Director: Daniel Leone
Starring: Constantin Tripes,Ashton Leigh, Max Rhyser, Brandon deSpain, Boomer Tibbs. USA. 1h 45m
I find it’s adorable that this century old story is still influencing directors today, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been one of my all time favourite novels since I was a wee bearn, and the ancient histories of North Africa has been a huge influence, both villains have been huge horror characters since cinema began and finally they meet in the dank basement of an American University in this sketchy horror, it could have flourished into something with more substance but is still entertaining, more so than others in the genre but don’t expect your socks to be blown off.
Heavily inspired by the Gothic novella and possibly a few Hammer Horrors in between, this tepid horror attempts to pull together two monsters for an epic battle but totally misses its own mark and churns out a terrible romance story which slows the movie down and doesn’t give much space to maneuver these foes.
Victor Frankenstein is university professor in this incarnation, while tutoring teens, and fraternizing with the staff he is also working on a strange project a secret lab. Assisted by a modern day bone man who ups the ante when he decides to get a fresher victim by killing a homeless man and requests more money, Frankenstein is both disgusting and pleased with the fresh meat but now aggressive bone man has an upper hand over him.
Meanwhile Frankenstein’s crush, a fellow doctor and lecturer at the same uni has dug up a Mummy that despite the curse she has shipped to the University to run tests, the not so dead cursed ball of rags manages to psychically attack and control her boss, a more senior professor to do it’s evil bidding.
With Frankenstein being blackmailed and his crush being slowly manipulated to be served up for Mummy fodder the film takes several dark twists, especially when Frankenstein gets his sweet revenge on the bone man, by killing him and using his parts for his creature and breathes life into his monster, who begins to develop and learn quicker than he could ever imagine.
It’s a brilliant attempt at a horror thriller and with a vaguely interesting concept of getting a Mummy and Frankenstein to duel, the film spends a majority of it’s time building up a romance between the two doctors leaving the monster deathmatch about 5 minutes fun time. It is could have been more driven to see these creatures meet and battle a few times then it could have been a superb creature feature, noting original but a film can still be enjoyable if there’s some effort being put into what happens on the screen rather than building plausible characters, we don’t need those for indie films.
The monsters themselves are well crafted and look good for the budget, but the world around them doesn’t look or sound like a horror movie. There’s a distinct lack of energy and the fear just isn’t there. At times it looks like the characters have been dropped into a daytime sitcom.
There is a hint of genius here despite the naff bits, and there’s a wonderful open ending so maybe at least part of the story can carry on, maybe addressing a few points a sequel will make up for the shortcomings.Director Leone was heavily inspired by the comic work of Bernie Wrightson, who’s cult classic Frankenstein artwork lead to a more muscular and menacing monster that is the best character in the film by far, he develops a pretty awesome sick sense of humor by the end.
R:Frankenstein (1910), House of Frankenstein (1944), Victor Frankenstein (2015), Frankenhooker (1990).
L: Frankenstein Movies
A: Adapting Old stories and failing miserably.