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‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Frankenstein’–The Novelty Wears Off Fast (review)

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Written by Lois Kennedy

Director: Brian O’Hara

Cast: Graig Guggenheim, Jayson Spence, Barry Feterman, Hiram Jacob Segarra

Scientist Frankie is encouraged by his uncle Bernie, a record company executive, to create a Frankenstein-style monster—out of the body parts of dead rock stars. King, as they call him, has Elvis’s brain, Jimi Hendrix’s hands, Keith Moon’s legs, etc. Unfortunately, Iggy the lab assistant steals Liberace’s penis instead of Jim Morrison’s, and a conflict arises between head and little head (which talks, by the way), with murder ensuing.

It’s an indie movie with a noticeably low budget. The acting isn’t Oscar quality, but I’ve seen worse. Graig Guggenheim does fine as King; arguably, the role is fairly complex. The puppetry is terrible, but the practical effects like makeup and fake body parts are skillfully done. The violence is totally over the top, but the fake blood looks convincing. The film makes an interesting point about the music industry, how record executives want a figure they can control and profit from rather than a real person; as Bernie shouts, he makes a monster with the sole purpose to “own his goddamn ass!” However, that theme goes out the window pretty early. There’s also a half-assed attempt to soften the more homophobic aspects of the script with Frankie urging King to give in to his instincts and be himself, saying, “I am what I am. Nobody can change that.” But this message is negated by Frankie being a necrophiliac.

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“Why did you create me?” Seriously, this thing has no purpose in the movie.

The tone is lighthearted, which turns the film overwhelmingly into an extremely gory comedy. Unfortunately, the jokes are for the most part unfunny. For example the scene when Iggy and his stooges raid a cemetery for body parts. Laments one, “I’m a roadie, not a ghoulie.” The other states, “This is worse than working the Black Sabbath reunion tour.” These gags would have been tolerable for an hour and a half—there’s plenty to work with, since it’s an interesting and fairly imaginative premise. I grudgingly enjoyed the first half hour or so—it’s asinine but entertaining. But then the movie changes direction to focus on the conflict between Elvis’s heterosexuality and Liberace’s homosexuality.

Here is where the stereotypes start. Liberace’s voice is somewhat a mimic of the real man’s vocals, but overall it’s a simpering snivel. King also has a nasty gerbil habit. The other gay men portrayed are similarly offensive, for example the scene when King is begged by a man to pee on him. Not to mention the onslaught of gay slurs, with a racial slur thrown in by Elvis regarding his African American hands. Finally, Bernie is a Jewish cliché, grubbing money where he can, calling people “bubby,” and seeking bagels and lox.

Overall, the movie is plain offensive and disgusting, with occasional, minor laughs—mostly in the first half. It’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s in top five. Give it a look if—eh, I don’t know how to finish this sentence. If you want to punish yourself and everyone around you?

Rating: 0.5/5

 

About GhoulieJoe (169 Articles)
I wuvs the horror movies and like to write snarky reviews about them. I also included some pretentious as hell microfiction (don't worry, it's at the bottom).

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