Mel Brooks, Megan Mullally, Roger Bart, and Susan Stroman of the new Broadway musical share their top scary movies

By Clark Collis
Updated October 19, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Young Frankenstein: Everett Collection; Mel Brooks (inset): Brian Ach/

”Young Frankenstein” crew’s favorite frights

In honor of the approaching Halloween season — and the arrival of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein musical on Broadway (now in previews, it opens Nov. 8) — asked Brooks and his colleagues, director Susan Stroman and stars Roger Bart and Megan Mullally, to offer up their favorite fright flicks of all time. So read on…if you dare!

The Son of Frankenstein is my favorite of all the Frankensteins. I love that film. It has Basil Rathbone [as Dr. Frankenstein]. The first guy, Colin Clive [who played the mad scientist in the 1931 Frankenstein], seemed lost in it. Basil Rathbone was focused, demonic. And the storytelling is perfect.

Also, I have soft spot for The Fly [David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake which was produced by Brooksfilms]. Love The Fly. In the original, the Vincent Price one, there’s a flash and suddenly there’s a man with a fly’s head and a fly’s arm. Our idea was completely different. We said: metamorphosis. It’s more grotesque and insane that he slowly and surely turns into a fly. It’s a magnificent film. I think it’s Cronenberg’s best. And Jeff Goldblum’s best work ever. You know, he begged us to use his girlfriend [at the time] — Geena [Davis]. We said, maybe…. But she turned out to be spectacular. It was a remarkable film.

See a scene from Mel Brooks’ Halloween pick, The Fly:

And I was in Hostel 2! That’s my newest favorite horror film. We had a great time. I must admit there was something amusing about having my penis cut off. There are certain things about the blood-and-guts genre [that I wanted to explore]. Part of the fun of being an actor is the opportunity to do anything. To do crazy genres. Though I got some flack. I was watching TV and these guys were sitting there saying, ”And what was Roger Bart thinking? He’s such a respected actor and now he’s doing this s—!” To me, it’s fun! And Prague was on my list of places I wanted to be sent to and not have to pay for it.

I’m not a big horror-movie person. I always loved the movie Young Frankenstein but it’s not a horror movie. I get scared. I don’t want to have those images in my head. I won’t even audition for horror movies. I like movies with rich people and beautiful houses and great clothes and driving fancy cars. Sorry.