artificial man, created by German resurrectionist and surgeon LIPAR
the persistent assertions that the novel was based on true events, spent
over 30 years investigating the claims and, with the financial backing of
a group of sympathetic seekers after truth, finally tracked down the
cadaver, which was preserved in an air-tight, salt-filled casket in
the cellars of The Royal Czech Society of Sciences.
(The 'experts' could not dispute that here, indeed, was a being
stitched together from the parts of other corpses, but doubted that
such a creature ever actually drew the breath of life. Until, that is,
the remains of half-digested food were found in its stomach. )
make-up for BORIS KARLOFF's portrayal of the monster in
1931, actually used photos of the corpse as reference. Pierce came
originally from Greece and his real name was JANUS PICCOULA;
his uncle, DEMIS PICCOULA, was a high-ranking professor of the
Society, and supplied him with copies of the photos upon learning that
UNIVERSAL were planning to produce the movie. However, when the
other members saw the success of the horror classic, they threatened
to sue Universal unless a substantial amount of money was donated to
Society funds. A deal was eventually struck, on the condition that no
mention ever be made that the visage of Universal's monster was
anything other than an original creation, and that the corpse's
existence should not be revealed for at least 80 years.
But why would Universal be afraid of the truth becoming
common knowledge? Presumably because the film, despite its
huge commercial success, came in for much criticism at the time
from church groups, appalled by the suggestion that mere Man was
capable of usurping the role of the one true Creator. If it were ever to
become known that the motion picture was based on demonstrably
true historical events, the public backlash against the studio would
have been immense. It's also likely that the Society would have
claimed copyright of the image and deprived the studio of
millions of dollars in merchandising potential.
of preserving the DNA-tested and authenticated remains, the
Society has gone public with the story, Universal's arrangement
having only been legally enforceable until 2011. A major television
documentary is now in the works, telling the true story of facts
concealed from the public from as far back as 1931.
Truth, as they say, is often stranger than fiction.
The corpse is currently stored in refrigerated conditions
in what is now known as The Academy of Sciences of the
Czech Republic, formerly The R.C.S.S. A BBC documentary,
FINDING FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY OF A
MONSTER, will be screened in November.
* * *
And now, an important word from our sponsor:
Yes, you're right - it is an APRIL FOOL!
The photos are 'borrowed' from ROBBY's CLASSIC MOVIE
MONSTERS blog. The monster was made by MIKE HILL, and
the photos were taken by STAN WONG (with a little tweaking
from me). So, did you fall for it? Nah? Oh well...next time.