Promethean Myths of the Twenty-First Century: Contemporary Frankenstein Film Adaptations and the Rise of the Viral Zombie

  • Xavier Aldana Reyes
Part of the Studies in Global Science Fiction book series (SGSF)


This chapter traces the development of the Frankenstein myth in twenty-first-century cinema to reach two main conclusions. First, it argues that the poor critical reception and box-office performances of post-millennial adaptations of Frankenstein suggest this myth may be on the wane, at least in cinema. Mainstream adaptations persist in turning Frankenstein’s creature into a hero and victim in a move that betrays a modern preference for the sympathetic monster. Second, the chapter argues that the Frankensteinian decline in cinema may be connected to the rise of the similar figure of the viral zombie. Zombies, as the sources of artificially engineered pandemics, readily channel contemporary anxieties regarding the dangers of unbridled scientific and technological advances and prod the boundaries between death and conscious life.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xavier Aldana Reyes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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