Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Bo Svenson, Robert Foxworth, Susan Strasberg, John Karlen
Directed by Dan Curtis
Distributed by Dark Sky Films
How many Dark Shadows fans are reading this right now? I’m guessing a lot. If Dan Curtis has proven anything to genre audiences, it’s that when it comes to vampires, the man knows how to spin a tale. Stories of bloodsuckers have been pretty prolific over the centuries with Bram Stoker’s Dracula being the most famous telling. Other stories have been equally as prolific, especially Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It seems like a no-brainer that an accomplished filmmaker like Curtis would try his hand tackling another legend. So how does it all pan out?
Normally this would be the point in the review at which I’d give you guys a brief plot synopsis, but that seems kind of silly to do in this case. If you don’t know the story of Frankenstein by now, what the hell are you doing here? Read the book! Behold the wonder that is Karloff! Giggle as DeNiro shouts incoherently!
Anyway, Dan Curtis’ Frankenstein is a bit of a mixed bag. For one thing it looks exactly like Dark Shadows minus Barnabas Collins and his kooky family. Something just feels a bit off with this telling. The soap opera-esque feel really works against this film. The performances over over-emphatic, and the events, while fairly faithful to Shelley’s masterpiece, come off quite flat and uninspired. Truth be told, I was bored.
In terms of extras, there’s an equally as boring commentary with actors Robert Foxworth and John Karlen, and from there we’re treated to the original ABC promo, recap, and preview for their Wide World of Mystery TV programming. That’s it, but given the obscurity of the project, I give Dark Sky Films credit for taking the time to record and dig up even this meager bit of supplemental material.
This telling of Frankenstein is just not meaty enough. It is geared more toward aging housewives who’ll watch it amidst a blanket of cigarette smoke while eating Bon-Bons than it is to horror fans. There are far better tellings of the tale out there than this. Do yourself a favor and check out one of them instead.
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
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