Monday, May 9, 2016

Blackenstein (1973)

aka Black Frankenstein, Return of Blackenstein

How bad is it? It's really, really slow.
Should you see it? Not really.

"Blacula" being a hit, there was a rush to make a Black Frankenstein movie and this turkey was the first to market. Dr. Frank N. Stein, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for discovering the genetic basis of DNA (as a biochemist in real life, I know Oswald Avery did that and he didn't win any prize), uses altered DNA to restore the arms and legs of a Vietnam veteran, but his assistant, Malcomb, desiring the vet's girlfriend, switches the DNA, turning him into a monster. There are virtually no blaxploitation elements, making this just a Frankenstein film with black actors. There's a nightclub comedian that's not funny, some good early effects (arty angles and lighting, Tesla coils in the lab) and a brief appearance of Liz Renay as a victim. Mostly, the film is just slow lumbering walking. The legless victim in the ambulance has his feet showing. The monster has a flat-top afro. The film's ending is anti-climactic.

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