Frankenstein (フランケンシュタイン is a Furankenshutain)kaiju used by Toho in the 1965 Toho film, Frankenstein vs. Baragon. He is based on Frankenstein's monster from Mary Shelley's classic horror novel, Frankenstein.
Frankenstein's name comes from the surname of his creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein. In the original novel as well as its earliest film adaptations by Edison Studios and Universal Pictures, the monster was referred to as "Frankenstein's monster," "the Frankenstein monster," or just "the monster", but never "Frankenstein." The monster began being commonly referred to as "Frankenstein" by audiences, and this became a popular name for the creature that is common to this day despite not being technically accurate. The monster is consistently referred to as "Frankenstein" in Frankenstein vs. Baragon, so in this context the name is nevertheless correct.
Toho's idea for a film featuring Frankenstein's monster originated with Willis O'Brien's story for King Kong vs. Frankenstein, which pit King Kong against a giant monster created by Dr. Frankenstein using the body parts of various animals. This story was pitched to Toho by producer John Beck, and ultimately led to the production of King Kong vs. Godzilla. However, Toho was still interested in a Frankenstein film, and in 1963 Tomoyuki Tanaka greenlit Frankenstein vs. The Human Vapor, a sequel to the studio's previous film The Human Vapor. The story revolved around the Human Vapor, having survived the climax of the aforementioned film, learning of a scientist who has revived Frankenstein's monster. He then seeks the scientist out, believing he may hold the secret to reviving his dead lover using the same technology. While a draft of the film's screenplay was completed by Shinichi Sekizawa, the film ultimately never came to fruition.
Toho's next idea involving Frankenstein's monster was a follow-up to King Kong vs. Godzilla. Takeshi Kimura wrote a script for this film, which featured Godzilla battling Frankenstein's monster, who has grown to gigantic size due to the effects of the atomic bomb. The story underwent numerous revisions, with Godzilla ultimately being replaced with the new monster Baragon and the film becoming Frankenstein vs. Baragon.
Director Ishiro Honda watched Universal Pictures' 1931 film adaptation of Frankenstein prior to beginning work on the film. He based his interpretation of the monster on Boris Karloff's iconic portrayal of the creature, taking care to express the tragedy and sorrow of the character. Takeshi Kimura, who wrote the screenplay under the pseudonym Kaoru Mabuchi, included many attempts to form sympathy for Frankenstein, with the character of Sueko Togami forming a motherly affection for the creature and James Bowen insisting that Frankenstein is a human being. In contrast to the original film, where the human characters fail to understand and sympathize with the monster, in Honda's film the three protagonists are allies of Frankenstein by the end.
Special makeup was applied to actors Sumio Nakao and Koji Furuhata, who portrayed Frankenstein's young and mature forms in the film, respectively. Whereas the depiction of monsters in most of Toho's kaiju films was handled by the special effects department, Frankenstein's makeup was applied by a staff of makeup specialists. The actors wore special green-colored contact lens so their eyes would look more like those of Westerners, as Frankenstein was supposed to be German in the film. Furuhata wore skin-colored shoes as part of the adult Frankenstein's costume. Frankenstein's moving severed hand was realized using an elaborate scale model, consisting of five fully-moving fingers operated by a motor mechanism.
Frankenstein's appearance is primarily derived from actor Boris Karloff's iconic portrayal of the creature in the 1931 film adaptation of the novel. Toho's Frankenstein features the tall lanky physique of Karloff's version, along with the trademark tall forehead and flat-topped angular head. Unlike most other interpretations, Toho's Frankenstein seems to have normal human-looking skin and no signs of physical decay on his body. Due to his size, Toho's Frankenstein also wears a large makeshift cloak presumably made of fur rather than normal clothing.
Frankenstein is portrayed as an innocent, childlike but still relatively intelligent creature, similar to the version of the monster that appeared in Universal Pictures' films featuring the character. Toho's Frankenstein is mute and unable to speak, but does appear able to understand human speech. He is also somewhat feral, but is not hostile or dangerous towards humans so long as they do not try to harm him. Frankenstein shows compassion and loyalty towards Dr. Sueko Togami, the scientist that raised him. Even after escaping from the laboratory, Frankenstein visits Sueko's apartment. Frankenstein also takes it upon himself to fight Baragon when the creature threatens Sueko.
Many years ago, a German scientist named Victor Frankenstein created an artificial human from the pieces of several corpses and reanimated it using electricity. Though the creature appeared to die at several points over the next several decades, it always managed to return due to its immortal heart. By 1945, a scientist in Frankfurt Germany, Dr. Liesendorf, was experimenting on the heart of Frankenstein's monster, only for Hitler's Nazis to seize it. The Nazis, hoping to use the heart's secrets to create immortal soldiers, shipped the heart to Japan in order to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Allied forces. The heart was taken to a Hiroshima laboratory for study but was lost and seemingly destroyed when the United States dropped the atomic bomb Little Boy on the city. 15 years later, a wild boy was discovered wandering the streets of the city. Scientists eventually captured and studied him, discovering that he was regenerated from the lost heart of Frankenstein.
