this. My entire
You'd persist at the cost of your
own life? The lives of your crew?
Lives are ephemeral. The knowledge
we gain, the achievements we leave
behind... those live on.
Victor reaches out with his blackened claw of a hand, pulls
him closer. Impassioned, intense:
Do you share my madness?
CAMERA PUSHES SLOWLY on Victor's face...
We are kindred, you and I. Men of
ambition. Let me tell you all that I
have lost in such pursuits. I pray
my story will come to mean for you
all that is capricious and evil in
Who are you?
My name is Frankenstein...
And CAMERA proceeds into the bottomless depths of Victor's
staring eye, plunging us into:
TOTAL DARKNESS. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. A METRONOME fades up
WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Failure has no pride, Victor. You
must try again.
LITTLE BOY (O.S.)
INT - GRAND BALLROOM - FRANKENSTEIN MANSION - DAY
We hear a HARPSICHORD begin playing as a WIDER ANGLE reveals
a huge, magnificent room with vaulted ceilings thirty feet
high. Floor-to-ceiling windows. Hanging tapestries.
VICTOR sits at the harpsichord, a very serious 7 year-old in
his little gentleman's suit and stiff starched collar.
MRS. MORITZ, head of the housekeeping staff, conducts the
lesson. Her daughter JUSTINE, age 4, sits with her doll in a
huge wingback chair, making it dance to the music as she
listens... but her eyes are on Victor. She adores him.
An enormous door swings open. Victor stops playing. His
PARENTS enter, ushering a somber and beautiful ELIZABETH,
age 6, across the vast expanse of floor. Victor slides off
the bench and faces them.
Mrs. Moritz, would you and your
daughter excuse us?
Of course, Doctor. Madam. Come along,
Justine. Bring your dolly.
Mrs. Moritz takes Justine's hand. Justine gazes back at Victor
and Elizabeth as her mother whisks her off.
Victor. This is Elizabeth. She's
coming to live with us.
She has lost her parents to scarlet
fever. She is an orphan.
You must think of her as your own
sister. You must look after her. And
be kind to her.
Victor stares at Elizabeth. She returns the gaze evenly,
self-possessed and dignified even at this young age.
ARCTIC VICTOR (V.O.)
I loved her from the moment that I
first saw her.
EXT - FRANKENSTEIN ESTATE - NIGHT
A MASSIVE BOLT OF LIGHTNING hammers from the sky, reducing a
centuries-old oak tree to smoldering ruin...
INT - DOWNSTAIRS PARLOR - NIGHT
...while Victor gazes at the storm, face pressed against a
window, astonished at the sight.
Lightning throws seething shadows of the rain on his face.
Victor. Elizabeth is frightened by
the storm. Go comfort her.
INT - UPPER LANDING - NIGHT
We hear a CHILD SOBBING. Victor comes racing up the grand
staircase from below as LIGHTNING sends wild banister shadows
skittering. He caroms down the hall toward:
INT - ELIZABETH'S ROOM - NIGHT
Victor enters. Elizabeth is a tiny figure huddled in an adult-
size bed, gazing up with tear-streaked face at the huge
skylights in the vaulted ceiling, dreading the next scary
boom and flash. Victor approaches and whispers:
Don't cry, Elizabeth.
KA-BOOM! A LIGHTNING BOLT rips overhead, rattling the panes
of glass. Victor does find it scary... but exhilarating.
We'll build a fort. So the lightning
can't get us.
He races about the room, grabbing every pillow he can find
and hurling them to her. Big decorative pillows from the
chaise, bed pillows from the armoire... they all come flying.
She giggles as a big one knocks her flat. Victor scampers
onto the bed with her. They pile the pillows around and above,
concealing themselves in a bulging heap of cushions.
INSIDE THE PILLOW-FORT
Victor pokes his hand up, widening a space so they can still
see. Lightning glistens in their upturned eyes.
Are you sure it can't hurt us?
Nothing can. Not ever.
She seeks his hand. Fingers clasp. Comfort and strength.
TILT UP to the skylight. Rain drumming the glass...
INT - MANSION - GRAND BALLROOM - DAY
Victor and Elizabeth are learning to waltz, their movements
stiff and awkward, childlike. MRS. MORITZ is at the
harpsichord. Justine sits with her dolly, watching.
You must lead, Victor. The lady will
always look to you for guidance, so
your steps must be sure and strong...
...aaand, one-two-three, one-two-
Mama, can I dance with Victor?
Nonsense, Justine. Hush. And now a
sweeping arc about the room! one-
Victor and Elizabeth gamely work their way across the vast
room, tripping on each other's toes. They pass within inches
of CAMERA, bodies WIPING FRAME...
INT - GRAND BALLROOM - DAY (TEN YEARS LATER)
...and they sweep from before our eyes, waltzing away from
camera to reveal Victor now 17, intense and handsome as he
approaches manhood. Elizabeth is a blossoming and graceful
beauty at 16. Mrs. Moritz is still conducting the lessons.
Excellent! You'll be the envy of all
the young ladies and gentlemen!
They're certainly the envy of Justine, who gazes at Victor
as he sweeps Elizabeth around the room in his arms. She isn't
concentrating and fumbles on the keyboard. Her mother throws
her a look of reproval:
Justine. Surely you can maintain
better time than that.
Flustered, she puts her attention back on the keyboard as
Victor and Elizabeth keep dancing, swirling fluidly about
the room, their attention only on each other.
INT - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT
A skylight above us. A storm is raging, rain drumming the
glass. We hear SCREAMING in the house. TILT DOWN to Victor
perched at the edge of a settee, seething with tension.
Waiting. Elizabeth is with him. She squeezes his arm, trying
to reassure him.
She'll be all right.
Another SCREAM rips down the hallway. Justine comes scurrying
up the stairs, about to enter his parent's room with a fresh
load of sheets. Victor lunges to his feet and intercepts,
trying to push past her, but finds the doorway implacably
blocked by Mrs. Moritz.
You can do nothing here. Wait
He can see his mother in the dim kerosene light, writhing
and screaming on the bed, belly swollen and distended. His
father, sleeves rolled up, works feverishly to save her.
Victor, do as you're told!
Justine glances at Victor, longing to comfort him. She
squeezes past into the room. The door slams in his face. He
turns to Elizabeth, eyes brimming with terror...
INT - PARENTS' BEDROOM - NIGHT
...as his mother falls back on the sweat-soaked sheets,
blowing air like a bellows, trying to give birth...
EXT - MANSION - NIGHT
...while her SCREAMS mingle with the howling of the wind,
the stump of the long-dead oak tree pokes from the earth in
the foreground like a gravestone, lashed by the rain.
INT - DOWNSTAIRS PARLOR - NIGHT
VICTOR stares out the window at the raging storm. Elizabeth
appears at his side. He doesn't look at her.
As a boy, I stood at this window and
watched God destroy our tree.
b.g. screaming stops, Victor and Elizabeth turn, gazing up
the grand staircase. The sudden silence is even more
frightening. The FAINT CRY of a newborn infant drifts down A
door opens upstairs, throwing a spill of light. Victor's
father appears in silhouette, comes down the stairs toward
them. He pauses halfway down, unable to continue.
A FLASH OF LIGHTNING floods the room, revealing Victor's
father on the staircase. Face haggard. Eyes hollow. Clothes
spattered with blood. Hands glistening wetly red.
Oh God. The blood.
Father sits down shakily on a step. Victor and Elizabeth
race up the stairs and pause before him.
I did everything I could.
Victor lets out a sob of anguish. Elizabeth begins to cry.
Father gathers them into his arms.
EXT - FRANKENSTEIN ESTATE - CEMETERY - DAY
A BABY CARRIAGE stands amidst leaning gravestones, gothic
and ornate, a chill breeze billowing the lace.
A PRIEST recites a Latin burial mass. DOZENS OF MOURNERS are
gathered before the Frankenstein family mausoleum... an
imposing edifice of stone and spidery wrought-iron, its
steepled roof crowned by a massive granite crucifix.
A sleek black casket lies atop the bier, ringed with flowers
and sorrow. The trees are windswept and bare, branches stark
against a steely gray sky. Victor and Elizabeth stand apart
from the others, staring at the casket. Softly:
How could all my father's knowledge
and skill fail to save her?
It's not ours to decide. All that
live must die. It's God's will.
Victor raises a grim look at the huge crucifix atop the
mausoleum. Christ returns his gaze with blank stone eyes
What kind of God is He to will this?
She was mother to me as well. But
ours is the job of the living. It's
up to us now to hold this family
together. We must think of Father
and be strong for him.
I cannot do that alone.
God took her from us.
He left a beautiful gift in her place.
A baby boy. To cherish and love as
our very own. Your brother
Victor glances at the baby carriage. He seeks her hand. Their
fingers clasp. Comfort and strength.
The baby starts CRYING as the casket is lowered, its thin
voice carried on the wind...
EXT - MEADOW - DAY
A gorgeous, sun-dappled day. Tall grass waving on the breeze.
Butterflies skittering. WILLIAM, 11 months-old, toddles into
view. He doesn't get far. PLOP! Down he goes, right on his
ass. His face scrunches up in surprise and he bursts into
Elizabeth hurries over and scoops him up, cradling and
comforting him. Victor rises from a picnic blanket to join
them. Nanny Justine looks up from her task of laying out the
silverware and food.
Poor William! What indignant tears!
There, there... shhh...
Victor takes the baby and swoops him high in the air. The
child shrieks and wails, held aloft.
Victor, have a care! You'll make him
The world is a dizzying place.
She tries to reclaim the baby. Victor feints, keeping Willie
out of reach. Elizabeth grows crosser:
Oh, do give him here! He needs to be
comforted and held!
He needs to vent his outrage to the
skies! Make yourself heard, Willie!
Learning to walk is not an easy thing!
Why should it be so?
Elizabeth is exasperated to realize that the baby has begun
to laugh. She glares at both of them. Men.
That's the nature of all progress,
William. Don't let your brother sway
Victor cradles Willie as if to shield his delicate ears. He
peers at Elizabeth with mock-grave suspicion and speaks to
the baby sotto-voce, in deepest confidence, man-to-man:
Don't listen, Willie. Progress is a
feast to be consumed. Women would
have you believe you must walk before
you can run. Or run before you can
Give me that child before you fill
his head with drivel!
Victor waltzes the baby in circles. Elizabeth stalks them.
Devil take walking, ladies! My brother
shall learn to waltz!
He grabs her by the waist, pulls her into it. There's no use
resisting. She succumbs and they dance with the baby between
them. Justine is gasping with laughter.
Elizabeth, really! He's quite mad!
Scandalous! What would your dear
(thinks a beat)
One-two-three, one-two-three, twirl-
Laughing, Victor and Elizabeth waltz little William around
in a sweeping arc. They pass within inches of the CAMERA,
bodies wiping frame...
INT - GRAND BALLROOM - NIGHT (6 YEARS LATER)
To reveal the grand ballroom ablaze with candlelight and
spectacle as a HUNDRED DANCERS swirl about the floor in a
breathtaking waltz to the music of a full string ensemble
(NOTE: The music here should be our movie's distinctive
WALTZ/LOVE THEME, which will reoccur later.)
Victor and Elizabeth dance magnificently, room spinning about
them in a blur. Now 24, he's in the prime of manhood.
Elizabeth, 23, is a drop-dead beauty radiating poise and
intelligence. They're so right for each other, so beautiful
together, your heart could break just looking at them.
Justine, now 21, has blossomed into a beauty herself. She's
at the sidelines, wearing a lovely gown, wishing someone
would ask her to dance. William, now 7, scampers to her side.
She stoops to straighten his collar and smooth back his hair.
Waltzing couples swirl past them.
Auntie Justine, Papa said I could
have a sweet.
You can. But not before dinner.
The music ends amidst applause. The men bow to the ladies,
the ladies curtsy in return. Victor escorts Elizabeth off
the dance floor. Elizabeth fans herself, flushed and happy.
You dance so beautifully together.
And you look so lovely.
They share a sisterly hug and a radiant smile. The orchestra
recommences. The music is lush. Justine looks hopefully to
Victor, keeping her tone light:
Victor? Spare me one dance?
Elizabeth catches Victor's eye.
Go on, ask her. Please. I'm quite
out of breath.
Victor gallantly offers his arm. Justine takes it, lighting
up as he escorts her onto the dance floor ...
...and they begin to dance. She's glowing. This is a big
moment for her. But they've hardly begun, when...
...ting-ting-ting, Victor's father is tapping a champagne
glass with a knife. The dancers stop. The orchestra falls
silent. Justine hides her disappointment as servants pass
among the guests with glasses of champagne.
My friends, fatherly pride won't
allow this occasion to pass without
my raising a toast.
Shouts of assent. Victor is grabbed by his friends and dragged
forward, a glass of champagne shoved in his hands.
To Victor. My son. Who read every
medical book in my library by age
thirteen... and then re-read them,
which seemed excessive even to me.
(the guests ROAR with
Drape yourself in glory, my boy.
Study well. When you return, you
return a man of medicine. I will
then be honored to call you
But never your equal.
No. You'll surpass me.
Applause and roars of approval. The drinks are tossed back.
Victor is jostled with backslaps and handshakes.
EXT - MANSION - NIGHT
Music and warm light spill from the windows. A COUPLE eases
through a French door and come racing across the lawn,
giggling and hushing each other. They take refuge under a
tree, revealing their faces to the moonlight: Victor and
Elizabeth. She leans against the trunk to catch her breath.
Smell the air. Wonderful.
Quite a send-off, isn't it?
Father's so proud.
Prouder still. You'll be the
handsomest student there.
I'll have to do better than that.
(searches his eyes)
What do you want, Victor?
To be the best there ever was. To
push our knowledge beyond our
dreams... to eradicate disease and
pestilence... to purge mankind of
ignorance and fear...
He's so serious, she can't help laugh.
I'm not mad.
She smiles, smoothes a lock of hair gently off his forehead.
No. Just very earnest. And very dear.
An extended moment. Unspoken words flowing between them.
Victor leans forward and kisses her. Her eyes widen slightly.
So do his. Shared excitement, gentle and sexy beyond belief.
They pause, draw back, searching each other's eyes. He
I've loved you all my life
All my life I've known.
They kiss again. A breath. A shiver.
This feels... incestuous.
Is that what makes it so delicious?
She brushes her lips against his. Gentle as a sigh.
Brother and sister still?
I wish to be your husband.
I wish to be your wife.
Then come with me to Ingolstadt.
Marry me now.
If only I could. But one of us must
stay. Father's not strong. Willie's
just a child. Who can look after
them in your absence? Who can run
I will be here when you return.
Another kiss. Turning lustful and steamy. They melt into
each other, sinking down, bodies pressing and minds afire.
These people are hot for each other. They stop, stunned at
the intensity. He lays his head to her breast. Their fingers
clasp. She whispers her secret:
My head is spinning. I want to give
myself to you.
He raises his head. She meets his gaze evenly
If we're to be married, must we wait?
He touches her face. Fingertips tracing downward, gentle and
reverent, brushing the contours of her bosom at the edge of
her bodice. She shivers. Closes her eyes. Lays her hand over
his. Guiding his touch.
You make me weak.
Not as weak as I.
She raises his hand to her mouth. Brushing his fingertips
with her lips. Wrestling with desire. Their eyes meet.
Our decision. Together.
Your decision. For us.
I give you my soul...
...until our wedding night. When our
bodies will join.
Victor. I love you,
Elizabeth. My more than sister.
They kiss again. Gently...
EXT - FRANKENSTEIN ESTATE - CEMETERY - DAWN
A misty gray dawn. Victor is kneeling at a gravestone,
observing a moment of silence. His saddled horse is tethered
I'll make you so proud, Mother.
He lays a small sprig of flowers on the grave, rises and
walks toward his horse.
EXT - MANSION - MORNING
Overcast and chill. An open carriage stands loaded. The family
and household staff have turned out. Victor stands ready to
go. Father pulls him into a back-slapping embrace.
Write to us often.
Victor moves on to Justine, takes her hand.
We never finished our dance.
Someday we shall.
Next is William. The little boy stands stiffly, tears on his
face, trying to be brave. Victor kneels and whispers:
The others will look to you while
I'm gone, Willie. Be strong.
The boy nods miserably, throws his arms around Victor's neck.
Last comes Elizabeth. She and Victor regard each other,
sharing the secret of last night. A faint smile plays at the
corners of her mouth. He kisses her cheek.
He mounts the carriage. CLAUDE snaps the reins and lurches
away, speeding Victor off to his future. Victor turns back
for a final look at the home and family he loves so much.
William runs after him until he's gone from sight...
INGOLSTADT - ESTABLISHING ANGLES - DAY
High white clouds in a blazing blue sky. Church steeples
rising among the rooftops. Beautiful.
BOARDING HOUSE - DAY
FRAU BRACH trudges heavily up a long, steep, narrow flight
of stairs with Victor teetering uneasily behind.
No real rooms left. All we've got is
attic space. No one ever wants the
ATTIC SPACE/GARRET - DAY
She leads him into an immensely long space running a twisted
path the entire length of the building; various levels and
areas unhindered by wall separation, massive vaulted beams
crisscrossing as understructure to the roof. Daylight filters
dimly through dozens of dormer windows and skylights coated
with grime. Nooks and crannies abound.
This will do nicely.
UNIVERSITY - DAY
A monumental structure of brick. A BELL TOWER TOLLS. Dead
leaves scurry across the lawn.
LECTURE HALL - DAY
PROFESSOR KREMPE, a squat little man, paces before the packed
galleries of eager young STUDENTS.
In science, the letter of fact is
the letter of law. Our pursuit is as
dogmatic as any religious precept.
Think of yourselves as disciples of
a strict and hallowed sect. Someday
you may be priests... but only if
you learn the scripture chapter and
(off their laughter)
(hand shoots up)
But surely, Professor, you don't
intend we disregard the more...
Those which stir the imagination as
well as the intellect. Paracelsus,
This reference is lost on all but a few. At the faculty table:
PROFESSOR WALDMAN peers up at Victor, adjusting the glasses
on his nose. Up among the students: HENRY CLERVAL leans out
and shoots an amused look in Victor's direction.
