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).
When I am a friend of the filmmaker, I tend to avoid being the one to review their film, but this time is different, as I have been looking forward to this film’s release for a while now, and I really was looking forward to being the one to write the review. It was worth the wait.
I became a fan of Donald F Glut’s work at sixteen, in 1980, thanks to his work on the novelization of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. But that was just an introduction, as I soon learned he’d worked on quite a few of my favorite TV shows, and wrote many of those show’s best episodes.
Tales of Frankenstein is an anthology film, of four short stories, that are all connected by the single theme; Frankenstein and his monster, and we even get the Monster appearing before each short story, connecting each tale of terror.
Don really nails the scripts and the direction. This film definitely has the flavor and feel of those classic British anthology films like Asylum (1972), Tales of Terror (1962), The House that Dripped Blood (1971), Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965), of which I am a huge fan.
The strength in this film is in Don’s writing. His adaptation of his own short stories into script, are very well told, funny, and quite entertaining. Of course I have my favorite segments of the film, which are stories #2, Crawler From the Grave, and #3, Madhouse of Death. But, they are all good stories. The make up is fantastic! And there is one single shot in the film I watched several times, because I liked it so much. It was a quick shot in the second story, where the camera stays on a monstrous sculpture or mummified creature, and the focus as the two cast members walk off camera shifts from them to the mummified thing in the background, and hangs there for two to three beats. It was such a Hammeresque shot, and I loved it.
My nits are few, and are obviously solely dealing with the fact this was a low budget film, it suffered the issues films like that do, one of which is that you don’t always get the best actors, which a couple times in the film the acting landed very flat, along with some of the lighting in a few scenes were over lit, Mr Glut managed to pull off a damned entertaining film, and I need to say, that most of his did a damned fine job. And as a filmmaker myself, I was impressed at how Don managed to get his funding through Kickstarter for this film, and took what he got, and turned his idea into a full length feature film. That is no small endeavor, let me tell you. So, Bravo!
With strong writing, fantastic direction, and a great reminder to classic British anthology horror films, Tales of Frankenstein gets a solid 7 out of 10 Potatoes.