Tuesday, November 17, 2015

FRANKENSTEIN ISLAND (1981)



     When I read about Frankenstein Island in Clive Davies’ book Spinegrinder I knew I had to check it out. It had been on my To-Watch list for a while, but Davies’ short review of it made it seem like the perfect movie to watch after a day at work—complete with a White Russian of course. Luckily, some sadist with too much time on their hands uploaded it to YouTube. Click “Play,” bombs away!
     My guess is Davies’ was drunk, high, or was paid off by someone to write it up the way he did. Just read his review. You’ll have more fun.
     I could really delve into the plot and story but a) it’s not that interesting, and b) I’d rather not spoil any of the stupidity for you. Go watch it yourself. So here’s what I’ll give you: four morons (Paul, Dino, Curtis, and Mark) and their dog, Melvin, wash up on an island after being lost at sea. Shit happens featuring Frankenstein’s monster, cavewomen who turn out to be aliens, zombie henchmen sporting black turtlenecks and sunglasses, some shit about nursing a 200-year old bedridden dude back to health and John Carradine’s superimposed head ranting about a golden thread and “The power…the power…!” Oh, and a spinning pink toolbox—the highlight of the movie. I’d heard that there were scenes involving a plastic Devil’s pitchfork (the kind you buy at the dollar store on Halloween) but those seem to have been cut from the version I watched. Fuck knows why.
     Don’t think that “Go watch it yourself” is a recommendation. Far from it. I just want you to feel the same level of boredom that I did (I actually stopped the movie halfway through to watch some porn). Reading about this film is far more entertaining. I really hoped that this would be a zany bad movie that I could pimp out to like-minded folks, but the whole affair is flat, boring, dull, bland, mind-numbing, tedious and stupid. Imagine an Ed Wood film without an iota of charm and you’ve got the idea. Hell, I almost didn’t want to write the review for this damn thing, but I have nothing better to do with my time so here I am.
     The first thing you’ll readily notice is how dated the film looks. Though it was shot in 1981 it feels and looks like it was shot in the late-60s/early-70s. There is not a drop of the eighties in this damn thing. So either the release date is bullshit, or director Jerry Warren was living under a rock.
"No! Keep it away!"
     The writing is proof that anyone can write a screenplay. When things happen, the characters seem non-plussed—like they weren’t being paid enough to act like human beings! One moron sees a dead man in a tank full of embalming fluid. Instead of asking a one-eyed drunk about it, whom the moron sees dumping some powder into the tank, he asks how the one-eyed drunk lost his eye. Another scene involving the same moron has him seeing what looks like a human being at the bottom of a pit. He dismisses it as his imagination.
     We don’t even get any tits, and blood doesn’t rear its ugly head until after the 1-hour mark—and it’s pretty unremarkable. There’s practically zero action until the climactic “fight” which amounts to the characters dancing around attempting to give the illusion of fighting.
     Thrilling.
     The whole film is bad even by bad movie standards. There’s nothing funny about it (except for the spinning pink toolbox or lunchbox—whatever the fuck it is), nothing enjoyable, nothing memorable. Any potentially interesting ideas are bored to death before they even get going. You’ll be bored to death before the opening credits roll.
"You won't believe the shit I had to do to put food on the table."

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