SCHILLER catches Henry's look and rolls his eyes.
Or Albertus Magnus. Cornelius
What is your name?
Victor Frankenstein, sir.
Tell me, Mr. Frankenstein of Geneva.
Do you wish to study medicine? Or
Titters sweep the room. Krempe remains staunchly unamused:
Those of you unfamiliar with Mr.
Frankenstein's suggested reading
list... thankfully, that would be
most of you... would be well advised
to avoid it. Here at Ingolstadt, we
concern ourselves with immutable
(specific to Victor)
...not the ravings of lunatics and
alchemists hundreds of years in their
Victor is flushed and humiliated. Held like to say more, but
wisely swallows his anger and nods.
I am relieved. Are there any relevant
(there are none)
Lecture hall dismissed.
EXT - UNIVERSITY - DAY
Victor exits wearing a distinctive black greatcoat, fuming
over the exchange with Krempe. He strides across the lawn,
eyes fixed straight ahead.
Henry Clerval races up behind him and falls casually in step.
Victor glances over. Henry nods pleasantly, as if held been
there all along. Victor responds with a curt nod and resumes
his straight-ahead demeanor. They walk in silence, just two
guys heading in the same direction.
Henry can't help it; he snickers loudly to himself. Victor
shoots him a sharp look. Henry's smirk vanishes, replaced
with blank innocence. Did somebody snicker?
I was just clearing my throat.
Very well then.
They continue walking. Silence thick. Finally:
You know, you're quite mad.
Victor stops. Turns.
I am not mad.
As a march hare.
Henry's expression betrays nothing... but perhaps there's a
trace of amusement in his eyes?
Are you having me on?
Of course I am. It pays to humor the
Beat. Victor smiles. Henry grins, offers his hand. Takes it.
Victor, Victor Frankenstein.
I know. You have a way of making an
INT - GASTHOF - DUSK
The tavern is packed with students and noise. Beer and food
served at a frantic pace. We find Victor and Henry at a small
table, tearing into sausages and cheese.
Do you really think I'm mad?
Come now. Magnus? Agrippa? Next thing
you know, you'll be teaching
toadstools to speak.
Schiller enters with FRIENDS. They pause at Victor's table
If it isn't the sorcerer. Found
yourself an apprentice?
I'm afraid I rejected his application.
He merely dabbles.
Dilettantes need not apply. What
about you? Schiller, isn't it?
Von Schiller. I'm interested in real
medicine. Treating the sick.
Really? I myself find sick people
(off their looks)
I'm here to secure my degree with a
minimum of fuss and hard work that I
might settle into a life of privilege
treating rich old ladies with gout
and dallying with their daughters.
You two disgust me.
Schiller and his friends stalk off.
EXT - INGOLSTADT - DUSK
LONG LENS magnificently compresses buildings and steeples,
distant hills and drizzly sky. Victor wears his greatcoat as
he and Henry walk along a twisty cobblestone street.
Rich old ladies and their daughters?
Can you think of a better reason?
Quite a few.
Do me a favor then...
(claps his shoulder)
...keep them to yourself.
Victor takes a shocked beat and bursts into laughter.
INT - AUTOPSY ROOM - DAY
Waldman, in sinock, addresses a GROUP OF STUDENTS from across
morgue slab. He throws a sheet back to reveal a corpse
dissected to reveal the inner workings. The others crowd for
a closer look. Victor glances to Henry, who leans back and
rolls his eyes in utter disgust.
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - DAY
PUSHING SLOWLY IN on Victor sitting at a tall dormer window,
writing a letter with quill and ink. It's raining outside.
The garret is tidied.
EXT - RYE FIELDS - FRANKENSTEIN ESTATE - LATE DAY
WORKERS are harvesting for miles around. PAN to Elizabeth
and Claude examining the sheaves on a wagon. She cracks the
grain and tastes it, glances to Claude. He smiles and nods.
It's turning out to be a good year.
Let's return a tenth of the crop to
(off his look)
They had a hard winter.
Not even your father would be that
Then there's no need to tell him, is
Claude grins and motions to his MEN. They resume loading the
sheaves as a STABLEBOY rides up:
Miss! The mail arrived! There's one
from Master Victor!
INT - FRANKENSTEIN PARLOR - NIGHT
We find the family gathered around the fire as Elizabeth
reads Victor's letter aloud:
...and not a day goes by that I do
not cherish your faces in my mind's
eye or ache to see you all again. Be
assured that I am with you in spirit,
and you are never far from my
thoughts. I remain, as always, your
loving and devoted Victor. P.S.
She pauses, reading ahead.
INSERT OF LETTER
The P.S. reads: "Elizabeth... I am holding our vow precious
in my heart."
glances up at their expectant faces.
What does it say?
It says, give Willie an extra big
hug for me.
Read it again?
She smiles, rearranges the pages as we
INT - UNIVERSITY HALLWAY - DAY
A classroom door. SHOUTING from within:
That's no excuse for being a pompous
Victor storms out with Krempe at his heels. Krempe pauses in
the doorway, red-faced, bellowing after him:
I'll see you thrown out of this
university! I'll go to the dean
himself! Take me at my word,
Frankenstein! The dean himself!
Classroom doors are opening, faces peering out. Waldman among
them. Victor keeps going, doesn't look back.
INT - GASTHOF - NIGHT
Victor and Henry slouched at their regular table writes in
his thick, well-worn leather journal.
The entire school heard it. It wasn't
something one could miss.
You're a comfort to me, Henry.
What now? Writing about it in your
journal won't help.
It's a letter to my father.
Henry falls silent. Victor closes the journal, winds it secure
with its leather thong, jams it deep in the outer pocket of
his greatcoat. Brooding. The bell above the door JINGLES. A
gust of wind sweeps in. They glance up. Professor Waldman
enters, dapper and soft-spoken, impeccably courteous. He
murmurs a pleasantry to the INNKEEPER and drifts over to
(takes a seat)
Victor, explain yourself.
Krempe has a way of provoking my
You have a way of provoking his.
I've been watching you. You seem
impatient with your studies.
To say the least. I came here to
expand my mind, but honest inquiry
seems strangled at every turn. All
we do is cling to the old knowledge
instead of seeking the new.
You disdain accepted wisdom?
No, I embrace it... as something to
be used or discarded as we advance
the boundaries of what is known.
(mutters to Waldman)
Now you've got him started.
These are exciting times, Henry.
We're entering an era of amazing
breakthroughs. Look at Edward Jenner.
He wasn't content to bleed people
with leeches, he pioneered a new
frontier of thought
...yes, and thanks to him, smallpox
has been virtually eliminated. I've
heard this speech before.
But you haven't listened, Never in
history has so much seemed possible.
We're on the verge of answers undreamt
of... but only if we have the courage
to ask the questions.
I understand your frustration. I was
young once myself.
Walk me home. Something I'd like to
INT - WALDMAN'S HOME - WORKSHOP - NIGHT
The gaslights come up with a SOFT HISS. The first thing Victor
and Henry notice is an artist's nook situated adjacent to
big windows where the light would be best during the day.
Easels are lined with in-progress work on a variety of
subjects, everything from landscapes to anatomical studies,
all quite excellent.
The rest of the place is a laboratory crammed floor-to-rafter
with arcane equipment. Taking off his coat and rolling up
his sleeves, Waldman leads Victor and Henry down rows of
tables crammed with experiments and clutter.
You know for thousands of years the
Chinese have based their medical
science on the belief that the human
body is a chemical engine run by
electricity? They say we all contain
streams of energy which flow through
us like currents in the ocean, or
rivers in the earth.
They arrive at a table. Waldman roots through a tray of
knickknacks, holds up an acupuncture needle.
Their doctors treat patients by
inserting needles like these into
the flesh at various key points to
manipulate these electric streams.
He directs their attention to an ancient Chinese silk on the
wall. It depicts the human body from front and side angles.
Acupuncture points are clearly marked.
I once saw it done, as a boy in
Canton. My parents were missionaries.
The cure was nothing short of
(off their looks)
I've never forgotten it. Been
fascinated ever since.
It smacks of magic.
Waldman slides forth a steel pan and uncovers it to reveal
an enormous dead toad in dissection. Copper mounting pins
trail wires to a small panel of switches. The switches, in
turn, are connected to a series of galvanic batteries.
Waldman starts throwing switches. Victor and Henry jump as
the toad convulses with motion. They watch, stunned, as
Waldman puts the toad through its paces: legs kick, feet
flex, mouth opens and closes, lungs breathe.
Magic. Seems alive, doesn't it?
Waldman shuts the thing down, strips off his gloves, his arm
at the array of wires and batteries.
It's utterly fantastic! This is the
sort of thing I'm talking about! We
should be learning this!
Why? God alone knows what it means.
Until it has proven value, it's
nothing more than a ghoulish parlor
trick. Hardly fit for the classroom.
But the possibilities. Combining
ancient knowledge with new? Something
like this could change our fundamental
It is a thrilling direction to
explore. Thrilling and dangerous.
(off his look)
Nature can be wonderful and terrible.
Science is not a realm for the
reckless; it needs a conscience. We
must proceed cautiously. Assess as
(drapes the toad)
What I do on my own time is my own
business. The same holds true for
you. You wish to expand your mind?
Fine, do so. You can even join me
here, if you like. But not at the
expense of your normal studies.
I doubt that decision is still mine
Nonsense. Tonight you will draft an
apology to Professor Krempe...
Victor starts to object, but Waldman overrides him with a
stern gesture for silence. Listen.
"...a sincere and heartfelt apology
which you will then read aloud to
him before the assembled student
body and faculty.
Our profession needs talent like
yours. Destroy your career over an
issue of pride? What a waste.
Waldman hands him the acupuncture needle. A gift. Victor
studies it, fascinated.
Go home, Victor. Write the letter,
INT - LECTURE HALL - DAY
DOLLYING VICTOR IN A SWW 360: He stands before the students
and faculty, reading his apology.
...and I further wish to extend my
sincerest regrets to Professor Krempe
for my display. My behavior toward
him was both rash and inexcusable.
Up in the gallery, Krempe nods grudgingly to himself.
INT - FRANKENSTEIN MANSION - DUSK
Exquisite silverware goes CLINKING SOFTLY onto polished wood
I knew held get himself in trouble.
TILT UP to reveal the expansive dinner table being set for
guests. KITCHEN STAFF are to-ing and fro-ing. Elizabeth splits
her attention between supervising and reading Victor's letter,
while Justine busies herself with a flower arrangement. Willie
gets underfoot. Father just sits.
Must've been a terrible row.
He was almost expelled for calling
one of his professors a "pompous...
(glances to Willie)
He always was opinionated.
(reads on, laughs)
He set things right with a proper
apology... and now they've put him
in charge of dissection lab!
That's where they cut things open
and peer about inside.
Things? What sort of things?
Father is about to press on with the gory details, but
Elizabeth freezes him with a glance.
It's far too ghoulish for your young
The old man throws Willie a look. We'll talk later.
The point is, your brother is a
brilliant student well on his way to
becoming the finest-and most
compassionate doctor ever...
INT - WALDMAN'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT
A DISSECTED DOG convulses through its electronically-induced
paces. Kicking. Twitching. Tasting the air with its dead
tongue. TILT UP to reveal Victor at the switch.
Waldman leans close to observe. Softly:
Re-configure the leads?
Numbers four and twelve directly
into the nervous system?
Worth a try.
INT - AUTOPSY ROOM - DAY
With Waldman at his side and Henry providing the tools as
needed, Victor instructs a freshman class in the internal
workings of a dissected corpse. Professor Krempe observes
from a distance.
...and the medulla oblongata is the
transition between the spinal cord
and the two parts I've already
named... cerebrum and cerebellum.
Any freshmen feeling queasy yet?
(glances around, smiles)
All of you, from the look of it.
We'll resume your torture tomorrow.
He waves them dismissed. They laugh and exit, relieved.
Waldman squeezes Victor's elbow. Well done. Victor stiffens
at Krempe's approach.
You seem to be adapting well to the
Despite the lack of challenge.
Krempe reddens, but says nothing. He gives Waldman a curt
nod and walks off.
Victor. He was trying to be gracious.
The strain was evident.
Come now, you must take some
satisfaction. You've risen to the
top of your class. A position of
prominence and regard.
Victor weighs this, glances at both of them, smiles.
What keeps me going are my friends.
He throws his arm around Henry's neck, pulls him into an
affectionate headlock. Henry struggles and laughs:
JEWELER'S SHOP - DAY
Victor is gazing with reverence at a gorgeous oval locket
dangled before him by a smiling JEWELER. He glances to Henry
for an opinion.
Your Elizabeth must be quite a
(pointedly to jeweler)
...to justify these prices.
The jeweler's smile goes frosty.
WALDMAN'S WORKSHOP - DAY
TIGHT ANGLE ON the locket lying open against canvas, dangling
from an easel frame. TILT DOWN to reveal a magnificent
miniature oil portrait of Victor in progress, no more than
three inches high within its penciled oval.
Waldman paints with an extraordinarily delicate touch,
jeweler's glasses riding low on his nose, eyes unnaturally
large behind the magnifying lenses. Victor sits patiently
for the portrait, suffused with daylight.
Henry leans in over Waldman's shoulder, studying the portrait.
Waldman stiffens a bit, aware of his presence. He clearly
hates people looking over his shoulder.
Shouldn't the nose be above the mouth?
Waldman heaves a long-suffering sigh. He abruptly jabs his
brush at Henry's nose, daubing it with paint. Dignity upheld
he resumes his careful work as Victor laughs.
INT - WALDMAN'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT
Victor, Waldman, and Henry are gathered around the remains
of a meal, laughing uproariously, enjoying one another's
company. Cigars are lit, wine is flowing. Conversation is
fast and loose, intense and passionate:
I'm quite serious. Look at all the
charity and clinic work we do. Up
until thirty years ago, the concept
of vaccine was unheard of.
You're saying all disease will
eventually be eradicated?
I'm convinced. Not by treating
symptoms, but by diving nature's
most jealously-guarded secrets.
Do you foresee this happening in our
No. But someday.
Thank goodness. We'd be out of work.
A HOWL OF OUTRAGE AND LAUGHTER. Victor flings his napkin in
Only you would think of that!
Somebody has to!
Victor raises his wine glass. The others join. A toast.
I tell you what we need, my friends.
Forget the symptoms and diseases.
What we need is a vaccine for death
Oh, now you have gone too far. There's
only one God, Victor.
(raises his glass)
And here's to Him. Everything in
Nothing in moderation, Clerval.
INT - POOR HOUSE - DAY
CAMERA, TRACKS the gritty reality of a big-city poor house,
crammed with society's dregs: the poor, the uneducated,
wailing babies, stampeding children. Absolutely jangling
with noise and confusion... loud and stifling... people
getting eye-ear-nose-throat exams... being vaccinated...
The "doctors" in attendance are all Ingolstadt STUDENTS
performing community service, none of whom look like they're
enjoying it. Schiller looks particularly harried. We find
Victor and Henry giving out vaccinations. They keep glancing
over their shoulders at Waldman as he gets further embroiled
in a no-win argument with a wiry, ferret-faced MAN terrified
about getting his vaccination:
Yer not stickin' it in me! Got pox
in it, I hear tell!
Pox? They givin' us pox?
Ripples of panic spread. Waldman is as tense and clipped as
we've ever seen him, valiantly trying to control his temper
amidst the surrounding cacophony and ad-lib dialogue:
No, it's not pox, it's a vaccine...
...vaccine, from the Latin vacca,
(glances at her girth)
...or vaccinia, meaning cowpox...
I told you there was pox in it!
...no, no, cowpox in a minute
quantity, perfectly harmless, gives
you a natural immunity to small ox,
which is the point of this whole
Victor and Henry are pausing work. Concerned. Drifting closer.
The ferret-faced man is cornered.
You doctors kill people! I don' care
what you say, you ain't stickin' it
I most assuredly am! It prevents
disease and it's the law! Why am I
explaining myself? Somebody restrain
this damn fool!
It happens this fast: There's an innocuous blur of motion as
the man seems to tap Waldman lightly in the stomach, then he
darts away, slamming past Victor and Henry. Victor looks
after him running away, hears something clatter to the floor.
He glances down. A thin knife. Victor looks to Waldman.
Puzzled. It still hasn't really dawned.
Waldman turns to them, face drained of color, hand pressed
to his sternum, lips tight. He looks more annoyed than
anything else. He exhales slowly.
That's when the blood starts pumping through his fingers.
They catch him as he collapses, cradling him as he sprawls
to the floor. People are pushing and crowding to see.
EXT - POOR HOUSE - DAY
A cobblestoned street-scene. Carriage. A delivery wagon.
Vendors. Pedestrians. The doors of the poor house burst open,
releasing a frenzy into the street: Victor and Henry carrying
Waldman by his arms and legs, all the students running
alongside, some of them weeping with panic, the crowd at
their heels still trying to catch a glimpse, pedestrians
scattering, the students dwindling up the long winding street,
bearing their professor toward the school, shouting for
INT - UNIVERSITY CHAPEL - DAY
Krempe delivers the eulogy before the open casket. The chapel
is full. Victor is seated near the back. Dazed. Henry comes
up the aisle and slides in next to him. Victor doesn't even
glance over. Henry whispers:
They just caught the man who did it.
He was a frightened soul who acted
out of fear and ignorance.
They'll hang him all the same.
Good. I'll be there to hear his
worthless neck snap.
People glance back. Henry lays his hand on Victor's elbow.
Keep your voice down. You don't know
what you're saying.
It was wrong, Henry! It shouldn't
have happened! The bastard deserves
Victor is causing ripples of attention throughout the chapel.
Even Krempe falters briefly in his eulogy. Henry pulls Victor
from the pew, drags him up the aisle...
INT - CONFESSION BOOTH - DAY
...and into the confessional where they launch at each other
in harsh whispers.
Dialogue here is overlapping and intense:
You're making a scene!
