My initiation to the genre was appropriately a baptism by alienating details, administered by my father’s Laserdisc of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. The gnarled mythology of that near-incomprehensible monster crossover enthralled me, from the brain transplant that the Frankenstein monster (played there by Bela Lugosi) had undergone in the previous sequel, to the flash-puberty that transforms Lon Cheney Jr. into a furry predator. Though I couldn’t have understood it quite so precisely at that age, the gross materialism of this universe was shocking. It’s a place where men are corporeally affected by their mistakes, and where a pastiche of moribund parts is enlivened by electricity alone. Replacing one brain with another means that a new consciousness lives inside, manipulating the body like a poor puppet. I’d done the obligatory science unit on Darwin in the 5th grade, but this anti-transcendentalism was different; it was almost casual.