The Psychological Fulfillment In Watching Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein

2675 words - 11 pages

Abstract:
Young Frankenstein, by Mel Brooks, served to offset the anxiety and fear created by previous horror and monster movies. Written and produced in 1974, only one year after one of the most frightening movies of all time, The Exorcist, Mel Brooks created a horror/ monster movie that would relieve psychological tensions rather than create them as the Exorcist had the pervious year, this movie looked at monster movies through parodical glasses. To do this, Brooks used elements described by Freud’s methods of humor and Harries’ elements of parody. In creating a parodical film, Brooks allowed his audience to fulfil both their psychological drives for sex and aggression.


For centuries, authors have placed human features on their fears allowing their public to confront a concrete creature rather than an abstract idea. The fear of death resulted in stories regarding vampires and mummies, fears of the unknown resulted in stories about creatures invading the Earth, fears of reincarnation resulted in stories of mad scientists creating life from death. With the invention of the motion picture in the late nineteenth century, these fears were able to be seen using human actors and actual “monsters” making both the fears and the fulfillment greater. As more of these films were created, audiences grew more tolerant of the once frightening monsters forcing directors to go even farther. To continue this trend, filmmakers soon were creating more fear than they were relieving creating another psychological void that needed to be filled. Sensing that the realm of horror films and many other genres of film were saturating the film industry, Mel Brooks wrote and directed two films in 1974: Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. The two films parodied western films and creature films respectively. Brooks’s films were very successful in comparison to the previous attempts. This success was due to the fact that the films fulfilled the psychological needs that were left untouched or that were created by the films that were being parodied.

Written and produced in 1974, only one year after one of the most frightening movies of all time, The Exorcist, Mel Brooks created a horror/ monster movie that would relieve psychological tensions rather than create them as the Exorcist had the pervious year, this movie looked at monster movies through parodical glasses. Filmed in a style similar to the monster movies of the 1930’s both in black and white and 1:1.85 film size rather than the more common 1:1.78 that is now used in films, Young Frankenstein, was one of the first of many parody films to strike it big in the box office. This success was principally due to the fact that it could do what monster movies could no longer accomplish; they could fulfil the psychological needs that were created by other movies and the stresses of every day life.
In general, a parody uses the obvious trends in a movie or a genre of movies to create a humorous situation....

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