Sex and the single monster
Alongside these disruptive female cyborgs, other films explore sexualised male creations – and the gender differences are telling. In Jim Sharman’s 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Susan Seidelman’s 1987 sci-fi comedy Making Mr Right, for instance, we witness male creations who are given a sexuality that Shelley and Whale only hint at. However, in both these examples, this sexuality is shown to be a source of pleasure rather than unease and outright horror.
In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) creates the handsome Rocky (Peter Hinwood) who becomes Frank’s lover. In Making Mr. Right, Trish (Glenne Headly) has a tender sexual encounter with male android Ulysses (John Malkovich) – a rare suggestion that the cyborg body might be more than just an AI-enhanced sex doll. Oddly enough, many sexualised male creations appear less threatening on screen, whereas sexualised female creations are considered particularly terrifying—a contrast that reflects a wider cultural discomfort with the portrayal of confident, feminine sexual agency.