.A while back, I had a look at the Munsters in general. This time, I'm going to look at the Munster's only cinematic release, Munsters Go Home.
The Munsters learn that Herman (Fred Gwynne) has inherited a valuable estate and a noble title from his adopted family in England. Lily (Yvonne de Carlo) later explains that Herman was adopted by the Munster family after leaving Dr Frankenstein's lab. They take passage on a steamer to England. Herman gets seasick the instant they leave port, Marilyn has a shipboard romance with a rich guy with an indeterminate accent (Robert Pine) and Grandpa accidentally turns himself into a wolf. ...continue reading "Munsters Go Home – 1966"
A while back, I decided that I was going to review every Frankenstein-based movie and TV show I could find. In today's episode: I regret that decision.
So, the Flintsones are Flintstoning it up, when some new neighbours move in next door. They are the Frankenstones – Karloff-like father Frank, absent minded mother Oblivia, children Hidia and Frankenstub and pet 'octopup' Creepy. They're basically a stone-age knock off of the Munsters or Addamses.
My favourite stories on In Search Of… are undoubtedly the sightings ones. They're fun and spooky and almost completely harmless. I don't think that there's anything unusual in Loch Ness, for example, but a) if there is, it's pretty cool and b) if there isn't there's no real harm in thinking that there is.
But while they're the most fun to watch, they aren't always the most interesting to review. Basically, they run the formula of crappy re-enactments and lots and lots of people delivering their 'I saw it' anecdote straight to camera.
Synopsis! Yeah, maybe start with a synopsis. Ok, the balloonists from Mysterious Island land on the Island of Dr Moreau where they're met by Tarzan and the Leopard Women. Then they meet Sheila Frankenstein and her husband Dr van Helsing, who was the assistant of Dr Frankenstein, because WHAT?
The last US Godzilla remake was severely criticised for its concentration on a human character thereby limiting Godzilla's screen time, which is historically an unfair criticism. Godzilla movies are always a bit of a mixed bag. There's always a mix of city-stomping action and boring people being boring. As such, this criticism of the US Godzilla is unfair – though the criticism that maybe the human it should have been following was Brian Cranston has a little more merit.
The most recent Japanese Godzilla movie is also a mix of dull humans and the city-stomping star of the show and it gets the mix even worse than the American version. It follows the worst of the American remake's example and goes for a somewhat dour movie. Shin Godzilla is clearly an attempt to get back to basics and recapture the spirit of 1954's original Godzilla with its serious tone and clear-cut message, and to leave out the outrageous silliness of the later Godzilla films.
The result is, frankly, slow and dull. While the effects on the new Godzilla monster itself are excellent, the film is mostly concerned with Japanese politicians and bureaucrats organising the fight against the monster. You remember how in the old-time Godzilla movies there would always be a scene where our heroes have a conversation in front of a bunch of non-speaking extras in suits and uniforms who are meant to represent the Japanese government? Well, imagine an entire film about those non-speaking extras, and you basically have Shin Godzilla.
There are a couple of interesting points here. A couple. They touch on constitutional issues, like 'does a kaiju count as an aggressor nation for purposes of mobilising the Self Defence Force'? Trouble is, while a question like that might be an interesting exercise for some Japanese legal students down at the pub, it's kind of pointless in a Godzilla movie, because of course they're going to call out the SDF. And there's a serious plot line involving the Japanese defenders trying to find a way to defeat Godzilla before the Americans nuke him. Again, of course the Americans won't actually be allowed to nuke Tokyo, even if the writers have to find the most unlikely way to halt Godzilla's rampage for long enough for a realistic non-nuclear option to be discovered.
Other than that, it hits so many problems with gritty reboots. In attempting to shear Godzilla franchise of its glorious nonsense it ends up dour and colourless but ultimately fails to actually get rid of all the nonsense. In spite of all the obvious thought that has gone into this movie, I think I'd rather have just rewatched 1969's Destroy All Monsters again.
We open on one of the Hammer Frankenstein series' most enduring symbols – the guillotine. A prisoner is being lead to his death, drunken and defiant. He seems fearless and utterly unashamed of whatever act has lead him here – until he sees that his young son Hans is watching. He dies, quiet and glum.
Years later Hans (Robert Morris), now grown up, passes the guillotine on his way to his work. He is assisting the kindly, Gepeto-like Dr Hertz (Thorley Walters) with an experiment. Hertz' partner Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) has frozen himself to see if he can be revived. He's duly thawed and shocked back into life.
Ok. Got some booze to dull the pain. My wife's out, so she won't hear me yelling abuse at the screen. Let's do this. I, Frankenstein.
Quick retelling of Frankenstein. Creation, abandonment, murder of Elizabeth, death of Frankenstein. The Monster (who, far from looking like a misshapen creature capable of causing terror in anyone who sees him, looks like Aaron Eckhart with a scar) buries Frankenstein. He is confronted by demons and fights them. Then… ...continue reading "I , Frankenstein – 2014"
Producer: We need a new monster movie. What have you got? Giant bee? Giant crab?
Writer: I think we should look outside the box a little. We're having some success selling our monster movies in America, so I have an idea to adapt a monster from Western lore - Frankenstein's Monster!
This is going to be a short review of a strange movie. It's the first ever film version of Mary Shelley's novel and it's… special. Historically, it's much less of a big deal than the 1931 version. James Whale's Frankenstein created much of the modern iconography of Frankenstein – the stitched together body, the slab, the lightning.
The 1910 version has none of this. It's based to some degree on the stage tradition of Frankenstein, which often had Frankenstein create the Monster through alchemical means. This is not completely at odds with the novel, in which Victor is inspired as much by alchemical thinkers as by contemporary science. What it meant in terms of staging is that the actor playing the Monster often made his appearance springing out of a huge cauldron, and something similar happens here. ...continue reading "Frankenstein -1910"
"It was the secrets of heaven and earth that I desired to learn; and whether it was the outward substance of things or the inner spirit of nature and the mysterious soul of man that occupied me, still my inquiries were directed to the metaphysical, or in its highest sense, the physical secrets of the world." -- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.
"Wolfman's got nards." -- Horace, The Monster Squad
In ye olden days, van Helsing and his friends tried to destroy Dracula (Duncan Regher) but their plan failed. Now it's the 1980s and Dracula is trying to conquer the world again.
He reckons without a bunch of kids who have a monster fanclub. They are looked down on by their principal and bullied by the older brother from the Wonder Years (Jason Hervey). However, they win the respect of the coolest kid in school, Rudy (Ryan Lambert), who looks like he just stepped out of a kid's version of The Wild One. He's made to complete a quiz on how to kill monsters and is allowed to join the club. The leader of the monster club, Sean (Andre Gower) happens to come into possession of van Helsing's journal. ...continue reading "The Monster Squad – 1987"