Why Waldman? He of all people should
have cheated death!
You can't. Death is God's will!
I resent God's monopoly.
Blasphemy be damned! Waldman spent
his life trying to help people!
All the more reason for us to continue
his work with the poor!
No. He had more important work.
There are sick people who need our
help. Here and now. Not in some future
time. Consider that.
Henry exits. Victor tries to compose himself, clasping his
hands together as if in prayer... or quiet rage. He gazes
up. There on the wall hangs a crucifix.
Life and death.
Why should You alone have the final
VICTOR'S POV PUSHING SLOWLY IN on the Christ figure before
him, bleeding from a crown of thorns, arms thrown wide.
DA VINCI'S STUDY OF MAN rises from the image of Christ,
striking an eerily similar pose, arms thrown wide within the
perfect circle. We hear a DOOR BEING UNLOCKED as...
INT - WALDMAN'S WORKSHOP - DAY
...a WIDER ANGLE reveals the deserted workshop. The door
swings open as Victor lets himself in. He sees the finished
locket lying open on a table, picks it up, studies the
beautiful miniature portrait it contains. Snaps it shut.
He looks up, eyes falling upon the Da Vinci print hanging on
the wall. He stares. Intense.
INT - WALDMAN'S WORKSHOP - NIGHT
TRACKING SHOT: Things are in the process of being sorted and
boxed. We find Victor poring over Waldman's notes:
To understand the causes of life, we
must first have recourse to death...
and examine the process in minutest
EXT - TOWN SQUARE - DAY
A gray day. Waldman's ferret-faced MURDERER stands weeping
helplessly on the scaffold as sentence is read:
...his body to be left on public
display for a twenty-four hour period,
thereafter to be consigned to an
unmarked pauper's grave. So the court
The EXECUTIONER draws the hood over the murderer's head,
cinches the noose tight. The condemned man is blubbering,
pleading for his life.
Victor stands in the crowd. Watching. Waiting. We hear the
THUMP of the body dropping, the CRACK of a snapping neck...
EXT - TOWN SQUARE - NIGHT
Dark as Hades. Pissing down rain. A FLASH OF LIGHTNING and a
CRASH OF THUNDER. The dead man still hangs from the scaffold,
lashed by the wind.
Victor looms from the storm, hands jammed in the pocket of
his greatcoat. He pulls out a thin, glittering blade. The
very weapon which took Waldman's life. He gazes up at the
dead man... at the rope from which he dangles...
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
The dead murderer lies pale and naked on a slab. Victor leans
close, still dripping, studying the face closely. A FLASH OF
LIGHTNING throws wild, skittering shadows through the dormer
windows and skylights. Softly:
No longer pathetic and useless
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - DAY
The dead man, dissected and wired, jerks bolt upright,
flopping and convulsing, eyes opening and closing, mouth
gaping open and shut. He falls back limply as Victor shuts
the power off, making careful notations in his journal.
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - DAY
TRACKING the dissection table... up the length of the
murderer's body... now in an advanced stage of decay... we
hear the SOFT BUZZING of flies...
We find Victor standing over the corpse. Gaunt and hollow-
eyed. Exhausted and obsessed. Wearing a butcher's apron.
Staring down at one of the dead man's forearms. Maggots are
swarming in the flesh. He abruptly raises a cleaver and WHACKS
it off at the elbow.
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
TRACKING SLOWLY past the forearm lying in a steel pan, we
find Victor performing an intense chemical analysis. Dead
tissues are breaking apart in solvents, distilled over a
slow-burning flame. Victor smears a glass slide, places it
under a microscope.
INT - GASTHOF - DAY
Victor is hunched over his notebook, pale and unhealthy,
scribbling notations next to a rendering of the human form.
Henry is across from him:
Victor. This has got to stop.
(Victor glances up)
Nobody's seen you in months. You
haven't attended a single class.
I've been preoccupied.
We all know how hard you took
Waldman's death. Even Krempe is
sympathetic. But it is time to move
on. It is time to concern yourself
That is my concern.
I'm involved in something just now.
I want to finish it in Waldman's
How much longer?
Few months perhaps. I'm gathering
the raw materials even now.
EXT - GRAVEYARD - NIGHT
The wrought-iron doors of a crypt have been forced open.
CAMERA PUSHES through to find Victor standing inside over a
stone sarcophagus with a pry bar in his hands. He's nervous,
working up his courage:
Materials. That's all they are Tissue
to be re-used.
He pries off the stone lid. It THUMPS heavily to the floor,
cracking in half. He opens the casket, reaches in, raises
the pale arm of the deceased to inspect it.
EXT - GRAVEYARD - NIGHT
Stone monuments. Bare trees. Ivy-covered ground. Victor
shoulder-deep in a grave. Shoveling. A lamp burns low.
COFFIN - NIGHT
Pitch black. The lid swings open, cascading dust and soil.
Victor peers down, holding the kerosene lamp high.
VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
TRACKING ALONG the shelves, crammed now with formaldehyde
jars of feet and hands, brains and kidneys, the occasional
head staring through the glass, dead cats...
...and we find Victor working into the wee hours. Hunched
over his specimens. Candle flame flickering low. Referring
back to Waldman's notes. Making notations in arcane books
such as "De Occulta Philosophia," by Agrippa, and "Le Sciences
et les arts D'alchimiste," by Paracelsus.
FRANKENSTEIN ESTATE - LATE DAY
A magnificent backdrop of mountains against a cloudless blue
sky. TILT DOWN to Elizabeth and Justine with the mansion
distant. A steady breeze ripples the fields as Elizabeth
regards a stack of mail.
Nothing. Still nothing.
It's been months. It's not like him.
Something's wrong. I know it.
(off her look)
I've heard rumors of cholera spreading
south from Hamburg.
So have I
I should go. I should leave today.
Elizabeth. If it's true, travel into
Germany would be banned. You'd never
get near Ingolstadt.
Besides, they're only rumors.
And not a word of them to Father.
He's agitated enough not hearing
Read him one of the old letters and
rephrase it. We'll say it came today.
It'll set his mind at ease.
Elizabeth gives her a hug. They walk toward the mansion
INT - BLACKSMITH SHOP - DAY
Murky and dark. Bellows are pumping. Showers of sparks
cascade. The BLACKSMITH and his ASSISTANT are pounding a
metallic sledgehammer litany, beating a huge copper sheet
into shape. Victor enters. The blacksmith directs his
attention to a finished copper piece leaning against the
wall. Victor runs his hand over the surface. Nice.
INT - MATERNITY WARD - CHARITY HOSPITAL - NIGHT
A WOMAN lies on a table, screaming as she goes into labor.
Her water breaks, cascading into a steel bucket. One of the
ASSISTANTS snatches it up, scurries around the corner. Victor
is waiting in the shadows. Money changes hands.
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
Victor is examining the amniotic fluid. Boiling it off.
Working to synthesize it.
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
Victor pours the final drum of fluid into what appears to be
a large copper vat. He dips his hand in, examines the
consistency and smell. ANGLE WIDENS, spinning slowly up to
reveal that the vat is human in shape. A sarcophagus.
EXT - ALLEY - NIGHT
We find Victor examining three corpses on the back of a wagon,
checking nostrils and teeth with gloved hands. A PAIR OF MEN
lurk in the shadows, waiting.
The corpse is lifted off. Money changes hands.
With this cholera come to town, we'll
have plenty more for you.
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
Victor wearing elbow-length gloves, hacking furiously away
with a bone saw. Tossing aside the scraps.
VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
Victor has an arm wired, testing reactions. He scrapes off a
small shred of tissue, drops it in solution, watches it break
apart. It doesn't look good. He glances feverishly at the
clock, makes a fast decision, scribbles in his journal:
Not optimal. Must use. No time to
replace. Body can't wait.
VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
Victor stitches a torso with one of those big, awful curved
needles, yanking up hard to draw the catgut tight.
ARCTIC VICTOR (V.O.)
I stitched it together with my own
VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
Victor pulls on a chain, hoisting the body off the slab via
block-and-tackle mounted on a ceiling track. The body rises
limply into the air, spinning slowly, arms and legs dangling,
long black hair covering its face.
ARCTIC VICTOR (V.O.)
A patchwork man of my own devising.
Victor reaches up with one hand to stop the body spinning.
He pushes it down the length of the lab, rolling it along
its ceiling track like a side of beef in a meat locker.
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
The Creature lies on an improvised bier of crates, surrounded
by shadows and clutter, draped/sprawled like Christ taken
from the cross in Michelangelo's "Pieta."
Beakers bubbling and dripping. Intravenous lines seeping and
secreting. A misty chemical haze in the air. Victor is
watching his patchwork man. Glowering. Waiting.
ARCTIC VICTOR (V.O.)
It took nutrients like a child
receiving milk... blushed like a
young girl with the blood I forced
through its veins...
A FLASH OF LIGHTNING rips through the skylights, bathing the
scene purple/white. Eerier and eerier.
ARCTIC VICTOR (V.O.)
...all in preparation.
VICTOR'S GARRET - DAY
We find Victor passed out in a chair. His creation is still
taking fluids. Gray daylight streams through the windows.
There's commotion in the street outside: shouting, horses'
hooves clattering on cobblestone, an occasional scream or
wail. Victor doesn't stir. Dead to the world. Somebody starts
POUNDING on the door. Victor rouses, takes a moment to
remember where he is. He lurches from his chair, grabs a
canvas tarp, throws it over his "patchwork man."
STAIRWELL - DAY
Henry is pounding. Finally the latch is drawn. The door swings
open a crack. Victor peers out. Gaunt and furtive. Suspicious.
Henry is stunned at his dissipated appearance.
God's sake, what is that stench?
Henry peers past him.
Victor shifts, blocking his view
This is a bad time, Henry. I'm busy
just now. What do you want?
Things have gone worse with this
cholera outbreak. Thousand new cases
a day now. Classes have been
suspended. University's shut down.
Listen to what I'm saying. The
militia's arriving to quarantine the
city. Most of us are getting out
while we still can.
You'll be leaving then.
Just as well. You never were cut out
for this, Henry. Goodbye.
And the door slams shut. The bolt is thrown. Henry pounds.
VICTOR! OPEN THE DOOR! LISTEN TO
Nothing. Stunned and hurt, Henry turns from the door and
heads back down the stairs.
EXT - VICTOR'S BUILDING - STREET - DAY
Henry exits into a nightmare. REFUGEES are streaming from
the city, horses and wagons, people on foot, carrying their
possessions. Henry steps into the street and is nearly run
down by a carriage.
OUT OF THE WAY!
Henry glances up to see Schiller at the reins, struggling to
control the animals as the carriage eases past.
Schiller? You're leaving? Where's
all that high talk about treating
To hell with them. And you.
He snaps the reins, not caring who he runs down. The carriage
lurches away, scattering refugees before it.
Henry keeps walking. Jostled by the hostile crowd. Looking
around. Dazed. Dead bodies are stacked along the street like
cordwood, waiting for the death carts. ANGLE WIDENS as Henry
stumbles along through utter despair and devastation, stunned
at the human suffering around him as we
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
Victor glances at the clock. Scribbles in his journal:
Time running out. Rate of decay
accelerating. Must strike now... or
start again from scratch.
He gazes down at his creation, lying once again on the slab
before him... but now the Creature lies on a full body-length
steel grate. Steel chains with hooks dangle from the ceiling
above... along with long coils of thick copper wire tipped
with glittering needles big enough to knit with.
Victor glances up at the Da Vinci. The Study of Man has been
daubed with red paint at key acupuncture points. Victor dips
a huge cotton swab in a bowl of iodine, starts dabbing
identical marks on the body before him...
Now he's ramming the huge wire-fed needles deep into these
spots, brutally working them around in the flesh to get good
contact. The forearms, the neck, the rib cage...
Now he's attaching the steel chain-hooks to the four corners
of the steel grate...
Now he's pulling on a rope, straining to hoist the whole rig
into the air. It lifts slowly from frame: body, needles,
wires and all...
HIGH WIDE ANGLE
...and we get our first spectacular look at Frankenstein's
gloriously low-tech and stupendously arcane lab. The Creature
dangles below us from the ceiling-hoist, lying full-length
and horizontal on its steel grate, spinning slowly, thick
copper wires trailing from its arms and legs, rib cage and
neck, armpits and groin. The copper cables trail upward,
coil along the ceiling like garden hose to provide necessary
slack, meander down the wall to culminate in a splendiferous
array of galvanic batteries, steam engines and generators.
Frankenstein reaches slowly up, fingertips straining toward
the ceiling as if worshipping the creation revolving endlessly
above his head in a perfectly-described circle not at all
unlike the Da Vinci...
And he grabs the lever on the platform and pulls to start it
spinning, with a mighty heave, he sets the whole thing gliding
in motion, CAMERA TRACKING FASTER AND FASTER as he rolls it
along the ceiling track through the lab, passing table after
table of desiccated leftovers and discarded scraps, LIGHTNING
BLAZING through the windows to mark his way with wild and
...and he yanks the platform to a stop over the copper
sarcophagus. Amniotic fluid steaming and murky within. He
positions the platform, unties the rope, lowers the Creature
down and down, lower and lower, sinking into the vat, the
steel grate a perfect fit in size and shape.
Faster now, moving furiously. Reaching into the murk,
unhooking the chains. Arraying the copper wire through air-
tight guide holes. Spinning on his heels and reaching up,
grabbing hold of the upper shell of the sarcophagus also
suspended from the ceiling, stunningly heavy, gleaming with
reflections and secrets. CAMERA ROCKETS DOWN on Victor as he
swings the upper shell into position, lowers it into place
with a THUD-CLANK! Working the wing-nuts on the bolts,
spinning frantically, tightening them down, sealing the
sarcophagus air-tight. Faster now. Faster.
The frenzy builds and the CAMERA GOES WILD, rocketing,
zooming, gliding, spinning the audience on its ear:
Frankenstein. Turning up the heat on the burners. Cooking
the copper from below. Double double, toil and trouble.
Frankenstein. Gazing through the thick glass portholes
checking on his creation drifting in the murk.
Frankenstein. Whipping up the galvanic batteries,
supercharging them with steam generators. Watching as they
send voltage humming and throbbing through the copper cables
along the ceiling beams. Building up a charge.
Frankenstein. Gazing at his gleaming handiwork. LIGHTNING
painting his features into a twisted mask. Hand on the switch.
Ready to rev it up and throw the throttle.
Over it goes. WHAM! Overdrive.
The body convulses violently in its copper womb as the first
jolt of electricity hits. THUNK-THUNK-THUNK! Blazing with
energy and arcane light, fingers of light throbbing through
the portholes, sparkling, glittering, seeking.
Frankenstein races to the sarcophagus. A long glass tube,
two feet in diameter and ribbed with steel, gets lowered on
a boom and rammed into a hole, collate spun tight, inner dam
wrenched out like a Polaroid plate.
He reaches up and grabs holds of a pull-chain, fingers going
knuckle-white on the wooden handle. One hard yank. A dump-
tank is released, murky water cascading down the glass tube.
And here's the final perversion, the ultimate icing on this
twisted cake: the copper sarcophagus is literally a womb,
with the giant glass tube serving as a massive gleaming
phallus down which come pouring dozens of electric eels,
wriggling and streaming like huge black sperm...
EEL POV (IN THE TUBE)
...rocketing down the tube, slithering and squirming, faster
and faster, racing into the sarcophagus, seeking out the
creation in the murky womb-fluid, lashing at the hapless
gray flesh, zapping it again with high-intensity voltage.
The Creature convulsing, thrashing, jerking from side to
side, raising its head against the top, mouth gaping open
and shut, jaws snapping with electrical surges.
Frankenstein's face appears at the porthole, peering in,
watching his dark seed fertilize his unholy child.
(muffled through the
Live, you bastard!
A huge bony hand slaps against the porthole, fingers clawing
and spasming against the glass.
FRANKENSTEIN jerks his head back, stunned. The fingers are
scratching. He turns, runs to the electrical rig, shutting
the whole thing down. It cycles off, whining into silence
INSIDE THE SARCOPHAGUS
...and the body relaxes, shutting down with it, going limp
and lifeless in the murk, spasms trailing off.
FRANKENSTEIN stares at the sarcophagus. Realizing his creation
has stopped moving. Nothing now. He sags to his knees, utterly
devastated at the loss of his dream. Nothing.
It was all for nothing...
INSIDE THE SARCOPHAGUS
...And The Creature opens its dim yellow eyes, aware. Its
mouth goes wide, teeth bared in a silent scream as it tries
to breathe and finds nothing in its lungs but fluid.
FRANKENSTEIN is wrapped in his despair, face cradled in his
hands. A SOFT TAP. He glances over his fingers. Thinking he
imagined it. No. There's another tap. And another.
We see it in his eyes. Sheer joy and stunned exultation.
Triumph and wonder unbelievably sublime. A bare whisper:
It's alive. It's alive.
And then hell breaks loose: Massive convulsions wrack the
sarcophagus, damn near shaking it off its cradle. THUMP-
THUMP-THUMP! Pounding from within. Head ramming against the
inner lid. He races over, frantic, fingers fumbling on the
wing-nuts, spinning them loose, trying to free the drowning
man within. He unscrews the final bolt, reaches for the rope
to hoist the lid away...
...and the lid launches itself across the room, propelled
from below with rocket-booster force. The massive copper
shell goes hurtling/spinning/cartwheeling across the lab,
demolishing an amazing array of equipment in its path, and
thunders massively off the wall in an explosion of masonry
and splintering coat rack. Victor's greatcoat goes flying.
Silence. Frankenstein is frozen. Staring at the roiling
surface of the amniotic fluid as it settles. An eternity
passes in the space of a heartbeat.
The Creature erupts from the vat like a vision from Hell,
thrashing and gagging. Murky fluid cascading in all
directions. The Creature seizes Victor by the shirtfront,
trying to pull itself from the vat, slipping and sliding
like an epileptic in a bathtub full of oil, damn near dragging
Victor in, eels leaping and frothing and crackling with
electricity. Victor screaming, trying to pull away, trying
to break the Creature's grip...
