From Click Americana
“You think I’m mad. Perhaps I am. But listen, Henry Frankenstein. While you were digging in your graves, piecing together dead tissues, I, my dear pupil, went for my materials to the source of life. I grew my creatures like cultures, grew them as nature does, from seed.” – Dr. Septimus Pretorius, Bride of Frankenstein
The Homunculi are miniature humanoids artificially created by Dr. Septimus Pretorius. Unlike Frankenstein’s Monster, the Homunculi are grown from organic seeds and kept in jars to prevent them from escaping.
The six known Homunculi created by Pretorius are a Queen, an Archbishop, a Priest, a Devil, a Ballerina (who won’t dance to anything but Mendelssohn’s “Spring Song”) and a Mermaid (described as the result of an experiment with seaweed).
The tiny mermaid in Dr. Pretorius’ bottle was Josephine McKim, a member of the 1924 and 1928 U.S. Women’s Olympic Swim Teams and one of the four members of that team to win the 1928 gold medal in the 400-Meter Freestyle Relay.
When Mel Brooks was preparing for this film, he discovered that Ken Strickfaden, who had made the elaborate electrical machinery for the lab sequences in the Universal Frankenstein films, was still alive and living in the Los Angeles area. Brooks visited Strickfaden and found that he had stored all the equipment in his garage. Brooks made a deal to rent the equipment and gave Strickfaden the screen credit he did not receive for the original films.
Find more behind-the-scenes facts at IMDb Trivia: Young Frankenstein (1974).
Boris Karloff having a nice cup of tea and a piece of toast between shots of Frankenstein, released in 1931.
The history of how we visualize Frankenstein is not based on Mary Shelley’s description but on the facial features of Boris Karloff. Learn more on the Horror Movie Maven blog.