Your Weekend Frankenstein, Oct 27-29

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This weekend, please enjoy 1971’s Lady Frankenstein. It’s a shlocky Hammer-derivative production with some interesting twists. Pseudo-erotica horror featuring the beautiful, strangely psychopathic daughter of Victor Frankenstein: Tania, a pioneering female surgeon who shares her dad’s tendencies to push ethics and boundaries of pursuing scientific knowledge and achievement. In its own weird, pervy way, it somehow honors Shelley’s mother’s brand of proto-feminism. And the Monster behaves exactly as most modern horror villains do, punishing beautiful women and horny men for having sex.
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Nuts-N-Bolts-N-Hos

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Don’t you just love saying “Frankenhooker?”

I may possibly have watched Frankenhooker on a certain online video platform where it probably shouldn’t be running. I watched it with Spanish subtitles. The Spanish title was just as elegant and flowing as “Frankenhooker”, if even more shocking and vulgar: “Frankenputa.”

The VHS box cover for Frankenhooker used to be on display at the video store near my college. It had a button you could press and one of those electronic voices you find on very expensive greeting cards, very manly, would exclaim “Wanna Date?” It would make me burst into hysterical laughter for no good reason.
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The Bride’s Bloody Revolt

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I expected Showtime’s Penny Dreadful to be an overwrought, edgy attempt at League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the film adaptation, not the comic book series by Alan Moore, which cannot be outdone in ‘edginess’). I expected to see a team of classic Victorian characters fighting crime, and some standard twists, turns and whatnots.

I was wrong. Penny Dreadful is a complicated, high gothic horror thrill ride with a mix of classic public domain characters and original characters, brought to life by amazing actors. Eva Green as Vanessa Ives is an absolute revelation, she should be an icon. And Timothy Dalton should play every last Victorian occult researcher/protector of mankind. Continue reading

A Vindication of the Rights of Moviegoers

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stingy

A do do do, a da da da…

And yet, I’m being unfair, because on the surface, The Bride from 1985 isn’t completely without merit. The film was not well received when it was released, and beautiful Jennifer Beals was nominated for a Razzie  for her performance as “Eva”,  this film’s version of The Bride of Frankenstein.  This I found particularly unfair. Beals well served the role that was written, right down to the helpless Gothic heroine hamming. But, the flashes of strength and independence she briefly snuck in, including the reference to Mary Wollstonecraft, were subversive, more important and telling than the Sting character’s pathetic blather about an “equal” woman.

But more on that below. For now, see details….  Continue reading

Fritz’s Found Footage Frankies

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Frankenstein’s Army

Year Released: 2013
Directed By: Richard Raaphorst
Written By: Richard Raaphorst, Miguel Tejada-Flores, Chris W, Mitchell,
Notable Cast: Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse, Robert Gwilym, Alexander Mercury, Luke Newberry, Hon Ping Tang, Andrei Zayats, Mark Stevenson, Klaus Lucas, Cristina Catalina, Jan de Lukowicz, Zdenek Barinka
Plot: Toward the end of World War II, Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany stumble across a secret Nazi lab, one that has unearthed and begun experimenting with the journal of one Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The scientists have used the legendary Frankenstein’s work to assemble an army of super-soldiers stitched together from the body parts of their fallen comrades — a desperate Hitler’s last ghastly ploy to escape defeat. – SOURCE: imdb.com “Production”

Commentary: Frankenstein’s Army is a delightful oddity of steampunk carnage, and a baffling one, too. Taking place during the end of World War II, and following a troop of Soviet soldiers, the filmmakers decided to use the found footage format to tell the story. Continue reading

The Impeccable Pecs of Victor Frankenstein

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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Released: 1994
DirectorKenneth Branagh
Writers: Steph Lady, Frank Darabont
Notable Cast: Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter, Aidan Quinn, Ian Holm, John Cleese
PlotBased on Mary Shelley’s novel, ” .Frankenstein” tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a promising young doctor who, devastated by the death of his mother during childbirth, becomes obsessed with bringing the dead back to life. His experiments lead to the creation of a monster, which Frankenstein has put together with the remains of corpses. It’s not long before Frankenstein regrets his actions. (Source: Robert McElwaine on imdb.com)

Note – the format I use below was one that I used in a prior 31 Days of Halloween blog-a-thon, and I found that I liked it and that it helped me concisely express my thoughts around a movie.

Commentary: I viewed this film on home rental VHS back in 1994, and my opinion of it then and now, with a recent rewatch has not changed. This film should work, it should have been great and glorious with its A-List cast and its stellar production values.

So why do I feel like Kenneth Branagh drained the life out of this incredible, immortal story? Continue reading

Over at the Frankenstein Place (Reprise)

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Last night I attended a production of the Rocky Horror Show, Richard O’Brien’s stage musical later turned into the infamous cult sensation, at Salt Lake Community College’s Grand Theater. Overall, a job well done!

Production and cast:

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