by Dionisio “Don” Traverso Jr.
I have, in the past, been accused of being too lenient on bad movies. While I do love Plan 9 From Outer Space, The Creeping Terror, Ratpocalypse, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (director’s cut is a masterpiece – fight me!), there are some movies out there that have tried my patience. While it’s easy to take shots at dreck like any Pirates of The Caribbean or Transformers movie (they all suck – fight me!), once in a while a small film creeps in, captures my attention, and at the end, makes me want to smash my television again the wall, yelling about the filmmaker, “I WANT HIM DEAD! I WANT HIS FAMILY DEAD! I WANT HIS HOUSE BURNED TO THE GROUND!”
So, the first thing that irked me was the title. I thought Amazon had made a typo on its listing. I also thought it was a different movie. I was looking for Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror. Instead, I’d found Frankensteins Bloody Nightmare (2006).
Yeah. Not Frankenstein’s. Frankensteins. Like it’s plural. But it’s not.
This is verified by the opening credits, which come after scenes of a park or woods cut with visually processed scenes of a woman’s face as she looks around, then a shot of a pitchfork, which pierces a body, which is the mystery woman’s body, and every shot is not quite in focus. The soundtrack screeches, wails, then….
Frankensteins Bloody Nightmare.
We then switch to another mystery woman in a bed, looking pale (maybe it’s all the make-up?), as she tells our protagonist, Doctor Karlstein (not Frankenstein nor Frankensteins) that she wants to make love to him once more before she dies. He assures her she won’t die, then off to work he goes. He speaks to a coworker for a couple minutes, then takes the rest of the day off.
MEANWHILE IN ANOTHER MOVIE, another woman takes entirely too long to get into her car at night, before someone in the back seat grabs her, stabbing her in the chest.
BACK IN THE FIRST MOVIE, Karlstein parks his car somewhere in a forest in broad daylight, takes a mysterious case from the passenger seat, and walks off to…a shack maybe? Inside is completely dark except for the table he puts the case on. The camera pans…slowly…slowly…to the darkness…slowly…slowly…to a close-up of Karlstein’s eyes, then…slowly…slowly…to the ground, where, eventually, the dirt starts to move…
At this point, ten minutes in, I stop the movie and look around the room. No, my vision isn’t going blurry. Not one shot in this movie is in focus!
I watched the next scene in this movie twice.
Karlstein goes to another shack(?), at night this time, and meets some dude in sunglasses, who turns, points at Karlstein, and says, “Wait a minute!” The next shot is of his face going in and out of focus, bobbing drunkenly about, finger still pointing, as eventually his other hand turns off the volume button to…something? They talk a bit as I wonder what the bloody fuck THAT was all about. On a whim, I played that scene again, taking note of the time stamp. Yes, it takes exactly a minute from when dude says “Wait a minute!” to when he turns the volume button. OK. But WHY?
That’s one of two questions I kept asking throughout this film. The other was WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE? Some of it was because of the plot, which I think has to do with Karlstein trying to bring his love back to life while dealing with a monster he’d created before that’s running around maybe killing women. The other had to do with the dodgy cinematography, which occasionally is processed into abstract blurry shapes and colors. By the end, I sat there, shaking my head, muttering, “The fuck…. The FUCK?” Then, my inner Robert DeNiro from The Untouchables bubbled to the surface and exploded. It escalated when I found out John R. Hand, the producer/writer/director of this…thing was nominated for a Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award for Best Independent Production. Must have been a slow year in independent horror.
Zero cheese curds out of five. Fuck this movie.