...and the whole thing tips over. Victor reels back, falling
as the vat SLAMS to the ground, cascading its murky contents,
washing the Creature limply across the floor like a body
tossed from the ocean, eels flipping and flopping, snapping
electrical discharges into the air. Victor scrambles back,
slipping and sliding on the amniotic muck, desperately jerking
his legs away. He finds his traction and scrambles to his
The Creature is grasping and crawling toward him. Flopping
and jerking. Gripped by seizures and convulsions. Vomiting
murky liquid as his lungs heave grotesquely to dispel the
fluid. Swiping the air with palsied hands. Malfunctional.
VICTOR stands dripping fluid and goo, chest heaving, staring
down at the Creature, not quite able to believe he was midwife
to this ghastly birth. Softly:
What have I done?
The Creature lunges to its knees, grasping him, clutching
his clothes, pawing him.
LET GO OF ME!
Victor can't break free. Panicking. He snatches a hammer
from a nearby table and brings it down on the Creature's
head. THUD! Again and again. Beating the thing down, pounding
it into submission. The Creature finally collapses, sliding
down Victor's legs, curling up like a fetus, twitching and
jerking in its own afterbirth.
A ghastly tableau: Victor stands in the middle of his ruined
lab with his creation moaning and twitching at his feet in a
dying heap. A FLASH OF LIGHTNING silently bathes the room,
jerking wild shadows across the walls.
Victor steps over the Creature. Dazed. He drops the hammer.
It clatters to the floor. He stops to jot a final entry:
Massive birth defects. Result is
malfunctional and vile.
Have chosen to abort.
He walks stiffly away, disappears into the bedroom...
INT - BEDROOM - NIGHT
...where he staggers to the canopied bed, beyond exhausted,
and collapses face-down into oblivion. Weeping.
INT - VICTOR'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
The wee hours. Rain pattering desolately on the roof. Victor
sleeping. Wrestling with troubled dreams. Through a crack in
the bed curtains, we see the bedroom door slowly creak open,
throwing a twisted spill of light. A shadow appears.
Entering. Shambling and gliding across the floor. Silent and
furtive. Creeping toward the bed.
PUSHING SLOWLY IN on Victor. Moving into close-up. Sleeping.
Unaware. The shadow falls across his face. Beat. His eyes
fly open. An intake of breath. Paralyzed.
Sensing the presence. Feeling the shadow. Working himself up
to something. Perhaps a scream. He can stand it no longer,
thrusts out his arm, jerks the curtain aside...
...and the Creature is there, Looming like a specter of death.
Naked. Beseeching. Dull yellow eyes trying to understand.
Victor lurches from bed, sends a nightstand and vase CRASHING
to the floor. The Creature circles, seeking him, threatening
to cut off his path to the door.
He darts past the thing, careening out into the lab. The
Creature whips around, unsteady for a moment, then follows
him with surprising speed.
INT - LAB - NIGHT
Victor races through the lab with the Creature hobbling
behind, trying to catch up. Victor hurling lab equipment,
tipping shelves in its path, anything to slow it down.
Victor rips the door open, lunges through, slams it in the
Creature's face. The Creature presses against the wood with
pathetic little moans, begging not to be left alone.
He sinks to the floor. Abandoned. Shivering with cold. Sees
Victor's greatcoat where it fell. Grabs it. Drags it over.
EXT - STREET - NIGHT
Victor races into the downpour, soaked to the skin in seconds,
mind racing. He needs a plan. He presses on.
INT - SHOP - NIGHT
Victor appears at the window. TILT DOWN to reveal an array
of gleaming swords lying in their velvet display. Victor
hurls a brick through the glass. Snatches up a sword.
INT - VICTOR'S BUILDING - NIGHT
Victor careens in from the storm, drenched, racing up the
stairs, sword glittering in his grasp. He gets to the top of
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
...only to discover the door torn off it's hinges. He enters,
stunned. The thing is gone.
EXT - STREET - NIGHT
Victor races back into the storm. Searching. Slogging grimly
on. Lashed by the wind and rain. Mocked by the lightning.
He'll never give up. Not until he finds the thing and takes
back the life he gave it. He dwindles from view, vanishing
into the gale as we
EXT - ALLEY - MORNING
Gray and drizzly. Heaps of wet garbage. Crawling rats. There's
a shifting, heaving motion. The vermin scatter as the waking
Creature peers at the world from beneath the greatcoat like
a frightened child peering from under a blanket. Lost and
He scrabbles through the garbage for something to eat. He
finds a rotted scrap, chews it anxiously. Ravenous.
TWO FERAL DOGS appear, grizzled denizens of the city's gutters
and back-alleys, peering with insolent eyes. Watching him
eat. Assessing his potential as a threat. The Creature stares
ingenuously back. Not knowing to be afraid.
The lead dog curls his lips back with a guttural SNARL. The
Creature draws back sharply with a fearful MOAN. That's all
it takes. The dogs are on him, snarling and snapping, the
food torn from his hands. The dogs dart away, growling and
fighting over the scrap.
The Creature is left whimpering and shaken. He pushes to his
feet and hurries in the opposite direction, legs bare and
pale beneath the swirling greatcoat, clutching his collar
against the cold. He hears a distant CLANGING.
Bring out your deeeaaad! Bring out
A death cart clatters slowly past the mouth of the alley,
DRIVER ringing his bell. It makes no sense to the Creature,
but it's a sign of human life. He presses on...
EXT - TOWN SQUARE - DAY
...and emerges into the square as ANGLE WIDENS. There's a
fair amount of activity. People are still leaving the city,
though the earlier flood has thinned. Some citizens are still
trying to go about their normal lives. VENDORS are calling
out, selling food. The Creature moves through the square,
unnoticed, just another figure mingling with the flow. People
trudge along, eyes downcast, miseries great, paying little
The Creature pauses, sniffing the air. An aroma draws him to
a vendor's stand. Loaves of bread are laid out. He hunches
down to smell one, picks it up, bites off a chunk. Chewing.
It's good. A bigger bite. Snatching up more.
Here! What do you think you're doing?
The Creature glances up. The VENDOR'S WIFE is within arm's
reach, breath catching in her throat at the sight of him.
Mouth gaping. Too stunned to scream.
The Creature cradles the loaves to his chest, terrified she's
going to take them away. He remembers his recent experience
with the dogs and decides to try out the lesson he learned:
he curls his lips back and snarls.
He's rewarded with a PIERCING SHRIEK. The Creature jumps
back, startled. This wasn't the desired effect. The woman
SCREAMS like she'll never stop. He turns to run away...
...and plows right into the stream of refugees. He goes
sprawling, scraping his knees bloody, still clutching his
loaves. Confusion all around. People converge angrily. A
ROUGH MAN grabs his hair, jerking him upright...
...and the Creature staggers to his feet before them,
whimpering to protect his food, showing his face to all.
Screams and panic. The Creature whips around, seeing horrified
faces on all sides...
He's the cholera! He's the one been spreadin' the plague!
...faces which turn into an angry mob, glaring sheer hatred.
Somebody hits him in the face with a heavy stick, spinning
him to the ground, loaves of bread scattering. They surround
him, hitting, flailing, throwing stones. He tries to crawl,
whimpering for them to stop.
BURN HIM! BURN HIM!
The Creature finds himself hoisted into the air, falling
back onto a sea of hands, kicking and screaming as the mob
sweeps him across the square like some pagan sacrifice. He
gets tossed onto the hard cobblestone in a thrashing heap,
scrambles to his knees as the crowd surrounds him. He's
wailing with terror now, long inhuman howls of fear. Men
start flinging lamp oil, spattering him, blinding him. A
torch is lit, swung toward him. Feel the heat.
The Creature lunges to his feet, panic and terror complete
bulldozing through the crowd to get away from the torch,
bowling people over, scattering them in all directions. He
breaks free, hobbling wildly across the square, greatcoat
billowing. The mob streams after him, thirsty for blood,
hurling rocks and sticks.
EXT - STREETS/ALLEYS - DAY
The Creature is weeping as he runs, bleeding from his many
cuts and bruises. He turns a corner, collapses against a
wall to catch his breath. He can hear them coming, shouting.
They'll be here any second.
He sees a death cart heaped with bodies. He hurls himself up
on the cart to conceal himself among the putrefying corpses.
The crowd streams past the mouth of the alley. The death
cart WORKERS appear, heaving another corpse onto the cart,
gaping fearfully at the confusion. They scramble into their
seats, snap the reins. The cart rattles off as we
EXT - STREET - DAY
Elsewhere in Ingolstadt. Death carts and devastation. This
part of town was hit hard. Bodies are heaped in gutters,
stacked along the walls. People are huddled in doorways,
quaking with sickness and pestilence. CART WORKERS move among
them, faces shrouded with kerchiefs and burlap masks.
WORKER #1 moves down a row of the sick and dead, shaking
them to see which is which, his face hidden behind heavy
burlap. He pauses, seeing Victor unconscious against the
wall, pale and covered with filth, shaking with fever. The
worker's eyes widen. Stunned. He calls over his shoulder:
WORKER #2 hurries over. Stares down. Eyes also widening.
Oh my God.
Worker #1 rips his mask away. It's Henry. He leans down and
grabs Victor, trying to rouse him.
Worker #2 also sweeps his mask aside. Professor Krempe.
Don't dawdle, lad! The sick cart!
Lift on three! One, two, three!
They hoist Victor off the ground by his arms and legs and
carry him into the street. Victor rouses, feels himself being
carried. He sees a death cart looming ahead, stacked with
heaps of reeking dead. Staring. Waiting.
No... no... I'm not dead... please...
Don't put me on the cart! I'm not
dead! I'm not dead! I'M NOT DEAD!
ANGLE WIDENS UP as they carry him kicking and screaming past
the death cart and on across the square...
EXT - MASS CEMETERY - DAY
A death cart rattles past, bearing its load. PAN WITH IT to
reveal a scene utterly Dante-esque. Here's where the dead
are brought to be burned en masse. Fires are burning. Smoke
is drifting in thick clouds, obscuring the sky. Soot is
drifting like black snow. BODIES are dumped into a slit-
trench, rolling and tumbling in heaps. Barrels are kicked
over. Streams of oil come pouring down, splashing and soaking.
One of the corpses moves, heaving the others aside. The
Creature gazes around, terrified once again at the smell of
oil. He knows what that means. He pushes free, clambering
over bodies, desperately trying to scramble from the trench,
loose soil crumbling under his fingertips...
ON THE LIP OF THE TRENCH
...as WORKERS prepare to light the blaze. A MAN turns toward
the trench with a burning torch... And then the Creature
erupts from the trench of dead bodies right before big eyes,
The man SCREAMS. The Creature SCREAMS even louder, cowering
back. The man hurls the torch. The Creature ducks as it goes
spinning over his head into the trench.
WA-BOOOM! A massive wall of flame punches sky-ward. The
Creature whirls, stunned at the searing heat, arms thrown up
in horror. He flees, scattering the workers as he goes,
running from this ghastly place of flames and death...
EXT - WOODS - DAY
The Creature comes blundering into view. On the move. He
knows not where. Just away, He arrives at a pond. Water.
He's thirsty. He scrambles to water's edge, starts lapping
it up with his hands. He pauses, noticing his broken
reflection. The water settles and his face comes clearly
into view. He throws his hands up and SHRIEKS, terrified at
his own reflection...
...and then he realizes it's him down there. He stirs the
water with his fingertips to make sure. He reaches up,
touching his face, utterly horrified at the sight of it...
...and utterly heartbroken. He drops his face into his hand
and weeps helplessly. BARKING DOGS in the distance. He looks
up, thinking they're after him. A moan of grief. He pushes
to his feet.
TRACKING THE CREATURE faster and faster through the trees,
running from this world he's been born into. Gasping for
breath. Crashing through branches.
The BARKING draws closer. He hurls himself into a thicket,
scrambling to hide himself, covering himself with dead leaves.
Panic. Exhaustion. Mortal terror. He flinches as something
comes CRASHING through the brush nearby. The legs of a DOE
come into view. Staggering. Falling. Thrashing down into a
cushion of dead leaves. Two arrows protrude from her heaving
A tiny FAWN stumbles into view on ungainly legs, mouth open,
frothing with exhaustion and terror. Waiting for his mother
to rise. Her thrashing grows weaker. Dying.
The Creature moans at the sight. The fawn turns, meets his
gaze. An extended beat. A rush of empathy. The Creature
reaches out. The fawn takes a few hesitant steps toward him.
The BARKING draws closer. HUNTERS shouting. The Creature's
fingertips make contact with the fawn...
A pack of the biggest, nastiest Staffordshire terriers you've
ever seen throw themselves HOWLING AND SNARLING onto the
doe, savaging her like whirling dervishes, The Creature lets
out a SHRIEK, snatches up the fawn as he lunges to his feet,
crashes off through the foliage with the fawn cradled to his
chest. The dogs take off after him.
DOLLYING THE CREATURE
Running full-tilt, SHRIEKING in terror all the way. Trying
to save the fawn. Trying to save himself. The dogs are
snapping at his heels, trying to sever his hamstrings and
bring him down. He hears RUSHING WATER ahead, crashes headlong
through a thicket...
EXT - RIVER - DAY
...and sails SCREAMING into empty SPACE, twisting and spinning
as he falls, plummeting head-first into the rapids. The dogs
are left behind. The Creature gets swept along, gasping and
choking, caroming off huge boulders, fawn still clutched
protectively to his chest.
Finally the water starts to settle. He manages to lash out
and secure a handhold. He pulls himself up, clambering over
the rocks and staggering onto firm soil. He collapses to his
knees, dripping water and heaving for breath. He lowers the
fawn away from his chest, joyous at their escape... only to
realize the small animal is limp and lifeless in his hands.
He crushed it to death trying to save it. He lays it down,
moaning, trying to understand. ANGLE WIDENS UP into the trees
WOODS - DUSK
TILT DOWN to reveal a solitary figure in a greatcoat trudging
across the sodden countryside under a dismal, darkening sky.
Cold. Hungry. Wet. Tired.
The Creature pauses, hearing FAINT MUSIC drifting on the
breeze: the lovely flute-like sounds of a recorder. He slogs
to the crest of a ridge. There's a small house in the valley
below. A peasant dwelling. Smoke drifts from the chimney.
That's where the music comes from (a simple and plaintive
rendition of our movie's WALTZ/LOVE THEME).
The Creature proceeds down the ridge... drawn by the music
and the promise of warmth.
HOUSE - DAY
The Creature approaches cautiously. Furtive. He eases to a
window, catches a glimpse inside, draws back. Listening. The
tune ends. We hear the pleasant murmur of VOICES. FOOTSTEPS
come clumping across the floor. The Creature reels back and
dives around the side of the house as the door unlatches and
swings open. FELIX exits, a poor man trying to scratch an
honest living from the soil. He heads in the same direction
as the Creature...
...and walks around the corner of the house just as the
Creature scrambles from view behind the chicken coops. The
Creature watches through the wire and wood as Felix approaches
and stops, only his legs visible. Feed is scattered through
the wire. The chickens begins to eat. The Creature backs up
PIGSTY - DUSK
...and finds himself in the company of PIGS. The animals
GRUNT and SQUEAL in alarm.
Yes, yes, I'm coming...
The Creature scurries further back into the shadows as Felix's
feet stop just outside. A pail is upended. Slop pours into
the trough. Felix walks away. The pigs scurry to eat. The
Creature leans forward intently. Food?
He crawls to the trough and squeezes in among the pigs. They
jostle, but he jostles right back, wanting his fair share.
He laps up the slop with his fingers, dribbling it down his
chin. Not much on taste, but it's edible.
He stops, hearing the recorder MUSIC again, turning toward
the sound. He follows it, crawling back into the darkest
recesses where the sty adjoins the wall of the house. He
places his eye to a chink between the logs...
...and sees GRANDFATHER playing the instrument near a
fireplace of glowing embers. The Creature shifts for another
view, sees the family preparing the table for dinner. Felix
and his wife MARIE are helped by their children, MAGGIE AND
THOMAS, ages 6 and 8
Bring Grandfather to the table.
The old man stops playing as the children scurry over. As
Maggie helps him to his feet, Thomas tosses another log on
the fire. It BLAZES UP. Fire and sparks. In the pigsty, the
Creature draws back with a fearful moan...
...that nobody but GRANDFATHER hears, He pauses to gaze
blindly toward the wall, eyes milky with cataracts, wondering
what it might have been. Probably nothing. He lets the
children lead him toward the table. The meal is brought from
the stove and ladled out.
The Creature eases back to the chink in the wall, smelling
it from here. A string of drool spills from his mouth. It's
humble fare, not very appetizing, but it looks like a feast
compared to pig slop...
INT - VICTOR'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Victor lies sleeping. Wrestling with troubled dreams. In an
eerie echo of before: the door creaks open in a spill of
light. A shadow enters, creeps to the bed, falls across his
face. Victor's eyes fly open. He tries to erupt from bed,
choking on a scream... and Henry wrestles him back to the
pillow to feel his clammy forehead.
Thank God your fever broke.
(offers him water)
Slowly, now. Just a sip.
(Victor sips, falls
I've been worried we might lose you.
It's been touch-and-go for a week.
We feared cholera. Turned out to be
pneumonia, brought on by nervous
exhaustion and some idiot running
around in a storm.
Is that your diagnosis?
Mine and Professor Krempe's.
(off his look)
We've been trading off nursing you
in shifts. The rest of the time we're
out working with the cholera victims.
It's his turn for that just now.
You've been going round-the-clock?
We catch a few hours sleep where we
can. Usually here at your bedside.
Everything in moderation, Clerval.
Nothing in moderation, Frankenstein.
Victor takes Henry's hand. Squeezes it.
It's the down-and-outs I pity most.
Those who can't fend for themselves.
They'll be dead by the thousands
before this is done. They don't stand
a chance out there.
(thinking of his
No. They don't.
Victor. This place looked like a
charnel house. What went on here?