15 years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, a wild boy was discovered wandering around the city. Scientists captured and studied him, discovering that he was regenerated from the heart of Frankenstein. Frankenstein was well fed by the scientists, and in response to the protein-rich food, began to grow incredibly fast, reaching a height of 20 meters with extraordinary speed, forcing the scientists to incarcerate him in a cell. However, Frankenstein managed to escape his prison, his hand actually snapping off when his chains became too tight. Frankenstein then fled to the Japanese countryside, sending all of Japan into a panic and being blamed for the disappearance of both livestock and people. It was later discovered that the people have been eaten not by Frankenstein, but by a new, burrowing kaiju named Baragon, who has eluded detection for quite some time. However, when Baragon attacked Frankenstein's former caretaker, Sueko Togami, the human-like monster attacked him. A vicious battle ensued, ending with Frankenstein apparently having killed Baragon by breaking his neck. Frankenstein, however, did not have long to savor the victory, for the ground underneath him, which had already been weakened by Baragon's burrowing, gave way and sent Frankenstein into the bowels of the Earth. Sueko asked if Frankenstein was killed. but one of her colleagues stated that Frankenstein could never die and would return again. Dr. Bowen, their other colleague, suggested that maybe it was best if Frankenstein did die, as a monster like him could never exist peacefully in this world.
It was later discovered that some of the immortal cells left behind in Japan by Frankenstein regenerated and took on lives of their own. One of these Frankenstein spawns, Sanda, was raised from childhood by a team of kind scientists before escaping to the mountains. The other, Gaira, grew up underwater surrounded by dangerous creatures, and became a violent and hateful beast.
Due to his immortal heart, Frankenstein cannot ever truly die. It is implied in the film that Frankenstein's heart not only survived being at ground zero when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, but gradually regenerated into a human being over the next two decades. While still young, Frankenstein survived being hit by a car head-on without suffering any visible harm. Frankenstein is shown to be impervious to bullets as well. Frankenstein was able to withstand repeated strikes from Baragon's heat beam, and eventually triumphed over his larger and more dangerous adversary.
Frankenstein's enhanced regeneration allows for virtually limitless healing that makes him essentially immortal. Not only did his heart regenerate an entire body, but he was later shown to instantaneously grow back his hand after it was severed during his escape. Dr. Liesendorf stated that Frankenstein's severed tissue is capable of taking on a life of its own, demonstrated when the severed hand began to move and search for food on its own, and later when the monsters Sanda and Gaira regenerated from samples of Frankenstein's flesh that were left behind.
Frankenstein is also highly intelligent. Despite not understanding human speech patterns when he was first captured, Frankenstein gradually became able to understand when his caretaker, Sueko Togami, spoke to him. In spite of his size, Frankenstein is able to stealthily feed on livestock during the night without arousing human suspicion. Frankenstein is also shown creating traps while hunting, utilizing his size to dig large holes and covering them with branches so as to trap prey. One of these traps was capable of stopping a tank. Frankenstein was able to create his own clothes presumably from the fur of animals, and also built a large bonfire in a cave. Frankenstein later used this fire to light torches and utilize them in his battle with Baragon.
- Main article: Frankenstein/Gallery.
- In the alternate ending for Frankenstein vs. Baragon, after Frankenstein defeats Baragon, the Giant Octopus comes from the sea and fights Frankenstein. Frankenstein battles fiercely, but can't compete with the Giant Octopus' numerous and powerful tentacles. The Giant Octopus drags Frankenstein into the water, with the characters offering the same closing dialogue as in the official ending. This ending was shot for the American version of the film, though AIP opted to use the original Japanese ending instead. Toho accidentally aired the film on television in Japan with this alternate ending attached, and DVD releases have since included it as a bonus feature.
- In Frankenstein vs. Baragon, Dr. Victor Frankenstein is referred to as "a German scientist." According to Mary Shelley's original novel, Victor Frankenstein was born in Naples, Italy, and was raised in Geneva.
- Frankenstein's name appears in the German titles of kaiju films such as Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, The War of the Gargantuas, Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, Gamera vs. Gyaos, The X from Outer Space, Gappa, King Kong Escapes, Son of Godzilla, Destroy All Monsters, Gamera vs. Jiger, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, and Godzilla vs. Gigan. Contrary to popular belief, the German dubs do not alter the plots of these films to credit Dr. Frankenstein with creating the monsters, while the Japanese version of The War of the Gargantuas already established a connection between the Gargantuas and Frankenstein. However, there were a few unexplained, offhand references to Dr. Frankenstein throughout them, such as Goro Maki calling the Kamacuras "Frankenstein's monsters" in Son of Godzilla.
- While Frankenstein's weight is widely considered to be 200 metric tons by most sources, the 1993 and 2005 publications Encyclopedia of Godzilla (Mechagodzilla Edition) (page 103) and Godzilla Toho Giant Monster Pictorial Book (page 98) instead claim that Frankenstein weighs 1,000 and 11,000 metric tons, respectively.
This is a list of references for Frankenstein. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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