23 October 2014 | squirrel_burst
Let's make some nutty changes to the Frankenstein story! Like Cat/Snake monsters!
This 1992 version of "Frankenstein" tries to mix up the familiar story by changing a lot of details, with mixed results. Some of the changes are made for budgetary reasons, other stylistically and some just baffled my mind. One of the changes made is that the monster (Randy Quaid) is not pieced together from bodies collected from slaughter houses and dissection rooms, but is created in what I can only describe as a "duplication chamber". Also notable is that the creature learns to speak English by befriending a blind old man in the woods. The old man thinks it to be a foreigner that does not speak English and teaches him how to talk. It's an acceptable substitution for spying on a family that is teaching one of its members to read and write English, like in the original story. Some changes, like creating a psychic bond between the creature and Victor Frankenstein (Patrick Bergin) are problematic, create plot holes and huge leaps of logic in the story. It's too bad that it was handled poorly because if it had been executed well it could have been interesting. I also have to admit that while the duplication chamber thing is kind of a neat special effect, it doesn't work. The main problem I had with it was that because the monster starts off as a perfect clone of the doctor there had to be convoluted ways for the creature to become disfigured to make the rest of the story work. It just didn't lend itself well to this story.
The film has some decent performances, but the plot is inconsistent in its quality and so loosely based on the novel it could almost be its own, unrelated thing. Some elements are introduced then immediately dropped or hastily discarded without much logic. Early on for example, Victor Frankenstein shows us that he is able to create entirely new species of animals by splicing a cat and a snake together and by creating a porcupine/rabbit hybrid. That entire scene comes out of nowhere and is never brought up again. I'm pretty sure it was only included to show off some special effects.
Overall this 1992 film is more of a curiosity than a significant addition to the ever-growing amount of Frankenstein-related material. It might be enjoyed by hardcore fans of the book and story of "Frankenstein" that are simply looking for something different. If that's you by the way, check out "Frankenstein Conquers the World", that is one wacky "sequel" to the original novel. Unlike that film though, there isn't much remarkable about this version of "Frankenstein". At times it's hilariously bad so you can easily skip this one. (On VHS, August 31, 2012)