Victor pauses, too emotional to respond. Softly:
I want to go home.
Henry accepts this, though he doesn't like it.
It'll be months before you're well
enough. Meantime, your family must
be frantic not hearing from you.
Henry grabs a stack of letters from the nightstand.
I found these. Some of the postmarks
go back nine months.
(slaps them on the
Why don't you open them? And when
you've the strength, have the decency
to ease their minds with a reply.
Soon as the city ends quarantine,
I'll even mail it for you. Along
(raises the locket)
It's a beautiful gift. Does her no
good lying here.
Henry leaves him alone to wrestle with his guilt. Victor is
swept with emotion and remorse. He closes his eyes. Softly:
It can't survive.
INT - PIGSTY - DAY
The Creature and the pigs are sleeping in a heap. He rouses,
scattering them, crawls to the slats of the sty. Felix is
returning wearily from the fields with a large basket on his
back. The Creature moves to his chink in the wall to see
Felix enter the house and dump the basket out for Marie. A
pathetic array of potatoes and turnips.
Not much to look at. Even less to
eat. I don't how we're going to get
through the winter with this yield.
We'll sell another pig at market.
One less for us.
We'll make do. We always have.
He sinks into a chair, weighed by worry. She moves to comfort
him, cradling his head to her breast. He returns her embrace,
drawing strength. A tender, gentle moment. The Creature
watches, puzzled and empathetic, deeply moved by her sympathy.
Felix gathers himself, wipes his eyes.
I'll see if I can scratch a few more
out of the ground.
He hoists the basket and exits. The Creature turns to watch
Felix trudging back toward the fields.
EXT - FIELD - DAY
Felix digs for potatoes, tilling as he goes. Back-breaking
work. Thomas provides what help he can. Some distance away,
Maggie and Grandfather are tending the cow. ANGLE SHIFTS to
reveal the Creature watching from the brambles...
INT - PIGSTY - NIGHT
The Creature watches the family eat their dinner. Potatoes
and turnips. A glimmer of understanding in his eyes.
EXT - HOUSE - NIGHT
A long shadow looms toward the dwelling... circling the
house... approaching the shed. Baskets and tools...
EXT - FIELDS - NIGHT
We find the Creature working by the light of a refulgent
moon, hacking away at the soil, tilling the earth...
INT - PIGSTY - DAWN
The Creature stirs, hearing movement within the house. He
scurries to the slats of the sty and peers out. All the
baskets from the tool shed are stacked to overflow before
The door opens. Felix steps out and trips on a basket,
sprawling to the ground in a torrent of potatoes and turnips.
He sits up, gazing in wonder.
INT - PIGSTY - NIGHT
A sliver of warm light spills through the chink in the wall.
The Creature looms into frame, busily munching a raw potato.
A pig comes snuffling at his elbow. He shoves him away. Go
find your own. Inside, the family is enjoying a much more
generous meal than the last one:
I wish we could thank our benefactor.
Nothing in this life comes free of
cost. I'd like to know who and why.
It's the Good Spirit of the forest.
Who's been filling your head?
It does no harm.
(peers at him)
Oh, I see.
Is it, Papa? Is it the Good Spirit?
Felix and Marie exchange a look. He's not as amused as she
is, but lets it go. She smiles at the children.
Of course it is. Now finish your
food before it gets cold.
EXT - POND - DAY
Grandfather sits playing his recorder. The cow is grazing at
a distance. The Creature creeps into view, listening to the
music. Grandfather senses his presence. Turns.
Who's there? Felix? Children?
No response. He turns back. Unsettled. Continues playing.
INT - PIGSTY - NIGHT
The Creature watches Marie instructing the children in their
letters. A half dozen words are written in chalk on a slate
board. Maggie is trying to puzzle one out:
ff..reh..nn..nd. Friend? Friend.
Good! And now the next
(mimicking the effort)
He's delighted to have uttered his first word.
EXT - WOODS - DAY
Felix is chopping lengths of wood, dulled by the task. The
children are stacking the wood on a litter.
EXT - FIELD - DUSK
Felix and the children walk home. The litter of wood is being
dragged by their cow...
EXT - HOUSE - DUSK
Felix stacks the last pile of wood under the eaves. Marie
meets him at the door, takes his hands.
Your hands are bleeding again. Come
in. I'll rub liniment.
They go inside. The door closes. CAMERA PUSHES to the pigsty.
Eyes peering out.
EXT - WOODS - NIGHT
The Creature walks along, munching a turnip, axe slung over
his shoulder, muttering:
.brread... motherrr... frriend...
(stops, gazes up)
EXT - HOUSE - MORNING
The walls around the house are stacked impossibly high with
cords of wood. Felix and Marie gaze out the door. Stunned.
What is going on here?
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - NIGHT
Snow is drifting outside the tall dormer window. We find
Victor at his desk, reading a letter:
"...but it's been so long since I've
heard from you. Remember the vow we
took the night you left? You must be
honest with me if your feelings have
changed. Answer for the sake of our
friendship, and both our future
She wrote that four months ago.
ANGLE SHIFTS to include Henry. He's been listening.
A woman like that is far too rare to
be taken lightly.
Victor ponders the letter. He lays it next to the locket,
pulls out a sheet of paper and quill, begins to write...
INT - PIGSTY - NIGHT
The Creature observes another lesson. Six more words are
chalked on the board. Thomas is struggling with the first:
Good. And the next.
And then, amazingly, the Creature finishes the word before
Very good! Maggie. Try the next.
Now the Creature beats Maggie to the punch:
Maria! Look! It's snowing!
The children crowd to the window. The Creature turns, peering
through the slats. White flakes drift magically down. The
door flies open, the children pour out. The adults appear in
Maggie! Thomas! You'll catch your
Let them play. There's plenty of
wood for the fire.
(shoots her a look)
He's right about that.
Before she can react, he grabs her by the waist and drags
her shrieking out into the snow. Before you know it, a wild
snowball fight ensues. Screams and laughter.
THE CREATURE watches his family cavorting in the snow, having
the time of their lives. His face lights up with a smile.
EXT - HOUSE - DAY
Bright sunshine sparkles off a fresh carpet of snow. Felix
and the children are heading out, spirits high. Felix has
his axe and a coil of rope slung over his shoulder.
EXT - WOODS - DAY
TRACKING Felix and the children. They're laughing and joking,
the kids playful and giggling. The Creature shadows them,
looming and darting among the trees, along for the excursion.
Happy as a kid himself.
Maggie and Thomas hurl themselves to the ground, thrashing
their arms and legs in the snow. They jump to their feet and
hurry to catch up with Felix. The Creature peers out, amazed
to see two snow-angels in the powder at his feet. Up ahead,
Maggie points to a 6-foot fir tree.
That one! It's the most beautiful
tree I've ever seen!
Felix shrugs off his coil of rope and starts chopping.
INT - PIGSTY - NIGHT
The Creature gazes through the chink in the wall, face lit
up with wonder. Inside, the tree is a dazzling vision of
ornaments and light. The house is filled with joy and
laughter. Grandfather plays his recorder by a roaring fire
Most beautiful... tree...
The kids go dashing across the room. The Creature shifts to
the slats as the door opens, throwing a spill of warm light.
The children set something out in the snow. Maggie calls out
into the darkness:
The door closes. The Creature creeps from his sty, scurries
closer to investigate. He finds a covered plate topped with
a glittering red silk flower as decoration. The slate board
is jammed in the snow. On it is chalked a child's rendering
of a glowing angel and a message:
For the... Goood Spirr-rit... of
He snatches up the plate, scurries around the side of the
house, and hunkers down near the tool shed with his prize.
He plucks the red silk flower, enchanted by it, tucks it
gingerly into an inner coat pocket. He uncovers the plate to
reveal a wonderful array of Christmas cookies.
He's not sure what they are, but they don't smell half bad.
He picks one up and bites into it. He pauses, stunned, eyes
going wide as saucers. A whine builds in his throat. He starts
huffing air as he chews, mouth gaping, mind thoroughly blown.
Screw potatoes and turnips.
EXT - HOUSE - MORNING
The children race out the door to find the plate empty. And
a big snow-angel waiting for them in the yard,
INT - PIGSTY - NIGHT
The Creature watches the family clustered around the fire.
Marie reads a book aloud:
...with particles of heavenly fire,
the God of Nature did his soul
inspire... and pliant still the
ethereal energy which wise Prometheus
tempered into paste...
The Creature leans back into the shadows, grappling with the
concept of book. He reaches into the pocket of the greatcoat,
and pulls out what's been there all along:
Victor's Journal. So that's what this is. A book. He unwinds
the thong, riffles the pages. Letters fall, scattering from
the pages. He picks one up by the corner, turns his head
this way and that. Slowly:
Myyy Darrllnng Vic...tor... Willee
haaad hisss burrth-dayyy. I wissh...
yooo cuud huvv beeen... herre... to
sharre ut... withh... ussss...
EXT - GRANDFATHER'S POND - DAY
Grandfather sits playing his recorder. Again, the Creature
approaches to listen. Grandfather stops. Turns.
I know you're there.
(waits for a response)
Won't you speak to me?
The Creature studies Grandfather for a time. The old man
waits. Finally starts to play again. The Creature finds a
spot to listen. He opens Victor's journal.
CAMERA PUSHES SLOWLY IN as he puzzles over it...
INT - PIGSTY - DAY
...and we CONTINUE PUSHING SLOWLY IN as the Creature reads:
...of sscience... and to c-create...
a beinng... in the image of man...
assembled ffrrom... the... dead
bodieess I have... gatherrred...
He turns the page and discovers his own rough likeness: it's
Victor's sketch of his patchwork man. The rendering includes
suture marks where the pieces were joined.
The Creature gazes for a long time. His finger traces the
penciled suture-line where an arm joins the torso. Eyes going
wider. Revelation slowly dawning. No. It can't be. it's too
horrible to conceive...
...and he drops the journal, clawing at his coat in a surge
of panic, wrenching it away to reveal his arm... And the
massive suture scars joining his shoulder to his torso in an
exact match to the drawing. He throws his head back in an
animalistic PRIMAL SCREAM, face twisted in a mask of utter
horror, Munch's painting made flesh...
IN THE WOODS
...and his scream echoes across the countryside, Felix turns
from chopping wood. His family gathers, eyes wide, listening
to the sound trail off. Softly:
God in heaven.
IN THE PIGSTY
A massive hand rips the page from the journal, raises it in
a clenched fist.
ANGLE WIDENS to reveal the Creature huddled in a corner,
dropping his head into his arms to hide his face. Sunlight
throws streaks of light and shadow through the slats. He
sobs, wracked with despair as we
EXT - VALLEY - DAY
The house is distant below. Felix and his family are heading
out across the fields now sparse with snow, herding the cow
before them. Only Grandfather is missing.
The gentle MUSIC of the recorder drifts up from the house.
ANGLE WIDENS to reveal the Creature hunkered on a hill.
Watching. Waiting. The family dwindles in the distance.
INT - HOUSE - DAY
For the first time, we actually see the inside of the house
from a perspective other than through the chink in the wall.
Grandfather is by the fire, playing his recorder.
The Creature's face appears at a window. Peering in. He ducks
from view, appearing at another window. Making sure the house
is otherwise empty. He vanishes again. The door swings
silently open. His figure fills the doorway.
Grandfather stops playing. Silence.
Would you like to sit by the fire?
The Creature enters. Sits. Holds his hands toward the embers,
feeling the warmth.
The music? Or the fire?
Grandfather offers him the recorder. The Creature hesitates,
takes it, inept where such delicacy is required. He puts it
to his misshapen lips and blows a few hollow tones. He gives
it back, huffing air, delighted.
I'm glad you finally came to the
door. A man shouldn't have to scurry
in the shadows.
Better that way... for me.
I'm... very, very ugly. People are
afraid. Except you.
It can't be as bad as that.
The old man-reaches for his face. The Creature draws back.
I can see you with my hands. If you'll
The Creature decides to trust. He eases forward. Grandfather
runs his fingers over his features. Gently:
You're an outcast.
Yes. I have been seeking my friends.
Friends? Do they live around here?
Yes. Very close
Why do you not go to them?
The Creature pauses. Emotions swirling. Afraid to continue.
I have been... afraid. Afraid...
they will hate me... because I am so
very ugly... and they are so very
People can be kinder than you think.
I am afraid.
Grandfather reaches out and takes the Creature's hands.
Perhaps I can help. Tell me who.
The Creature is huffing air, breath hitching in his chest
like a panicking child. His monstrous eyes well up with tears.
Trying to get the words out:
I love them... so very much. I want...
I want... them to be my ff-family. I
II-Ilove them ss-so very mm-mm-
The Creature pauses. Trying to get the words out. And the
door swings open. The Creature whips his head. There stands
Maggie. Eyes going wide. Breath catching in her throat. She
lets out an ear-splitting SHRIEK! The Creature throws himself
on the old man's lap, clutching him, pleading:
Don't let them hate me!
Felix bursts in, shoving Maggie aside, hell breaking loose
in screaming, hollering chaos: Marie trying to get the
children out of the way, Felix throwing himself on the
Creature to rip him off the old man, the Creature sprawling
to the floor, the old man shouting, the children SHRIEKING,
Felix snatching, up the fireplace poker and swinging it down,
again and again, trying to kill the thing...
Leave him alone!
...the CREATURE SCREAMING and taking the blows, writhing
across the floor in agony, the children scattering from his
pleading hands. The CREATURE rolls from under the brutal
beating and sails out the door.
EXT - WOODS - DAY
The Creature runs bleeding and sobbing, a specter sailing
among the trees with greatcoat billowing like huge dark wings.
Running from the horrified screams of rejection still echoing
in his mind.
EXT - WOODS - DAY
A snowscape. Stark trees. A figure in a greatcoat. Head bowed
with misery. Leaning against a tree. Trying to catch his
breath. Can't. Crying too hard. He sinks to his knees, hands
clutched bitterly to his heaving chest. Wondering why the
anguish doesn't stop his heart in mid-beat.
A realization. He pulls the little red silk flower from the
inside pocket. It lies glittering in his huge, misshapen
palm like gentle magic. Or hope. Yes.
HOUSE - DUSK
The sky is brewing. The Creature runs across the courtyard
toward the house, breathless, holding his palm out. See?
Here's the flower you gave me. Don't you understand?
It's me! It's mmmmeeeeee!
Nothing. He glances around. The pigs are gone. Chickens too.
The Creature's eyes go wide. He dashes to the house
HOUSE - DUSK
...and bursts in to find it empty. Items have been scattered
and left behind. Books, clothes, even the old man's recorder.
They left in a hurry.
HOUSE - NIGHT
We hear furniture CRASHING, glass SHATTERING, shelves being
ripped from walls. A faint glow kicks up. Flames rise within.
The Creature exits with a flaming torch, spins back to watch.
He has new possessions: an armload of books jammed in a
satchel, some extra clothes on his body, the old man's
recorder jammed in his belt.
A HOWLING WIND whips up, billowing his coat and hair, fanning
the flames even higher. He raises his torch, HOWLING along
with the wind, reflected fire seething in his eyes, exulting
as the house is consumed...
MONT BLANC - DAY
Massive pale gray feet walking through the snow. ANGLE
WIDENING to reveal a lone, windswept figure traversing the
glacier with a walking staff. Struggling toward the crest of
a ridge. Greatcoat billowing in a freezing wind.
THE CREATURE rises from below the crest and gazes down.
Glowering with triumph at achieving his goal. Softly:
AERIAL SHOT sweeps up the slope of the glacier like the wind
itself, rising magnificently past the tiny figure standing
on the ridge, sailing up over the crest... to reveal the
valley and lake of Geneva below.
INT - VICTOR'S GARRET - DAY (SPRING)
Sunlight streams through the dormer window. Birds twitter on
the ledge outside. The trees are in bloom. Victor stands
dressed and ready to go, taking one last pensive look around
at the now-empty garret. Henry appears:
Our carriage is here.
EXT - INGOLSTADT CITY GATES - DAY
Bustling with activity. Hopeful. A traffic snarl is jammed
up in both directions, waiting to get in and out of the city.
People, carriages, wagons, goods. We find Professor and MRS.
KREMPE saying goodbye to Victor and Henry:
(watching the gates)
Such a terrible winter. I'll praise
God to see those gates open again.
I'll have all your things sent on.
They should arrive soon after.
It's been a rough time, lad. For us
all. But if you'd like to come back
and finish out your final term once
A ROAR goes up from the crowd. The gates are finally opening
as SOLDIERS swing them aside. The traffic starts to flow.
Victor turns back to Krempe, nods gratefully.
Thank you, Professor. For everything.
Krempe is flustered as Victor gives him an awkward hug.
Write and let us know you've arrived
Victor breaks the embrace. He and Henry clamber into the
Take me home, my friend.
Henry signals the DRIVER. The reins snap. The carriage lurches
away, easing into the flow of traffic as we
EXT - FRANKENSTEIN ESTATE - DAY
William, now 10, comes charging up the steps with a small
package under his arm, nearly bowling over Mrs. Moritz as he
sails past her hollering his head off:
HE'S COMING HOME!
INT - PARLOR - DAY
Willie careens into the parlor, where Elizabeth and Justine
are entertaining FRIENDS.
Father enters, trailed by HOUSEHOLD STAFF.
What's all the fuss? Why are you
He's coming home! Tonight!
That's what I'm telling you!
(swept with relief)
Willie thrusts the package into her hands. She hesitates
Willie scrambles to bring her the letter opener. Elizabeth
lays the package down, slits it open. Willie peers in.
Elizabeth pulls the locket out to the admiration of all. She
presses the catch. The locket pops open to reveal Waldman's
miniature oil painting.
It's beautiful! May I?
(takes the locket)
He looks so handsome.
Elizabeth pulls out the letter. Apprehension and hope. She
begins to read. The others watch her. Waiting. Her face lights
up, blinking back tears. She remembers to breathe.
What does it say?
Let this locket be a token of the
vow we took the night I left.
He's coming home to marry me.
