An interesting but failed attempt to inject Merchant-Ivory-style social subtext into a horror classic, Franc Roddam's The Bride remains notable for its casting, which surrounds '80s icons Sting and Jennifer Beals with an amusing variety of familiar faces. Geraldine Page exudes businesslike hauteur as housekeeper Mrs. Baumann, while supermodel Veruschka turns in an amusing cameo as an aging countess. An exceptionally slim, young Timothy Spall shows up in an Igor-style role, while even Quentin Crisp gets the chance to riff on the original Bride of Frankenstein. Interesting cameos aside, The Bride proves quite a slog thanks to its glacial pace, 118-minute running time, and wooden dialogue. The script's attempt at Victorian-era realism, bolstered by Stephen H. Burum's picturesque cinematography, succeeds all too well. This is a genre picture dressed uncomfortably in arthouse drag. Allusions to feminism, class stratification, and the danger of science abound, but they're too labored and literal to stave off tedium. Beals, as the title character, and Sting, as her imperious creator, remain resolutely charisma-free; so does Cary Elwes in the underwritten role of an upper-class cad. Clancy Brown does what he can with the role of Frankenstein's monster, but the script's insistence on playing him as a disabled misfit removes any menace from one of cinema's signature characters. Only David Rappaport, as a sly circus performer, approaches the material with the light touch it deserves. Familiarity may have long since leached the dread from the original Frankenstein films, but even as camp classics, they retain their pulpy vigor -- unlike this staid misfire.