Friday, September 28, 2012

Frankenstein Regurgitated!: "Frankenstein Reborn!" (1998)



Charles Band and David DeCoteau strike again in this monstrously awful tripe.

Cute Anna (Haven Burton) is sent to uncle Victor Frankenstein's (Jaason Simmons) after her parents are killed in a car accident. She meets local boy Thomas (Ben Gould) and they make like the Goonies, exploring Victor's creepy old castle after being admonished otherwise.

Victor and Ludwig (George Calin) spend a lot of time in the laboratory, where funky lighting, smoke, and moaning peak Anna's interest. A gay disco, you might wonder? No, Vic and Lud are putting together a monster (Ethan Wilde) and bringing him to life. The monster escapes, kills a guy, and hides in the woods, only to be discovered by Anna after an initial search that lasts less than a minute onscreen.

Anna teaches the monster to speak (he calls himself "Friend"), but Victor and Ludwig have other plans, capturing the monster and taking him back to the castle for the bored, sudden climax.

Be warned, while the video's running time reads seventy minutes, about twenty of that is a behind-the-scenes documentary, making the film itself less than an hour. Charles Band proclaims this the first of twelve films in his new (1998) Filmonsters series, but only three were made.

You might get the idea that this is cheap and hurried, and you would be right. While hunky Simmons is good as Victor, Burton wonders around the castle repeating others' lines and trying hard to be Nancy Drew. Poor Ben Gould has no reason to be in this film. His part is needless. DeCoteau, directing under one of his many aliases (take the credit, even for a crappy film, Dave!), is saddled with a nice set and a ten dollar budget. This may have been filmed in a week, and written in less time, and too many questions remain unanswered. Anna talks about finding out about the monster's background, but she, and the audience, never discover anything. Thomas works in the garden, cannot read, and dresses like a shoeshine boy from the Great Depression. Simmons' and Calin's costumes look like leftovers from "The Pirate Movie," Burton is wearing the latest from the Fashion Bug, the castle does not seem to have electricity, so when the hell is this supposed to take place?

"Frankenstein Reborn!" was made and marketed as a family film, so blood and nudity are lacking. What's left is yet another half assed Charles Band effort. If he would just stick to one movie a year, instead of one movie a month, he might make something decent. (*) out of five stars. Watch this movie now!: Frankenstein Reborn