Instant pandemonium and joy... except from Justine, whose
heart quietly breaks. Father and the others ROAR with approval
while Willie jumps and shouts:
Married! The two of you?
Brilliant! I knew it! Ever since you
She hands the locket back. She slips quietly from the room,
unnoticed by the others...
INT - ENTRYWAY - DAY
and hurries down the hall, fighting back tears.
RESUME PARLOR as Elizabeth is swept up in congratulatory
conversation. Willie grabs the locket, admiring it:
Elizabeth? Can I take this to show
Willie, it's not a toy for your
I'll take extra special care, I
promise! Pete's never seen what Victor
looks like! He'll admire it
Willie's so solemn and earnest that Elizabeth has to smile.
Don't dawdle. It'll be dark in a few
The boy takes off like a shot. Father throws his arm around
Elizabeth, announcing to all:
Join us for champagne! My son is
EXT - FRANKENSTEIN ESTATE - LATE DAY
Geese scatter as Willie comes racing across the grounds. He
clambers over a low fence, heading into the miles of wooded
acreage behind the house. His favorite shortcut.
EXT - COUNTRYSIDE - LATE DAY
Willie hurries/dawdles along as kids do, the precious locket
clutched in his hands, admiring it. He can't get over the
fact that his brother's finally coming home.
He pauses, hearing FAINT TONES carried on the breeze, eerie
and flute-like. A recorder. Curious, he follows the sounds
further and further into the woods...
EXT - POND - LATE DAY
...and comes into view of the pond. There's a FIGURE sitting
half-concealed among the tall reeds, gazing off across the
water and playing his delicate wind instrument with oddly-
pleasing dissonance (again, a simple variation of our familiar
Willie draws closer. Curious. Not wanting to intrude, but
listening to the music. The figure in the reeds still hasn't
...And then his head abruptly whips around, An ogre right
out of a storybook. Willie's eyes go wide. The locket drops
from his fingers into the dust. The boy turns and runs as
the monster in the reeds lunges to its feet:
Wait! Don't be afraid!
The boy keeps running. The Creature comes shambling up from
the pond, still calling after him. He picks up the dropped
object. As he rises, he finds himself staring at the locket.
At the small painting it contains. Victor Frankenstein. He
raises his gaze after the fleeing boy. Maybe Willie does
have reason to be afraid.
The Creature starts after him, locket clenched in his fist,
teeth grinding in greater and greater rage. Eyes wild.
THEIR FEET go pounding through the brambles and brush. The
terrified boy. The pursuing monster. Faster and faster...
INT - FRANKENSTEIN KITCHEN - DUSK
Whirling with activity. Mrs. Moritz supervises the staff.
Elizabeth and Justine are helping with the preparations.
Justine turns with a platter, collides with one of the kitchen
staff. Carrots go flying.
Justine! Pay attention!
(pulls her aside)
Are you all right?
Justine sees genuine concern. She softens:
I'll be all right. Really.
Father enters with Claude. Both men worried.
Have you seen Willie?
Is he not back yet?
Claude rode over there to see if
held lost track of time. They say he
It's far too late for him to still
EXT - MANSION - DUSK
Elizabeth exits with the others
Don't worry, Monsieur, we'll find
He rushes to gather the men. Elizabeth gazes off. Wind kicking
up. Night approaching. Almost too dark to see.
EXT - COUNTRYSIDE/WOODS - NIGHT
A massive search in progress. People are scouring the fields
on horse and on foot, shouting Willie's name. Elizabeth enters
frame, calling out:
LIGHTNING dances on the horizon. A storm approaching.
EXT - WOODED AREA - NIGHT
The stark black silhouettes of tree trunks bisect the frame
in foreground as Justine approaches from the fields, lantern
...and one of the "tree trunks" turns out not to be. It darts
abruptly across frame with a billow of flapping greatcoat,
Justine enters the woods. A FLASH OF LIGHTNING sends shadows
skittering among the trees...
EXT - ROAD TO MANSION - NIGHT
...And the storm is now a raging downpour, TILT DOWN to reveal
a coach clattering through the rain.
INT - COACH - NIGHT
Victor is peering out the window flap.
Henry cranes to look. A LIGHTNING FLASH stutters the mansion
briefly to life a few hundred yards down the road,
Quite a place.
Thank you, Henry.
This. My home. My family.
If not for you, I'd be dead in a
burial pit somewhere.
Henry smiles, squeezes his shoulder. The carriage lurches
violently, tossing them forward.
EXT - COACH - NIGHT
Victor jumps from the coach as the DRIVER wrestles his rearing
horses under control and points. Victor turns.
Elizabeth stands in the downpour like a ghost. Drenched to
the bone. Weeping from the depths of her soul. Holding Willie
in her arms. The boy's arms hang limp, his head dangles back.
Victor starts forward, stunned, unable to comprehend, running
faster and faster...
...and now others are converging on the scene, dark screaming
figures in the storm. Victor reaches her first as the others
crowd around in a panic of confusion, crushing and jostling
as she collapses into Victor's arms, all of them cradling
Willie, and then Father is there, shoving his way through, --
seeing his dead boy and collapsing in the muck with a SCREAM,
and suddenly Henry is there shouting for the men to lift him
and everybody is scrambling and screaming as we
SMASH CUT TO:
INT - MANSION - FATHER'S BEDROOM - MORNING
Silence. All we hear now is the SOFT TICKING of a clock.
Henry tenderly ministers to Father, who lies gravely ill.
INT - PARLOR - MORNING
Elizabeth is sitting. Elbows crossed. Holding herself
together. Face ashen. Dazed. Still in shock. Mrs. Moritz is
nearby, looking much the same. Eyes swimming with tears.
Sir. I'm terrified for my girl.
We'll organize another search now
that it's light enough. We'll find
her, Mrs. Moritz, I promise.
Henry comes downstairs. He and Victor confer in whispers
then approach Elizabeth. Victor crouches before her.
What is Father's outlook?
I am cautiously hopeful. With quiet
and proper care he may eventually
regain some or most of his strength.
Victor squeezes her hand. Comfort and strength.
Thank you, Henry.
There's a KNOCKING at the front door.
INT - ENTRYWAY - MORNING
Victor opens the door. POLICEMEN hover outside. Faces grim.
Mr. Frankenstein. We've apprehended
the murderer. Not five miles from
here, hiding in a barn.
Who is it?
The policemen trade uneasy glances.
It's very unsettling, sir. And quite
strange. Perhaps you'd better come
INT - JAIL CELL - DAY
Victor is led in by policemen. The JAILER unlocks the cell.
Victor enters as the men depart. Victor is alone, staring at
a FIGURE huddled in the corner, pooled in shadow. We get the
impression of long, dangling hair. The figure stirs...
...and leans into the light. Justine. Pale. Dazed. Scared
Victor! It's you! Thank God!
She rushes to him, throws herself into his arms. He reacts
stiffly, not at all sure he wants her touching him.
Is it true? What they say about
Willie? Is it true?
She dissolves into tears. Barely able to breathe.
Willie. My poor little angel.
Victor! They think I did it!
Justine pauses. Stunned. Her eyes on his. Here's the deepest
betrayal ever experienced. Her heart turns to ash.
I don't believe... I am in need of
your comfort... anymore.
Did you, Justine?
Beat. She hauls off and slaps him hard enough to rock his
head around. Then she slaps him again. Harder.
INT - COURTROOM - DAY
The courtroom is packed. Justine sits accused. An older
KITCHEN MAID is on the stand.
I found her sobbing her eyes out.
Poor thing, I said, what's all this?
And she spilled her heart to me about
Master Victor. How she'd always loved
him, and now he was coming home to
marry mistress Elizabeth.
A MURMUR sweeps the courtroom. Victor and Elizabeth share a
She cried and cried about the
beautiful locket he'd sent. How she
wished it was hers. She swore me
never to tell a soul.
(peers at Justine)
That was before the boy went missing,
INT - COURTROOM - DAY
Victor is on the stand:
I always viewed her with brotherly
affection. I had no idea of her
feelings for me.
Rejection can be a powerful wound.
People have been known to do uncanny
But to commit so ghastly and terrible
a crime against a child she loved?
Victor pauses, gnawed by some vague intuition. He looks to
Justine. She gazes back, her feelings hidden. Softly:
It's hard to believe.
INT - COURTROOM - DAY
Elizabeth is on the stand:
Justine and I grew up as sisters. I
know her better than anybody.
Do you think it possible she committed
William was as much her child as
mine. We were both mother to him.
I believe she would sooner have
strangled the life from her own body.
Then you consider the charge without
I consider the charge imbecilic.
INT - COURT ROOM - DAY
Justine is now on the stand:
Yes. I took refuge in the barn.
Wouldn't you? Lost in the storm?
Freezing and wet? I was exhausted
and could search no longer.
And is it true, Miss Moritz, that
you love Victor Frankenstein? That
your heart was broken?
(off her silence)
Answer the question. Do you love
Her gaze wanders to Victor, eyes locking on his. Stares back,
I have always loved him.
Is it also not true that you murdered
his brother William in a misdirected
crime of passion?
Murder Willie? In my heart, he was
our child. Victor's and mine. Such a
thing could never have entered my
So you have claimed. Yet you have no
explanation for this.
(holds up the locket)
The locket last seen in the hands of
the poor murdered child was found
hidden in your dress the morning
following the murder. The locket you
How did it come to be in your
I have no knowledge of that.
EXT - FIELD - DAY
A PAIR OF FEET drop heavily in frame. THUMP-CRACK! A shoe
flies off. The CROWD gasps. Mrs. Moritz collapses WAILING to
the ground. Elizabeth drops to her side to comfort her. Victor
just stands staring. ANGLE WIDENS to reveal Justine dangling
from the noose, neck broken, hands bound and feet still
EXT - SAME FIELD - NIGHT
Another eerie echo of before: a storm is raging. The body
dangles from the scaffold, lashed by wind and rain. Victor
looms from the darkness, staring.
And then a massive white hand thrusts into frame and grabs
his shoulder. Victor whirls and finds himself staring up
into the last face he ever expected to see again, the hideous
necrotic features bathed in a purple/white GLARE OF LIGHTNING.
He SCREAMS as the Creature lashes out, grabs him by the coat,
draws him breathlessly closer, inch by inch, eyeball-to-
eyeball, grinning his awful rictus grin. Softly:
Victor is speechless with horror. The Creature raises his
arm, pointing with an impossibly long and bony finger. Look
there. Victor does. LIGHTNING dances in the sky, illuminating
Mont Blanc with a crackling halo of electricity... and then
the Creature is gone, vanishing like a shadow in the darkness.
Victor falls gasping. The awful truth dawning. He rises,
gazing at the scaffold, horrified.
Oh God. Oh God! No! NOOOOOOO!
Screaming now, rushing to the scaffold, throwing his arms
around the innocent girl dangling there, sliding down, sinking
to his knees, weeping helplessly:
Oh God. Justine. Forgive me.
INT - MANSION - STUDY - DAWN
Victor pulls a carved box from a shelf. Opens it. Lying inside
in their velvet cradle are a gorgeous pair of Model 1820
Collier flintlock revolvers.
MANSION - DAWN
Victor is bundled in a rough coat, packing final supplies on
a horse held by Claude. Elizabeth is at his heels.
My mind was not playing tricks. He
was there in the storm... gloating
over his crimes... challenging me to
But why risk yourself? Hasn't this
family suffered enough?
I've no choice
If what you say is true, it is a
matter for the police!
They've done a fine job. Hanging an
innocent for the crime of a fiend.
He rams the rifle into its scabbard, turns to her.
Do you know this man? Is there
something between you?
I know only that he is a killer.
And I shall bring back his carcass.
Victor heaves himself into the saddle and rides off. TILT UP
to the mountain. Shrouded in snow. Waiting.
MONT BLANC - DAY
A lone horse and rider appear, on his mission of revenge...
Victor ascends the mountain. The mountain is brutal and
unforgiving. Victor dismounts, leading his horse onto the
glacier. A bitter wind blows...
They plod on. Searching. Magnificent rugged vistas unfolding
before our eyes. Primeval and vast...
The horse suddenly spooks. Victor calms him. Staring. Is
that a figure down there? He shades his eyes against the
cutting sleet. Somebody in the distance. Down there on the
snow field. A tiny speck. Watching him.
The figure starts running, leaping across the ice with great
bounds. Right toward Victor. Victor wrenches the carved box
from the saddle bag. The horse bolts. Victor drops to the
snow, throws open the box, frantically snatches up the pair
He glances up. The figure is gone, vanished in drifts of
white. Victor rises with a revolver in each hand, cocks the
flintlocks of both, turning slowly around. Gazing at the
rocks and crags. Searching.
WHERE ARE YOU?
He hears nothing but his own voice echoing back... and then
FEET CRUNCHING through the snow. He turns. The Creature is
running toward him across the glacier with inhuman speed,
greatcoat billowing like huge dark wings.
Victor raises the first pistol. Hesitates. As frightened and
angry as he is, a small part of him pauses to admire the
achievement of actually having created life.
He pulls the trigger. BOOM! A huge flash of powder, an
eruption of smoke. The Creature dodges the shot, still coming.
Victor raises the other gun. BOOM! Another flash of smoke.
Still the Creature comes.
Victor. Frantic. Manually spinning the cylinders, cocking,
firing. BOOM! A miss. BOOM! Another miss. Spinning. cocking.
Firing. BOOM! BOOM! Spinning. Cocking...
...And the Creature is on him, slapping the pistols clean
out of his hands. The guns sail through the air, spinning
off across the ice. Victor panics, turns to run... And slips
over the edge of the precipice.
Victor falls SCREAMING, arms and legs windmilling through a
30-foot drop... and slams bodily into a snowdrift. He looks
up. The Creature is peering down... and leaps over the edge
to follow, sailing through the air to land before him in a
cat-like crouch. He pulls Victor from the snow and sends him
sliding across the ice with a mighty heave...
INT - ICE CAVE - DAY
...right into the mouth of an ice-cave, Victor comes tumbling
and sliding down the entrance, spinning and careening to
sprawl heavily to the cave floor.
Winded. Battered. Barely able to move. He glances up to see
the cave filled with possessions. Books. Provisions. Extra
clothing. The embers of a fire burn low. There is even a
rough attempt at furnishings in the form of a few crates.
A huge shadow fills the cave entrance. The storybook ogre is
coming home to his cave, breath huffing like a steam engine.
Victor scrambles back terrified, pressing into a corner as
the Creature enters...
...but the Creature merely crosses to the fire and hunkers
down. He tosses a few more sticks on the flames. Pause.
Come warm yourself if you like.
Yes, I speak. And read. And think...
and know the ways of Man.
I've been waiting for you. Two months
How did you find me?
The Creature grabs Victor's journal off the "shelf." He
unwinds the thong, the letters spill out.
The letters in your journal. That
and a geography book.
(picks up a letter)
Your Elizabeth sounds lovely.
Kill me and have done with it.
Kill you? Hardly that.
Then why am I here? What did you
want with me?
More to the point, why am I here?
What did you want with me?
(off Victor's look)
What does one say to one's Maker,
having finally met him face to face?
Milton gave it voice.
(grabs a book, thumbs
to a certain page)
Did I request thee, Maker, from my
clay to mould me Man? Did I solicit
thee from Darkness to promote me?
Fine words from a child killer. You
who murdered my brother.
Your crime... as well as mine.
How dare you. You're disgusting and
Do you believe in evil?
I see it before me.
I'm not sure I believe. But then I
had no one to instruct me. I had no
mother... and my father abandoned me
He draws closer still. Intimate. Turning his head this way
and that. Puzzling at Victor's face. Softly:
Were the dying cries of your brother
music in my ears?
He raises his hand before Victor's eyes, bony fingers curling
to clutch an invisible throat. Victor is petrified
I took him by the throat with one
hand... lifted him off the ground.
And slowly crushed his neck.
That poor, innocent child died in my
grip... because all I could see was
your face... and all I could feel
was my rage. And when I let him go,
he fluttered to the grass like a
FLASHBACK INSERT: FIELD
The Creature gazes down at Willie's body. He stares at the
hand that committed the crime as if waking from a dream.
Tears welling. Overcome with shame and horror.
He falls to knees in the middle of the vast field, his wail
echoing across the countryside as he weeps over the boy.
RESUME ICE CAVE
Victor stares in horror as the Creature relates his story
with tears shining in his monstrous eyes.
Later, when they were searching, I
followed the pretty lady who got
lost in the woods...
FLASHBACK INSERT: - BARN
Justine is asleep in the hay. Haggard, wet, exhausted. The
Creature looms over her, a monstrous shape backlit by the
lightning, gazing on her beauty. His hand reaches down,
hovering reverently, wishing to caress the swell of her
breasts at the neckline of her bodice ...
She was so lovely. I longed to touch
her... and seek her sympathy...
The locket drops from his hand to dangle in his fingers. He
lowers it, tucking it gently away in her pocket
...but I simply returned the object
which had triggered my crime, hoping
in some small way to atone...
RESUME ICE CAVE
Now tears are shining in victor's eyes as well.
You gave me these emotions, but you
didn't tell me how to use them. Now
two people are dead. Because of us.
Victor is crushed by remorse. A sob escapes him.
Why, Victor? Why? What were you
There was something at work in my
soul which I do not understand.
What of my soul? Do I have one? Or
was that a part you left out?
(spreads his hands)
Who were these people of which I am
comprised? Good people? Bad people?
Materials. Nothing more.
You're wrong. Do you know I knew how
to play this?
He grabs up the recorder, plays a brief snatch of melody.
In which part of me did this knowledge
reside? In these hands? In this mind?
In this heart?
And reading and speaking. Not things
learned... so much as things
Trace memories in the brain, perhaps.
Stolen memories. Stolen and hazy.
They taunt me in my dreams. I've
seen a beautiful woman lying back
and beckoning for me to love her.
Whose woman was this? I've seen boys
playing, splashing about in a stream.
Whose childhood friends were these?
Who am I?
I don't know.
Then perhaps I believe in evil after
The Creature moves off. Victor is emotionally exhausted
What can I do?
