What I'm Watching: Frankenstein's Hungry Dead
So, what's on the random movie review plate today? I think I'll give my thoughts on Frankenstein's Hungry Dead. I don't really have an intricate story on how I ended up watching this movie, besides the trailer looking fun, so let's just dive right in.
The movie's about a group of kids who go on a field trip to a local wax museum, and are forced to listen to the eccentric waxwork owner. Later that night, the same group decide to break in for a little harmless mischief, as people are wont to do in horror movies. And sure, this sounds a lot like Trisk Classic "Waxwork" but it goes in a wildly different direction.
While there, they discover that the eccentric owner is the grandson of Victor Frankenstein, and he's working on carrying on with his ancestor's experiments, by chopping up bodies and messing around with the dead to try and create the perfect creature. Oh, and he has a small cadre of failed experiments that hunt them through the wax museum.
This movie is a mixed bag, to be honest. It's got some *terrible* stereotypes, particularly with a gay couple that are almost wincingly over the top. All the kids are your usual group that you'd expect to find, but that IS the point here.
"Hitler said to me that my methods were inhumane! Boy, that *really* stung!"
FHD is a loving homage to the 80s horror genre, and they know it. They went into this knowing what they were doing, and the characters are deliberate nods to all those old tropes, but the movie goes off in some very strange directions. There's also a great Hammer Horror feel to it, especially in the credits. And be warned, the movie is looped, almost all the dialogue, and that was done on purpose, to continue that low budget 80s feel.
The villain is hilariously over the top, and chews scenery with the best of them. Michael Thurber is the clear star of this, and he is having SO much fun with the role, with being deliciously evil, and cackling around his lab. If this movie's Dr. Frankenstein had not been so entertaining, so over the top, this movie would not have worked. And when he starts singing while picking apart a victim, it's but funny and terrifying.
"You're that boring museum tour guide! Well, fuck you, boring museum tour guide!!"
He also has his own Igor, but he's nothing more than a head in a pan, that takes the piss out of everything Frankenstein is trying to do, and comes oh so very close to crashing through the fourth wall. And then it does crash right through it in the very end. The movie has a great sense of humour about it. As I've said, they went in knowing what they were doing, and just had fun with it. Do not take this movie seriously, because they sure as heck didn't.
And while the characters may be well known tropes of the genre, the actors bring many of them to life in such great, fun ways. There's the already amazing Thurber, and Ryan Hanley's performance as the teacher of these kids is just as over the top and entertaining to watch screech at his students as the doctor.
The typical 'bitch' of the group is even given some decent characterisation beyond that, and is easily one of the funner and funnier characters of the movie.
"How many weird kinks do you have??"
And even while they play well within the tropes, they do also play around with them a bit, for the sake of humour on one hand, and for the sake of mixing things up with characters, like making one of the guys be the one who freaks out and gets hysterical, rather than the girls.
There are some really great effects, and plenty of blood for everyone coming to see it for that. They blend horror and humour exceptionally well. The tone very rarely clashes, as can often be the case when horror comedies try and do their thing. There are a few wince worthy moments, like a really awkward seductive dance, but again. It's *supposed* to be awkward, so...
Almost every flaw of this movie is deliberate, either in the tone they were going for, or as an homage to the 80s, or to make jokes. It's hard to fault it for stuff it's trying to do. But still, when you wince, that's probably not a great reaction, even if its what they were going for.
"I was giving a very nice tour! She was actually listening to what I was saying..."
I definitely say this movie is worth seeing, for fans of horror, for fans of schlocky 80s camp, for fans looking for a few good laughs, and everything in between. Just don't go in expecting a masterpiece, because that's not what they were making. Just have a good time. It was thoroughly enjoyable in a silly, fun, bloody good campy way.
Based on the trailer, I thought this movie was going to be bad, and painful, and just a giant ball of cheese...and it *is*, yet as I watched it, I REALLY enjoyed myself and found this campy little flick to be a lot of fun with its tongue planted firmly in cheek, while still delivering a lot of blood and horror. It surprised me at just how much I got into it, and the characters, and just had a good, fun time.
This is precisely the sort of movie I love to find for Trisk.
And really, how can I say no to a movie that gives you a moment of Zombie Hitler?
"That's Hitler! You fucking baboon!"