Frankenhood (DVD)



Frankenhood ReviewReviewed by The Foywonder

Starring Bob Sapp, DeRay Davis, Charlie Murphy, Jasper Redd, Drew Sidora, Angell Conwell, Daphne Joy

Directed by Blaxwell Smart

Distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment


Only a few short years ago Bob "The Beast" Sapp was a pop culture superstar in Japan. Now he's reduced to co-starring in Frankenhood, an alleged comedy about a pair of morgue workers reanimating a corpse (Sapp) and then making it the third man on their streetball team in hopes of winning the big tournament.

Ex-football player turned mixed martial artist and part-time pro wrestler Bob Sapp is supposed to be playing a Frankenstein's monster - he's really just a reanimated corpse. Even then he doesn't behave so much like a Frankenstein's monster or a zombie as he does a 6 ft. 4 in. near 400 pound muscle-bound African-American suffering from severe mental retardation. Sapp's almost completely non-speaking role consists almost entirely of him making exaggerated childish faces of the mentally handicapped variety. About the only entertainment to be derived from this abysmally unfunny comedy is watching Sapp completely embarrass himself making stupid faces for 90-minutes.

I would be lying if I said I went into watching a movie like Frankenhood expecting it to be any damn good. Who in there right mind would? I did expect given as outlandish as the concept is that the film would be - for better or worse - much campier than it turned out to be. They don't do a damn thing with the concept. Just reanimated a corpse? Let's go smoke some pot and shoot some hoops. A grinning Sapp with a joint hanging out of his mouth and his arms around his two bestest buddies is what constitutes humor here. Frankenhood fails to even achieve the most basic level on one of those laugh-less sex comedies they used to run all the time on USA's "Up All Night" hosted by Gilbert Gottfried and Rhonda Shear. The humor is so non-existent you have to wonder if most of the cast were even aware they were making a comedy.

An example of how unfunny Frankenhood is: one of the main characters is trying to hit on this club hotty (She'll soon strip down to her skimpy bra & panties and gives him a lap dance right there in the club that appeared to go unnoticed by virtually everyone else and let me assure if a woman that stacked did this in real life every guy in the club would have all eyes on her) by telling her he's an astronaut. She makes a comment about how she didn't know there were that many black astronauts. He replies, "It's an interesting story" and then the scene cuts away to something else. "It's an interesting story" is a line begging to be followed up by a wacky story or funny punchline. Nothing. Nada. Zip. What worse is that this is typical of how atrocious the writing is.

A guy known as Motown dreams of money and success. His best friend Darius dreams primarily about big titties. Together they share a mutual dream of getting out of the morgue they work in and winning the big $25,000 3-on-3 streetball tournament. When Franklyn, the morgue's resident mad scientist played by a slumming Charlie Murphy, reanimates a corpse he found (and subsequently gets electrocuted, eliminating the most talented member of the cast for the next hour), Motown and Darius decide to make the oafish behemoth they dub "Frankie" the third man on their b-ball team. Doing so makes them instantly unbeatable. Of course he's a dominant force on the basketball court; he's an enormous, barely mobile dude with no skills flailing his arms about.

Everyone wonders where this mysterious third man came from yet no one, including the defending champs scheming to steal Frankie away to their team, seems all that suspicious that this nearly mute brute constantly making his 'I'm a little stinker' face behaves like a person suffering from serious brain damage. Even women hitting on Frankie are oblivious to his obvious diminished capacity.

Even on the basketball court the filmmakers couldn't come up with anything funny. I think it's safe to say that when your movie is about a streetball playing Frankenstein's monster and the best basketball joke they can come up with for that monster is to have him get confused and try licking the basketball.

I hesitated to even bother reviewing this movie for Dread Central because there really are no horror elements to it once you get past the resurrection scene - aside from the horror of knowing I wasted 90-minutes of my life watching it. That Frankie is the living dead is almost irrelevant. Changing the reanimated corpse premise to merely having Bob Sapp playing a hulking special ed case really wouldn't have made much impact on how the movie plays out. I only bothered with this review in hopes of steering people away that might be tempted to sacrifice their own time and money watching this brutally unfunny bore. I've gotten more laughs from Ulli Lommel movies.

Fitting that Frankenhood was directed by a guy working under the alias "Blaxwell Smart" because he missed it by that much.

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    unclebob's picture

    I think this review is totally appropriate for DC, as many of us are longing for a good Frankenstein-hoops comedy.

    Frustrating to know that this film will be alphabetically adjacent to Frankenhooker forevermore.


    Submitted by unclebob on Tue, 05/12/2009 - 5:26pm.
    Rorschach's picture

    I too was wondering how this fit the mold of DreadCentral. So unfunny, you should run the other way in fear when you get to it's section at Blockbuster?


    Submitted by Rorschach on Thu, 05/07/2009 - 7:18pm.

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