Frankenstein Vs. The Creature From Blood Cove (2005)

Starring Larry Butler, Bill Winkler, Dezzi Rae Ascalon, Lawrence Furbish

Written, Produced, & Directed by William Winkler

William Winkler’s Frankenstein vs. The Creature From Blood Cove marks the latest in the increasingly popular subgenre of B-movies made in the vein of the B-movies of the past, usually a combination of loving homage and self parody Much to my tremendous disappointment, William Winkler’s Frankenstein vs The Creature From Blood Cove falls into the equaling increasing subgenre of B-movies made in the vein of B-movies of the past, usually a combination of loving homage and self parody, that doesn’t quite hit the right mark in the loving homage department and falls almost completely flat in the self parody department It isn’t a total failure, but the movie really feels like something that would have made for a perfectly fine short film that’s been stretched into an excessively flimsy 90-minute feature.

The movie opens with the titular Creature escaping from the California coastal lab of demented mad scientist Dr Lazaroff The mad scientist had been using Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s formula for creating life and chemical brainwashing (I don’t remember that part from the classic tale but then I never fully understood how Dr Frankenstein’s work could be used to give life to a half-man, half-barracuda creature so why bother nitpicking) but the Creature’s escape into the nearby waves leads the scientist and his two assistants back to the old country where they encounter an old gypsy lady that shows up long enough to threaten them before never being seen again and a broad daylight werewolf that momentarily bothers them for not particular reason before finally unearthing the Frankenstein’s Monster, which they then bring back to the California lab in order to continue the experiments.

Meanwhile, a skin magazine schedules a photo shoot at Blood Cove. Of course, Blood Cove just happens to be the location of both Dr Lazaroff’s lab and the Creature’s new oceanic dwelling After first being scared off by the escaped gillman, the photographer (Winkler himself in a role so thankless it’s amazing to think the guy that made the movie would cast himself in it) returns with his personality-free personal assistant, flamingly gay stylist, and unsuspecting model whose photo shoot is actually a cover for them to try and get proof of the Creature’s existence Instead, the model is savagely mauled and the Creature chases the trio to Dr Lazaroff’s lab No sooner do they seek sanctuary inside the gated compound, Lazaroff promptly takes them hostage for discovering too much about his work Frankenstein’s Monster is revived with the plan being for him to destroy the Creature and help America win the war on terrorism Dr. Lazaroff’s ultimate goal is to fight terror with greater terror, namely monstrous creations brought to life through Dr. Frankenstein’s methods and preconditioned for war using that mind control formula. But as with the Creature, the mind control formula doesn’t work that well and trouble keeping Frankenstein’s Monster ensues.

Now, I’m not opposed to attractive women taking their clothes off ,but the problems involving the film’s gratuitous nudity are twofold Winkler claims he intended the film to bring to mind the classic horror films of the 1940s and the Atomic Age creature features of the 1950s, but I don’t recall any of those films coming to a screeching halt for strip scenes? It just feels out of place here And these scenes do indeed bring the film to a screeching halt The story’s progression just stops while the two bikini models pose nude or a stripper performs in a club while we await Frankenstein’s Monster to show up and go on another rampage All three of these scenes just go on entirely too long The strip scene is especially brutal because it’s used as an excuse for two completely pointless cameos, one by porn star Ron Jeremy, who shows up a patron that contributes absolutely nothing to the proceedings, and the other Troma honcho Lloyd Kaufman, who does some drunk and horny shtick that bombs badly.

In terms of being in the vein of the monster movies of old, Winkler gets it right on a visual scale thanks to being shot in glorious black & white The blaring organ music on the score is also straight out of the classic Universal horror movies He’s got the aesthetics right; it’s just a shame what little plot there is doesn’t gel and is exacerbated by the film’s feature length running time.

The true highlights of the film are the monster costumes, particularly the one for the Creature of Blood Cove Personally, I thought Frankenstein’s Monster looked at times a bit like a zombified hippie; I think it was the hair, but overall it’s a great Frankenstein design But the gillman, now there’s the real star of the film I can’t help but think Winkler should have ditched the whole Frankenstein angle and just made an homage to the Creature from the Black Lagoon Equally paying tribute to and cartoonishly embellishing the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Creature from Blood Cove suit is at the same time wonderfully ghastly and comical; perfect for the kind of movie this wants to be It’s just a shame this movie never quite lives up to being the kind of film it wants to be.

2 out of 5

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Jon Condit

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