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Tales of Frankenstein (2019)

Tales of Frankenstein Horror Movie Review


Based upon four of writer-director Donald F. Glut's short stories published in his book TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN: "My Creation, My Beloved" (a deformed descendant of Victor Frankenstein creates the perfect man and woman), "Crawler from the Grave" (another Frankenstein descendant's disembodied, plague-infected arm returns from the grave for revenge), "Madhouse of Death" (a private detective winds up in an old dark house filled with loonies...and a gorilla) and "Dr. Karnstein's Creation" (a mad doctor creates a monster in vampire-haunted Transylvania - with gruesomely unexpected results).

Review

Written and directed by Donald F. Glut (Dances with Werewolves) Tales of Frankenstein an odd little anthology movie. Four stories are here on display, all themed around acts of Frankensteinian behavior, if you will. Like all anthology movies it's a mixed bag and this one, while a little uneven, will provide something for everyone.

Immediately the film gives off heavy vibes of being in the vein of old Hammeresque films. The direction, in particular, is reminiscent of scenes of Oliver Reed running over hills in the English countryside carrying a torch - but with a little more tongue in cheek. The production across the board is very good - it's an indie flick with a small budget, but plays well to it's strengths and in recreating the feel of older films, has well hidden budgetary constraints. So well, in fact, it's a little magical.

The vignettes themselves are styled a little differently, and certainly have different appeal. The first, "My Creation, My Beloved", is a fairly traditional take on Frankenstein mythos, and a good lead in to the film. Buddy Daniels Friedman (The Wizard of Speed and Time) is standout, and plays the part extremely well. The second "Crawler from the Grave" takes a sharp left bent in the story telling, and we veer far from a tale of Frank, over to killer body parts, and cursed jewelry. This section is carried heavily by veteran actor John Blyth Barrymore (Hitchhiker Massacre), who steals every scene he's in.

These first two segments work well together - neither are particularly scary in terms of modern cinema, but both are enjoyable and well made, and must see for any fan of old school horror.


Tales of Frankenstein Horror Movie Review


The third segment - and this reviewers favorite - "Madhouse of Death" smooshes a Sam Spade detective into a glorious 60's bodyswap horror, with excellent results, led with aplomb by the outrageous performance of Jamisin Matthews (Raspberry & Lavender). Leading to the final part, "Dr. Karnstein's Creation", where we turn again in style and to Jim Tavaré (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) to deliver. And does he. Riffing far heavier on a certain Transylvanian villain, the whole segment is fun, funny, and a fitting ending to the runtime.

Throughout the film, at no point is there a dull moment, nor indeed a reason to look elsewhere for entertainment. The cast is solid throughout, the direction and writing is good, and the film delivers on it's promise - a slightly tongue in cheek homage to Hammer-cum-Universal horror of days gone.

If you want to take a step back in time, watching this is like visiting with friends. Must see stuff.





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