There is something I want.
A companion. A female. Like me, so
she won't hate me.
Like you? Oh, God, you don't know
what you're asking.
I do know that for the sympathy of
one living being, I would make peace
I have love in me the likes of which
you can scarcely imagine. And rage
the likes of which you would not
believe. If I cannot satisfy the
one, I will demonically indulge the
other. That choice is yours.
(off his look)
You're the one who set this in motion,
And if I consent?
We'd travel north, my bride and I.
To the furthest reaches of the Pole,
where no man has ever set foot. There
we would live out our lives.
No human eye would ever see us again.
This I vow.
PUSHING SLOWLY IN on Victor. Considering it. Beaten.
EXT - MONT BLANC GLACIER - NEXT MORNING
Victor is calming his skittish horse as the Creature looms
into view. Victor turns. The Creature tosses Victor his
journal. Victor hesitates, jams it into his saddlebag.
Yes. I want this over and done with.
I'll be waiting. And watching.
And with that, the Creature turns and scrambles back down
the nearly-vertical cliff face, leaping from crags and
boulders with superhuman agility. Victor watches him vanish
EXT - MONT BLANC - DAY
Victor descends the mountain, heading back to civilization.
EXT - FRANKENSTEIN ESTATE - DAY
Victor walks his horse toward the house. Elizabeth rushes
out to meet him with Henry and Claude. Victor hands off the
reins to the STABLEBOY and embraces Elizabeth tightly.
I thought I'd never see you again!
I'm all right. I'm safe,
What happened up there?
I didn't find what I was looking
What did you find?
Victor glances over. Claude has pulled the Collier pistols
from the saddlebags and caught a strong whiff of powder.
These have been fired.
At shadows. My nerves got the better
Victor walks on toward the house with Elizabeth
EXT - GARDEN - DAY
...and we find them in discussion by the fountain:
What sort of task?
It's not something I can explain
now. Perhaps someday.
What of our marriage? Victor, we've
had so much tragedy. I want this
family to live again.
So do I.
We need each other now, I need your
comfort and strength, not separation
A month at most, that's all I ask.
Elizabeth, please. Things have not
yet resolved. I must take steps to
see that they do. For our family's
sake. For our sake.
(caresses her face)
You are life itself. We shall seal
our vow. The moment I am done.
He leans forward to kiss her... and pauses, hearing the
distant MUSIC of a recorder echoing from the hills...
INT - BEDROOM - DAY
Victor sits at bedside, holding Father's hand. The old man
is a weak and frail shadow of his former self.
You must regain your strength to
preside at our wedding... and spoil
your grandchildren later on. These
are duties you cannot shirk.
Father smiles faintly.
Victor squeezes his hand, whispers:
We're all safe now. I promise
INT - MANSION ATTIC - DAY
Murky and dark. Victor enters, yanks a dusty curtain off a
window to let in some daylight. He picks up a pry bar,
approaches a stack of crates as if facing an old adversary.
One in particular is quite large. He rams the bar into the
wood, prying it open... and CAMERA PUSHES IN to reveal a
dull gleam of copper lurking within the packing straw.
God forgive me.
Victor assembles his equipment, recreating the lab; bolting
together the sarcophagus, now resting in its cradle. Hanging
the huge glass tube, adjusting the boom. Installing the
ceiling tracks and hoist mechanism. Playing out the copper
wire along the ceiling beams. Hooking up the galvanic
batteries and generators. Testing the electrical circuit
with goggles and thick gloves, getting a huge cascade of
I prayed never to see these again...
Victor turns. Henry stands in the doorway.
Whatever they are.
Henry enters, runs his hand over the gleaming surface of the
sarcophagus, circles toward Victor.
I won't bother asking what or why.
You wouldn't tell me anyway. I just
hope you know what you're doing...
...because if this is a repeat of
Ingolstadt, I won't be around to
pick up the pieces.
CAMERA PUSHES PAST to the Da Vinci print on the wall, contact
points still daubed with red...
EXT - CEMETERY - NIGHT
CAMERA DRIFTS among the tombstones to reveal an eerie sight:
SOMEONE hunched in a grave, digging madly, dirt flying. We
hear the THUNK of a shovel hitting wood
INT - COFFIN - NIGHT
...and the lid wrenches aside to reveal the Creature. He
peers down at us, almost close enough to kiss.
EXT - FRANKENSTEIN MANSION - ANGLE FROM ROOF - NIGHT
The Creature nimbly climbs the outer wall, fingers grasping
the brickwork, a dark shape slung over his shoulder. He pauses
as a PAIR OF STABLEHANDS pass far below. He pulls himself
onto the roof, crosses the gables, and pushes open a dormer
window. We see Victor inside as it swings open. The Creature
enters with his prize...
INT - ATTIC - NIGHT
...and the mottled corpse of Justine Moritz flops onto the
table before us.
TILT UP TO:
I want her.
Victor stares down in utter horror. Her cold, dead face.
Blue lips already beginning to shrivel. Purple, sunken eyes.
Knowing that she loved him. Knowing it's his fault she's
dead. He can barely get the words out:
Her body pleases me.
That's it for Victor. He turns away, stomach heaving. It's
all he can do to keep from throwing up.
Materials, remember? Nothing more.
Victor hesitates, pulling himself together. Softly:
He turns back, forcing himself to examine the body, trying
not to view it as someone he knows. He cradles the head,
probing the back of the neck with his fingers.
The brain stem was destroyed by the
hanging. We'll need another. The
body looks like it will do, but some
extremities are too decayed. They'll
have to be replaced. The fresher the
EXT - ALLEY - RED LIGHT DISTRICT - NIGHT
Outside the back door of a rowdy tavern, we find a PROSTITUTE
servicing a SAILOR in the alley: he's got her pressed against
the wall, skirt hiked up. It's not long before he's finished.
Off he goes, staggering back into the bar. She arranges her
skirt, tucking the money away... and pauses, noticing a TALL
FIGURE in the shadows. Staring. She approaches with her best
Want some yourself? Or just like to
What do you say, lover? I can make
it good for you.
The Creature leans into the light, clamps a massive hand to
her mouth. His other arm wraps around her waist, pulling her
off the ground. She gazes up, eyes wide, screams muffled in
his palm. Softly:
I know you can.
And he wrenches his arm, snapping her spine.
INT - ATTIC - NIGHT
The dead prostitute lies staring up, dried blood staining
her mouth. TILT UP to Victor gazing down in horror.
What is this?
A brain. Extremities.
This was not taken from a grave.
What does it matter? She'll live
again. You'll make her.
No. I draw the line.
The Creature lashes out and drags Victor across the table.
You will honor your promise to me!
(through gritted teeth)
I will not! Kill me now!
That is mild compared to what will
come. If you deny me my wedding night.
I'll be with you on yours.
The Creature vanishes out the attic window into the night.
Victor is left gasping for air, staring at the dead
prostitute. The full horror sinking in.
INT - ATTIC STAIRCASE - MORNING
Victor slams the attic door, securing it with a massive
padlock. He hurries down the steps.
INT - GRAND BALLROOM - DAY
Victor and Elizabeth, intensity flying:
No. Not tomorrow, not next week,
Marry me today.
Why the change? What about your work?
It was misguided and pointless. Is
your answer yes?
We'll leave this afternoon, right
after the ceremony. Pack only what
Does this have something to do with
that man you saw?
Yes. We're in danger here. Every
moment we stay.
Victor, tell me why! Trust me!
I do. But you must trust me for now.
INT - BEDROOM - DAY
A small ceremony has been hurriedly organized at Father's
bedside. The old man holds Elizabeth's hand. Softly:
This is not... the grand wedding...
I had hoped to give you...
He releases her hand, giving the bride away. She takes her
place at Victor's side. Henry stands as best man. The PRIEST
We gather now in the sight of God to
witness this man and woman bond their
lives in matrimonial vow.
EXT - MANSION - DAY
Elizabeth gets in the coach. Claude clambers up to the
driver's seat armed with a rifle, ready to pull out. EIGHT
MEN on horseback provide armed escort. Victor addresses the
men staying behind, all of whom are also armed:
Be especially on your guard. Stay
cautious to a fault.
Who is this man, sir? How shall we
He is huge and deformed... and quite
He killed Master William and sent
Justine Moritz to the noose! No
hesitation, lads! Shoot the bastard
CRIES of assent.
Victor pulls Henry aside:
Are you sure you'll be all right?
Yes, don't worry. I'll look after
your father. You look after her.
I'll be back as soon as I've got her
far away and safe. We'll hunt this
fiend down together.
Only if you'll tell me who he is.
I owe you that. Done.
A quick embrace. Victor leaps into the coach.
ANGLE FROM FATHER'S BEDROOM WINDOW
The coach clatters up the road, trailed by the eight horsemen.
Those left behind scatter across the courtyard.
Henry turns and walks back toward the house. ANGLE WIDENS to
reveal the Creature at the window. In the bed behind him,
The old man stirs, opening his eyes
...and sees the Creature turn toward him. Father's eyes go
wide as his final stroke is triggered. His life ends with a
prolonged death-rattle... and a soft exhale. The Creature
reaches down, closes his eyes. A tender gesture.
A LOUD GASP. The Creature whirls. There stands the priest,
dropping his tea to the floor. The Creature sweeps across
the room, presses him against the wall.
(breathless with horror)
You're the Devil himself.
Yes, and I've come to snatch your
...unless you tell me where they've
EXT - LAKE GENEVA - DUSK
A magnificent sunset bathes the mountains as storm clouds
roll in. A ferry is crossing the lake, moving away from us,
rippling the water. TILT DOWN to reveal...
EXT - FERRY DOCK - DUSK
Claude trotting to the window of the coach.
That was the last ferry. There's
nothing else till morning.
We'll ride on ahead and secure you
lodging for the night.
EXT - RESORT - NIGHT
A big chalet nestled in the woods by the lake. The storm is
raging. Claude and his men are positioned at the entrances.
Make sure you keep your pistols dry
They're dry enough. And if they fail,
we've others. And if those fail...
(draws his saber
...we can always gut the bastard.
Don't worry, sir. You're well guarded.
Now why don't you go upstairs to
your wife? It's not often a man has
his wedding night.
INT - BRIDAL SUITE - NIGHT
Victor enters to find the room aglow with dozens of candles.
Elizabeth turns from the fireplace, her body silhouetted
through the sheer white nightgown.
She approaches, peels off his coat. Victor stares at her,
awe-struck. She sees the look in his eyes, crosses her arms
demurely... then laughs at her own modesty.
Brother and sister no more.
Now husband and wife.
He strokes her bare shoulders with his fingertips.
I remember the first time I ever saw
you. Crossing the floor of the grand
ballroom with my parents at your
side. So beautiful even then.
I have been waiting for this ever
She leans up and gives him a kiss that would melt glass,
triggering the sexiest seduction imaginable...
...kissing, caressing, Victor stripping off his wet shirt,
CAMERA DRIFTING around them in slow circles, candles spinning
like a fever that's been building for a lifetime... and now
onto the bed. Magnificent and canopied. Kneeling together,
bodies touching, hands seeking, mouths joining...
Elizabeth lying back, beckoning for him to love her. Victor
sinking down, running his hands up her thighs, peeling up
the nightgown, making her shudder with desire...
...and a SHOT FIRES. Victor jerks up. He can hear SHOUTING.
He rolls off the bed, snatching up both pistols lying primed
and ready on the nightstand.
Open this door for no-one!
EXT - CHALET - NIGHT
Victor sails past the GUARD at the entrance, brandishing his
pistols. The men converge, shouting in the rain:
I saw him in a flash of lightning!
He vanished toward the lake!
Get after him!
Several men race off in pursuit. TILT UP from Victor and
Claude... as a FLASH OF LIGHTNING reveals the Creature
clinging in the branches above their heads with a malevolent
smile. He scurries silently up, further and further into
the tree... closer and closer to the balcony.
INT - BRIDAL SUITE - NIGHT
Elizabeth. Tense and waiting. A shadow looms across the
balcony... spilling through the French doors... onto the
floor... a bony hand reaches for the latch...
The doors burst open on a crust of wind and rain, Elizabeth
spins as candles blow out all over the room. The Creature
enters, massive and unseen, gliding in shadow. Softly:
Don't bother to scream.
EXT - CHALET - NIGHT
The men come running back from the lake. They stop before
Victor and Claude.
We lost him.
And GUARD #4's eyes drift up:
Why are those open?
Victor spins, gazing up. Breath catching in his throat. The
French doors are swaying in the wind.
INT - BRIDAL SUITE - NIGHT
Elizabeth watches, transfixed, as the huge shadow moves
inexorably toward her. Her eyes dart toward the door. She
makes a break for it. He catches her halfway across the room,
spinning her around by the arm. Her face is lit by the light
of the fireplace.
The Creature pauses, stunned at her beauty. A moment passes
between them. She senses the softening in his heart. She
peers at him, trying to understand. Realizing:
You don't want to hurt me.
He averts his gaze, shamed by her beauty.
You're more lovely than I could ever
FOOTSTEPS come pounding up the stairs. A HEAVY CRASH of men
throwing their shoulders at the door...
...and it changes back in an instant, The Creature snarls.
She tries to wrench away. He spins her around so he won't
have to look at her in the light, casting her face in shadow.
He cooks his arm back and plunges his fist toward her chest
with pile-driver force...
INT - LANDING (OUTSIDE ROOM) - NIGHT
...and her SCREAM is cut short. The men give one last mighty
rush at the door...
INT - BRIDAL SUITE - NIGHT
...and they burst in just in time to see Elizabeth cascade
back onto the bed, her chest a massive red stain. The Creature
whips toward them, fist glistening with blood...
I keep my promises.
...and he races across the room as the men OPEN FIRE,
shredding the walls to splinters with an explosive fusillade
of shots. But the Creature is too fast. He hits the leaded
window head-on with the force of an anvil...
EXT - CHALET - NIGHT
...and goes sailing out into empty space in a hurricane of
shattering glass. He drops 40 feet to the grass below and
vanishes like the breeze, greatcoat whipping into darkness.
INT - BRIDAL SUITE - NIGHT
Victor rushes to the bad and lets loose the most PRIMAL SCREAM
OF ALL. He sweeps his limp, murdered bride into his arms,
cradling her to his breast, screams trailing off into wracking
moans and sobs of despair:
Oh God... he took her heart... he
took her heart from me...
EXT - CHALET - NIGHT
The men make way as Victor carries his dead wife through the
downpour. He puts her in the coach. Dazed.
EXT - ROAD - NIGHT
The coach comes racing through the storm, the horses in a
frenzy, faster and faster.
EXT - MANSION - NIGHT
Victor whipping the coach veers to a wild stop. Victor jumps
down, gathers up the body, and mounts the steps. Henry
appears, rushing out into the rain. Victor goes right past
MANSION - NIGHT
...and carries Elizabeth through the silent halls.
ATTIC - NIGHT
The door swings in. Victor stands dripping. Holding Elizabeth.
Gazing at the gleam of copper...
And we launch into the final throbbing madness. Victor hacking
and chopping. Discarding pieces. Sewing the creation, yanking
the catgut tight. Ramming the needles deep. Hoisting the
body in the air. Slamming the sarcophagus lid, tightening
the bolts. Powering up the galvanic circuit, throwing the
switch. Screaming at God as the LIGHTNING FLASHES and the
body convulses. Wind and rain sweeping through the lab,
battering a window open and shut, open and shut. Lowering
the glass tube, ramming phallus into womb. Releasing the
eels, huge black sperm squirming and writhing toward the
spasming egg The body. Convulsing. Lashing. Screaming in the
copper womb. Hair whipping in the fluid...
Victor shuts down the machinery. He opens the tank and reaches
into the fluid with his thick rubber gloves. He pulls out
his creation, cradling the head and neck as one would cradle
a newborn infant's...
...And wipes the muck away with his glove to reveal
Elizabeth's face, Massive suture marks bisect her neck and
collarbone where pieces were joined. A whisper:
Her eyes flies open as consciousness hits, mouth gaping to
draw air but finding fluid in the lungs. She erupts, thrashing
in the vat. He clutches her tight, pounding her back to start
her breathing, calming the convulsing Creaturess with soft
murmured words of tenderness and love as her lungs heave
violently to dispel the fluid...
He lifts her gently out. Wipes off the muck as she shivers
and shakes, spasms easing off. Cleansing her face. Clasping
her hand in his. Comfort and strength...
Helping her to her feet. Jerky and unsure. Lean on me.
Replacing the sheer nightgown on her scarred and naked body,
draping it... and finally, exhaustingly, tilting her chin up
with his fingers to gaze into her eyes. A whisper:
Say my name.
Blank. Dazed. Stunned. Not a flicker of recognition.
Elizabeth. Say my name. Say you
remember. Say my name.
Nothing. He leans forward... and kisses her dead lips.
Gentle as a sigh. A flicker in her eyes?
You must. You must.
Maybe his imagination. Still whispering:
Say my name. Say you remember.
And slowly... ever so slowly... she raises her bony white
hand before her eyes... staring at it... trying to puzzle it
out... its meaning... perhaps the vaguest shred of
recognition... and the hand continues to rise... creeping
slowly toward his shoulder... and coming to rest there. He
smiles, blinking back tears...
Yes. I'll help you remember.
And he takes her other hand in his. At first it's
imperceptible... just the slightest motion, perhaps nothing,
perhaps just a shift of balance... and then it grows into
the vaguest sway... and tears are glistening in Victor's
eyes as she begins to move. Lurching. Faltering. Unsure.
You must lead, Victor. The lady will always look to you for
guidance, so your steps must be sure and strong.
And here we are treated to the most sweepingly romantic and
hair-raisingly demented image of the film: Frankenstein dances
with his dead bride, showing her the way, begging her to
remember, please remember, and now our WALTZ/LOVE THEME really
comes back to haunt us as the MUSIC SWELLS, incredibly lush
and deranged, dissonant and echoing through Victor's head,
music only he can hear...
