If the NFL, NBA and NHL can have seasons that span the calendar year so can The House Of Stuff. The 2016 Halloween Film Festival is officially underway! The opening ceremonies began with an excellent lunch at Mario’s French Dips, followed by the 2:00 showing of Victor Frankenstein at the Livermore 13 Cinemas. Apparently the management went to a bit of trouble to reserve the theater for us as there were no other patrons.
When you go to see a movie with Frankenstein in the title you pretty much know most of what’s going to happen, although there is always plenty of room for innovation. This version tells the tale from Igor’s point of view. Technically speaking the character’s name should have been Karl. Igor never meet Dr. Frankenstein, he worked for the Dr.’s sons, Wolf and Ludwig. Alright, I admit it, I consider the James Whale movies the official Frankenstein story. Making my observation even more petty, there wasn’t even a hunchback assistant in Mary Shelly’s novel.
Although the film had a different point of view, I didn’t expect much in the way of a new plot. I was pleasantly surprised by the opening sequence at the circus which acted as something of an origin for Igor. After that the surprises kept coming and they kept the movie interesting. I particularly liked that the director held off on the creation scene until the end of the movie. This is a movie about the events leading up to and culminating in the creation of the creature, not a movie about the monsters’ adventures.
The creation scene was the highlight of the movie and it’s really a spectacle. The dozen or so assistant scientists dressed in really creepy outfits working in a huge multi-story laboratory with electricity crackling everywhere was quite a sight! I was slightly disappointed in the music at this point, it just wasn’t as dramatic and sweeping as the original but everything else made up for it.
I did a quick count and I personally own 17 movies with Frankenstein in the title. I can easily think of that many more that I rented or saw only in the theater or on TV. The point being … I never met a Frankenstein movie I didn’t like … well hardly ever. Victor Frankenstein is somewhat reminiscent of the Hammer Frankenstein movies but not quite. Off the top of my head, this may be the best Frankenstein movie to come out since Peter Cushing hung up his scalpel.