Vampires and Werewolves may be hottest these days, but does the Frankenstein mythos have more sex appeal than we give it credit for?

When I read Dracula for the first time, the physical detail that stood out the most for Count Dracula, was the circle of hair on the palms of his hands. Jonathan Harker mentions it in passing in his journal at the beginning of his stay at the Count's castle. Soon he has bigger things to focus on, but the detail stood out in my mind, and still does, because it was the first real impression I got that vampires weren't sexy. (Funny, since hairy palms were, even at the time, considered a sign of sexual deviancy.) Twilight has started a new wave of anguished wails about how the creepy aspects of horror legends have been crushed under teenage libido, but it's clear that monsters of almost all kinds have been hot for decades. When I was growing up, Buffy reigned supreme on TV, Gary Oldman was seducing people as Vlad the Impaler on the big screen, and werewolves were being played by Jack Nicholson and Julie Delpy.


Despite being featured in many media, the Frankenstein monster has never cultivated the same appeal as werewolves or vampires. Sure there's I, Frankenstein, and a Dean Koontz novel or two, but this monster doesn't spark anything like the same pan-media conflagration that other supernatural creatures do. Unlike the aristocratic vampires and the untamed werewolves, poor Frank never had anything going for him. Since the beginning he was ugly, poor, relatively powerless, and immediately identifiable (and thus immediately shunned).

But as we've shed the nineteenth century's approach to creature making - stitches and spare parts, like an arts and craft movement – man-made people have become sexualized, just like supernatural creatures. There are mechanical people; Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Blade Runner androids, Marcus from Terminator: Salvation.

But things get real when genetic engineering comes into play. Cloning and genetically-enhanced people allow for all the alienation of the original Frankenstein monster without any of the unattractive seams. They even add some benefits, since many of the genetically-engineered people have special strength, skill, or intelligence. Clones have been the standard in comics forever, but they creep into movies as well. The Island, The Fifth Element, Gattaca; they all made fetishes out of perfected people.


Still doubt that Frankensteins haven't been given their due? They've starred in not one, but two teen-focused tv series; Dark Angel and Kyle XY. Any concept hot enough to launch Jessica Alba's career can hold its own against sparklevamps.