...and the worst part? The very worst thing of all? There on
the shelf. A large formaldehyde jar. Justine's severed head.
Watching them through the glass with dead, sightless eyes.
Watching them dance. Still a wallflower? No. She's finally
finishing her dance with Victor... most of her, anyway. Under
the circumstances, it'll have to do...
...and the waltz goes on, madder and madder, sweeping in
glorious circles as a dazzling array of LIGHTNING bathes
them in its wild, jittering spotlight, shadows careening
across the walls, INSANE MUSIC swelling louder and louder,
climbing higher and higher, reaching toward its crescendo
with jagged glass claws...
...and it all screeches to a stop as the door bursts in.
Music echoes abruptly away into silence. Nothing now but
rain and distant thunder. In the doorway:
She's not for you.
I'm sure the lady knows her own mind.
Doesn't she? Let her decide the proper
The Creature raises his hand. Beckoning. She takes a faltering
step. Drawn to him.
(she turns, puzzled)
Say my name.
Her face reflects horror and shame, like a brain-damaged
child who's wet the bed. She knows she's supposed to
remember... but can't remember what remembering means.
They both motion to her. Murmuring. Begging. She's caught
between them, pulled like a diaphanous rope in a tug of war.
Please... come with me. Please... remember. She finally tilts
toward the Creature. Gazing into his eyes. Studying his face.
Fingertips tracing his massively scarred flesh. A beat. A
frown. A puzzlement. This isn't right. People don't look
like this. They're not stitched together out of pieces of
flesh like a patchwork.
She looks at her own hands. Dead and white. Not even hers.
One belongs to Justine. Another to a prostitute, suture scars
marring the wrist. She looks down at herself. The dead,
sagging breasts. The body that isn't hers either. Realization
creeping into her eyes. Realization and horror. Turning to
Victor. Why do I look like this? What's happened to me? Oh
God, what's happened to me?
...and she lets out a SHRIEK, a banshee wail from the deepest
pits of hell. Screaming at them both. Screaming at herself.
She goes berserk, trying to claw her flesh away, trying to
find the real Elizabeth underneath the horror, trying to
peel it away, clawing at her face. Trying to claw out her
Victor lunges to restrain her, screaming himself, veering
toward final utter madness like strings snapping on a violin.
The Creature grabs him, hurls him aside.
GET AWAY FROM HER! SHE'S MINE!
SHE'LL NEVER BE YOURS! SHE SAID MY
NAME! SHE REMEMBERS!
Yes. She remembers. Not much, but enough. She breaks away
from them as they grapple, still SHRIEKING as she sails across
the room, tipping furniture, equipment flying...
...over straight to the kerosene lamp, snatching it up before
they can stop her.
She spins to face them, holding them breathlessly at bay
with the threat of the lamp, twitching from one to the other.
But it's not just the lamp, it's the look of sheer loathing
in her eyes. Loathing for them for what they've done to her...
loathing for herself for what she's become.
It turns out the lady does know her own mind. She wants no
part of it... or them. Decision made. She crushes the lamp
in her bare hands, drenching herself in a cascade of kerosene.
WHOOOOSH! She goes up like a blazing matchstick and darts
past them, still SHRIEKING, still trying to claw the dead
flesh away, pulling off giant flaming pieces of herself as
she careens out the door and down the steps, Victor and the
Creature racing after her...
INT - UPPER HALLWAY - NIGHT
...and she sails down the hallway, setting FIRE to everything
she passes, SCREAMING for the final torment to end. She hurls
herself over the railing, drapes catching ablaze as she
plummets to the floor far below. A pillar of flame leaps up
VICTOR AND THE CREATURE face each other as flames sweep the
walls, combusting the upper hallway into a raging tunnel in
You killed her! You killed her!
He hurls himself at the Creature, who backhands him spinning
down the hallway, sprawling to the floor. The Creature gazes
down at his Maker one last time...
We killed her.
And then vanishes through the smoke and flames.
EXT - FRANKENSTEIN ESTATE - DAY
The once-magnificent estate lies in smoldering ruin beneath
a merciless gray sky. Charred beams and drifting smoke are
all that remain to mark the passing of a noble family.
Victor stands gazing at the house. A windswept, hollow man
Bundled in a rough coat. Flintlock rifle dangling at his
side. Henry moves into frame some distance behind. Softly:
No reaction. For a long moment it seems Victor hasn't heard.
He rouses as if from a trance, turn and walks to his pack
horse. The animal stands saddled and ready.
He starts to mount up, but Henry intercepts him with a
restraining hand. Victor snaps a look as if seeing a
stranger... and then his features soften.
All that I once loved lies in a
shallow grave. By my hand.
Let it go.
Victor pauses, emotions swirling. Wishing he could grab the
dangling thread of sanity Henry has offered... but knowing
the thread is a bittersweet illusion. A bare whisper:
You should have been my father's
son. He would have been so proud.
Victor abruptly heaves himself into the saddle and spurs his
horse. Henry runs after him, shouting:
VICTOR! COME BACK!
But Victor keeps riding without so much as a backward glance.
The past is dead. Henry watches Victor until he's gone from
sight, as Willie did so long ago...
EXT - MONT BLANC GLACIER - DAY
The solitary rider and his mount traverse the windswept
INT - THE CREATURE'S CAVE - DAY
Victor slides down the entrance, rifle cradled. The cave is
now deserted, all possessions gone, a scorched black spot
where the campfire had been...
EXT - GLACIER - DAY
A panorama of snow. Pristine... save for the long trail of
footprints stretching off before us.
Victor's face thrusts into frame, gazing at the craggy
horizon, breath punching the air with billows of vapor.
He slogs onward, following the tracks, leading his horse by
the reins. Dwindling across the frozen landscape.
ARCTIC VICTOR (V.O.)
I followed his trail north... always
north... and always one step behind...
never stopping... driven by my fires
of rage... and revenge...
INT - WALTON'S CABIN - TWILIGHT
Victor lies in Walton's bed, sallow as a corpse, barely able
to speak, drained now of everything.
A year now I've followed him. Perhaps
more. Only to arrive at this place.
Tired. So very tired. I never did
find... whatever it was... I was
looking for... and neither will you,
(off Walton's look)
Value life above ambition... or those
glittering prizes you seek will
crumble to dust in your fingers...
as they have in mine.
(reaches out feverishly)
See your loved ones again. I cannot.
Walton takes Victor's hand, lays it gently back to his chest.
Victor is silent. His breathing shallow. Walton just sits
A SLOW DISSOLVE marks the passage of Walton's long vigil...
Victor's eyes flutter open as if staring at something unseen.
Perhaps, the faces of those he loved. The eyes glaze. A
peaceful death. Walton rises. Puts on his heavy coat to ward
off the chill. Exits the cabin.
EXT - NEVSKY - ON DECK - TWILIGHT
Grigori is leaning on the gunwale, staring off across the
ice. His coat is open. Walton joins him. Surprised at how
warm it is. He holds up his hand, testing the breeze.
A warming wind.
This ice will break yet.
How's our guest?
He died. Raving about phantoms. He
was mad, poor devil.
Gather a detail. Have the body removed
from my cabin.
Grigori moves off to gather help. Walton turns and heads
back to his cabin.
INT - WALTON'S CABIN - NIGHT
Walton enters... and freezes at the sound of SOFT WEEPING.
He can't see the bad from here. Could it be the dead man? He
glances down. Wet footprints lead across the floor.
He eases forward. The tiny bed chamber comes slowly into
view. A DARK FIGURE is hunched and weeping at bedside, holding
the corpse's hand. Walton is stunned.
Who are you?
The figure swivels its head, revealing its face to the dim
He never gave me a name.
Walton hisses a terrified intake of breath. He lunges to the
desk, slaps his hand on the pistol lying there. A frozen
beat. Wondering if he should snatch it up. Eyes dancing with
fear and speculation. The Creature makes no move. Unconcerned.
You were with him at the end.
(finds his voice)
I was watching.
Walton glances to the porthole, ajar and creaking in the
breeze, chilled at the thought. The Creature returns his
gaze to Victor.
I longed to be with him. But I wanted
his final moments to have peace. I
could see you were a friend to him.
What is that to you? Evil as you
(swivels his gaze)
I am as he made me. In his own image.
You drove him to his torment.
And he drove me to mine.
Then why weep for him?
Would you not? He was father. And
mother. We fell from grace together.
He from his God. I from mine.
The Creature gently strokes Victor's cheek. He reaches up
with two fingers, closes the staring eyes. A whisper:
Could we ever have forgiven?
The question goes unanswered. The Creature rises, gliding in
shadow to the door. Pauses.
I've never been shown a kindness.
Show me one now.
Build for him a pyre. Light up the
sky with his passing.
And then the Creature is gone, vanishing smoothly into the
EXT - ARCTIC - TWILIGHT
The crew of the Nevsky are on the ice, chopping up the fallen
mast, axes rising and falling in waves...
EXT - ARCTIC - TWILIGHT
The body of Victor Frankenstein lies on an impressive bier
of wood, stacked and lashed. His body is wrapped in rough
canvas, his face as dead and white as the ice.
Walton and crew stand facing the bier. Walton silently reads
a passage from the Bible. Oily black smoke from a small
campfire drifts past.
Walton closes the book. Amens are muttered. Walton glances
to Grigori and nods. Grigori moves forward with two other
men. They begin dousing the pyre with lamp oil, soaking it.
Walton moves to the campfire, picks up an unlit torch. He
dips it into the fire, igniting the pitch, turns. The men
back away, preparing for the coming blaze...
...and a dog starts howling on deck, others joining in. The
men pause. Gazing across the ice. Dread seeping into their
bones. There's a figure out there. Huge and humanlike in
frame. Loping slowly over the ice. Approaching.
Grigori snatches up the rifle, shoulders it smoothly, cocks
the flintlock. Walton glances over, pushes the muzzle skyward,
denying his aim.
It has a right to bear witness.
Grigori hesitates, nods. If you say so. The men grow more
unsettled as the Creature draws nearer. Frightened muttering.
Men start backing toward the ship.
Stand fast. All of you.
The men stand fast. The Creature stops some thirty yards
out. A silent tableau on the ice. The men facing the Creature.
Walton holding the torch. The pyre waiting for the kiss of
flame. Walton moves forward...
...and a THUNDEROUS CRACK is heard, The men whip their heads
as a gigantic plate of ice goes spinning into the air some
fifty yards away and comes crashing back down again.
It's like tectonic plates building pressure toward an
earthquake: once it goes, it goes with terrifying speed and
force: CRACK! Another eruption. CRACK! And another. CRACK!
Ice cascading skyward.
THE BITCH IS BREAKIN' UP!
(whips toward Walton)
TORCH THE DAMN THING!
Walton rushes forward. CRACK! The ice erupts before him. The
torch goes flying. Walton sprawls flat on his back.
BACK TO THE SHIP!
The men don't have to be told twice. They're already in full
retreat, scrambling for their lives. Ice is detonating for
miles around as if pounded by artillery. Grigori helps Walton
to his feet. The torch lies burning not ten feet away. A
heartbeat of hesitation. Walton wondering if he should go
for it. Grigori pulling wildly on his sleeve...
...and then the matter is decided for them as a huge rift
opens at their feet, running an explosive zig-zag course
across the ice, separating them from the torch.
They fall back to join the retreat, stumbling after the
others, pursued by the ice dissolving at their heels.
THE CREATURE watches his last wish for Victor Frankenstein
snatched away by God's whim and breaking ice.
He starts forward. Behind him, a detonation of ice throws a
massive fist into the air, creating a magnificent halo of
cascading water and spinning fragments.
The first wave of fleeing men reach the ship, crowding to
the drop-net for salvation, scrambling up the side.
WALTON AND GRIGORI stumble along, closing distance to the
ship. Walton glances back, amazed to see:
racing across the ice, making for the torch, teeth set in a
wide grimace of effort. Detonations threaten to swallow him
from all sides. Suddenly, things go from bad to worse.
breaks free with an enormous groan, heeling slowly over,
triggering massive eruptions in all directions. The crew
hang onto the drop-net for dear life. Several men plummet
into the icy water.
THE CREATURE is propelled by a detonation as if held stepped
on a land mine, cartwheeling helplessly through the air to
plunge headfirst into the water, huge plates of spinning ice
crashing down after him. Gone.
WALTON AND GRIGORI are knocked flat as a fissure appears
between them. Grigori, dazed, is lifted into the air on a
teetering table of ice, desperately trying to scramble back
but sliding forward nonetheless, rising up and up, a gaping
maw of frigid water yawning wider and wider before him.
Walton grabs the back of Grigori's coat and tries to drag
him off... but the coat is snatched from his fingers as the
ice see-saws forward in a complete flip and slams Grigori
thunderously into the drink.
THE NEVSKY finishes righting itself, swaying ponderously as
she finds honest ocean beneath her hull. Some men are reaching
the top of the net, hurling themselves over the gunwale to
the deck. Those lower on the drop-net are helping their
fellows from the water, hauling them to safety.
FRANKENSTEIN'S BIER is now corkscrewing in slow circles on
its own ice floe.
THE TORCH is drifting on a chunk of ice. Still burning.
ANGLE AT WATER LEVEL
Walton is on hands and knees, scrambling on shifting pieces
of ice, thrusting his arms into the water, screaming:
The first mate breaks surface in the foreground, gasping and
strangling for breath, face already turning blue, arms
thrashing wildly, dragged down by the now-impossible weight
of his own clothing.
Walton strains to reach him, nearly going into the water
himself. Grigori keeps thrashing and gasping. Dying. He's
dying right in front of Walton's eyes.
SOMEBODY THROW ME A GAFF!
Too late. Grigori goes down for the final time, vanishing
for good beneath the frigid water. Gone. Walton throws his
head back with a bellow of anguish...
...and Grigori breaks the surface again, rising slowly And
impossibly from the water. arms and legs windmill against
the air, propelled from below with nearly aulic strength. He
gazes down in shock at the massive fist clutching his chest...
and the arm that grows and grows, rising, lifting him up and
up... and the hideous face that breaks the surface beneath
him. The face of a nightmare.
The Creature lunges hugely, hurling Grigori through the air
right into Walton's arms. Both men go sprawling. Walton
scrambles to his knees, makes eye contact with the Creature.
The monster is exhausted. Near his limit. Walton thrusts out
his arm, fingers grasping to help.
The Creature swivels his gaze. The burning torch is drifting
away. He looks grimly back to Walton. Walton beckoning to
him. Come. Grab my hand.
The Creature swims away, knifing through the water after the
torch. Walton turns, drags Grigori gasping to his feet, helps
him limp toward the Nevsky across the lurching ice.
CREATURE struggles through the water, crushed and battered
by ice floes on all sides. Going under.
WALTON AND GRIGORI slog grimly on across the disintegrated
ice, knee-deep and nearly walking on water. They sink, finding
nothing beneath their feet. Lines are thrown down and caught.
Walton and Grigori are hauled from the frigid arctic water
and hoisted up the side of the ship. The last ones aboard.
BURNING TORCH is spinning slowly on its chunk of ice. Bony
fingers break the surface of the water. A straining hand.
The Creature's eyes rise from the murk. Bleary with exhaustion
and cold. He seizes the torch. Raises it high.
Swims grimly on.
ABOARD THE NEVSKY
The crew bundle Walton and Grigori in blankets, both men
shivering with exposure. Walton lurches to the gunwale, gazing
off. The men crowd to his-side.
THE CREATURE swims on, head barely breaking the water, torch
held high to keep it burning. Relentlessly determined. This
is the most grueling effort we've ever seen. Gasping and
sinking beneath the surface...
...and finally grasping with frozen fingers the ice floe
upon which lies Frankenstein's funeral pyre. He hauls himself
from the water. Moving now in a slow-motion litany of
exhaustion. Climbing the pyre. Scaling the wood. Seeking the
top. Never giving up.
The Creature joins his Maker atop the bier, straddling the
wood, holding the torch aloft as if lighting his master's
way to the Netherworld, Frankenstein's personal boatman across
the River Styx. Frankenstein himself lies serenely at his
creation's knees, content to be shown the way...
The Creature turns his face to the sky, gulping air, spreading
his arms wide in sublime triumph. Feeling the wind on his
skin, the sleet on his face, the grim joy in his heart. Cold.
So very cold.
He glances at the torch burning low in his outstretched hand,
pitch almost gone, sputtering and trailing smoke. He looks
down. At Frankenstein. The oil-soaked canvas. The saturated
wood. There's that smell. Yes. He scoops Victor up with his
free arm and cradles him to his breast, as tender as a mother
comforting a baby.
WALTON AND THE CREW gaze in horror. Realization dawning:
Don't do it...
FOR GOD'S SAKE! DON'T DO IT!
turns his gaze one last time toward Heaven. Eyelids fluttering
in near-religious ecstasy. Finding in these last moments the
sympathy held so long sought. A whisper:
For God's sake... I will.
And he rams the torch into the pyre beneath him. White-hot
ignition. Ultimate redemption. WHUMP! A massive BALL OF FLAME
engulfs the bier, pushing a huge fiery fist into the sky.
WALTON AND THE CREW gaze on in wonder and horror as:
THE CREATURE rides the burning pyre, a shrieking revenant
wrapped in a caul of fire, screaming in the flames. Hair
going up at a sizzling flashpoint. Cheeks billowing out,
peeling back in the blast-furnace heat. Flesh cleansing from
bone. Teeth charring and turning black. Still cradling Victor.
Still screaming. waiting for the final torment to end. Perhaps
it never will...
FRANKENSTEIN'S PYRE drifts off into the arctic twilight
trailing a huge column of flame and smoke, inhuman screams
echoing endlessly. Lost in the darkness and distance.
WALTON stands at the gunwale, his crew at his side. The
borealis dances mysteriously on the horizon. Distant slivers
of lightning kiss the world. Softly:
EXT - ARCTIC - TWILIGHT
HIGH AERIAL SHOT. An ocean of broken ice beneath us. The
Alexander Nevsky heels gingerly about, corkscrewing through
a slow turn toward the open sea as we FADE TO BLACK.