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The 100




Frankenstein
(1994/II)
Reviewed by Joel Mathis
Rating: 7 Beans

f there's one thing worse than a bad movie, its a bad movie made to cash in on the presumed success of another bad movie. That is what this version of Frankenstein is, a cheap production made quickly on the assumtion that Coppola's Mary Shelly's Frankenstein would be as big of success as Bram Stoker's Dracula.

The story is a familure one to anyone as the 1931 film is an entrenched piece of pop culture. Dr. Frankenstein (Patrick Bergin) in his attempts to be God creates a man-monster (Randy Quaid, who really should know better than to be in this movie) who proceeds to kill quite a few people. There are two ways the story is handled. In the novel and a handful of films, the monster is an immoral killing machine, a result of Frankenstein's sin of trying to replace God. In most films, the monster is an innocent victim, dragged into a cruel world by an diabolical scientist. This version however tries to make a 90's kind of monster who is immoral, but its not his fault so its okay. The monster shows his political viewpoint is modern as well when he demands, "You created me, now give me!" Is it a mocking parody of how the extreme right views those on welfare, an attempt to portay those same people as monsters, or just a bad script?

In fact, the whole movie suffers from this kind of desire to update the story and make political statements. No longer does Frankenstein create his monster out of the dead. Instead he uses a nice clean primordial ooze he invented, eliminating the effectiveness of the monster as a sympathetic creature or as a horror. The doctor also shares a mental link with the creature now, but the only time this is really used for anything is so Frankenstein can say "I feel your pain." The monster emphasizes how he is downtrodden and can't live in Frankenstein's aristocratic culture. The church and culture seem more like they portraying the 1520's instead of the 1820's in the process of passing messages on to us. The handling of the film's various messages is so ham handed, though, that I am left wondering if they were intentional or if I am just reading far too much into a bad script.

One more really annoying thing about the script is it has a tendancy to have the monster and Frankenstein repeat lines. One more really annoying thing about the script is it has a tendancy to have the monster and Frankenstein repeat lines. Now picture the two of them doing that over and over again through the entire movie. It doesn't come across as emphasis so much as filling up time.

This version of Frankenstein is just plain annoying. If you like the sympathetic monster, you are better off watching the 1931 film. If you like the horrifying monster, read the novel. If you like a bad version of Frankenstein, watch Mary Shelly's Frankenstein so you won't be hit over the head with messages while watching the badness.






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