Between a depressing life and a dead-end relationship with Penny (Jana Szabela), Dr. Jason Frankenstein (William Barnet) finds himself as the last of his family, stuck working in a hospital job that’s beneath him and far away from every finishing the experiment that his family has worked on for generations.
Fate has different plans when a very strange patient arrives and he gains the help of two drug-addicted paramedics and a nurse called Paula (Keelie Sheridan) who is quite eager to make life out of death, no matter how many people need to get murdered along the way. But when the creature they create (Michael Wetherbee) escapes, things get bad quick.
Robert Dix (Forbidden Planet, Frankenstein’s Daughter) came out of retirement to be in this movie, so that’s pretty cool. As for the film, it may move slow in parts, but it has an incredible degree of practical effects that blew me away, from the surgical moments to the look of its monster to blood spray and beheadings. Yes, two of them.
Director and writer David Weaver is making his first feature here and while there are some pacing issues, characters that seem to disappear and long stretches where you want something to happen, it also has some great effects from Jared Balog and Shawn Maloy, as well as the sheer power that comes from a moment when its Frankenstein’s Monster goes one on one with a bear, and if there’s anything Leslie Nielsen taught us, it’s that when a man fights a bear barehanded, it’s always the best thing ever.
I’m excited to see what Weaver makes next, because even with my minor issues with the movie, I stayed with it, which is way more than I can say for bigger movies with better budgets. Between the art direction, the look and having an actual idea, this movie begs for your attention.
The Last Frankenstein plays MidWest WeirdFest on Sunday, March 6 at 6:30 PM CST. You can get tickets and more information on the MidWest Weird Fest website. To learn more about the movie, visit the official Facebook page and the Gila FIlms website.