Thursday, December 5, 2013

FRANKENSTEIN'S ISLAND (1981) movie review

Frankenstein's Island (1981) d. Jerry Warren (USA)

When you see a cast list comprised of Steve Brodie (The Giant Spider Invasion), Robert Clarke (The Hideous Sun Demon), Cameron Mitchell (Toolbox Murders, Silent Scream) and John Carradine (every movie ever made), your optimism might rise in spite of - or because of - the low IMDb rating (1.9!) and the presence of below-decks dreck merchant Jerry Warren. Lest ye be fooled, as I was, heede my warning: Abandon all hope and brain cells, ye who enter heere.

A quartet of balloonists (led by Clarke) crash on a secluded island and find a tribe of comely Amazons (referred to as “alien girls”), an encampment of more “civilized” inhabitants led by the great-granddaughter of, you guessed it, Dr. Frankenstein (played by Carradine, only appearing in a superimposed halo, so who knows what movie he thought he was making). Mitchell mumbles and stumbles through his role as a Poe-quoting prisoner who gets his blood tapped every so often to keep Dr. Von Helsing alive.

Brodie is a drunken assistant who laughs uproariously before and after every line of dialogue. (Whether a brave character choice or merely the actor’s everyday approach to life, the world will never know.) There are zombie slaves, unexplained magnetic forces that attack people’s wrists, a flailing piecemeal monster that shows up in the final reel to knock a few tables over, exotic Amazon dancing, and a Benji impersonator (or in-dog-anator) to keep things limping along, with Carradine bellowing from his optically printed window every few minutes to prevent you from nodding off.

Ineptitude of the highest level that somehow fails to be entertaining even on a WTF scale. Gah.

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