There are some subtle moments in this self styled 'true' re-telling of Mary Shelley's celebrated novel. Anyone notice how Victor's bride to be appears to give his brother the evil eye at the film's opening scene? Also when Victor tries to prevent the creature from throwing himself off the cliff but then notices that there is no one around to see if he did so, and the monster picks up on it? Perhaps the film should have ended there. Instead, it introduces a pantomime villain grandstanding on a set straight out of Fu Manchu with assistants to match, rather too knowing dialogue and even the immortal "well, at least things can't get any worse!" (Cue creature and Tom Baker hamming it up, not to mention the dodgiest skeleton special effect I've ever seen.) This is a pity, because there is a nuanced and heart breaking performance from Sarrazin as the creature and some splendid production design, not to mention diaphanous women.
The central absurdity we are expected to swallow, is the rather unlikely convergence of so many people wanting to raise the dead. The script anticipates this reaction with the scene where Mrs Frankenstein bluffs the local magistrate. Unfortunately, her dogged belief that her husband is still mister right stretches what little credibility the film has left to the outer limits.
The chief problem is the science. A severed arm moving without instructions from a brain? The re-animated corpses, the script suggests, are not expected to change physically, as if rendered immortal by the processes they have been subjected to. But flesh is flesh, so how can a heart go on beating when stabbed, or lungs not fill with water when floating mouth agape and seemingly alive in a liquid aquarium? The creature, for instance, retains twenty twenty vision while the rest of him falls apart and his strength remains undiminished. This lack of internal logic soon causes the film to degenerate into something of a witless farrago. It is puzzling as to why Victor does not merely bring his recently deceased colleague back to life rather than transplanting his brain (without misplacing a hair on the creature's head, you'll notice.) After all, Henri Clerval's dodgy ticker would no longer be an issue, as this new race are supernaturally powerful. Likewise, Dr Polidori's despair at the loss of Prima makes little sense. Plop her head back on her body and submerge her in the tank again. The spinal cord issue doesn't appear to be a problem on either monster.
There is also a very sloppy bit of directing when Agatha encounters the horse and cart. Watch it, and tell me how it makes sense. Not a great film then, but it does have an unequivocally great ending.
2 out of 6 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.