In celebration of the classic Universal and Hammer films and successful Indiegogo campaign for post-production costs that legendary filmmaker Donald F. Glut used to create a fun science fiction horror flick, complete with a series of short tales all focused on Frankenstein. These stories all found in his book of the same name, yes Glut, likely held every position one can on the film set, and this time he delivers an entertaining collection that coincides with the 200-year anniversary of author Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. A tidbit, Tales of Frankenstein, actually an unsold TV-polite film in 1958, but finally achieved the proper light of the day with the assistance of Pecosborn Productions and distribution from Pecosborn Productions.
First, the four segments take place in different years, namely 1887, 1910, 1948, and 1957 respectively with each at a different location Bavaria, Switzerland, Los Angeles and Transylvania, while customary a present-day wraparound story included in the story. Each of the tales combines horror and comedy, while making sure to avoid over-the-top slapstick, keeping a hint of gothic element, however, as is this reviewer customary attitude, since these includes short stories, I shall only give a brief summary of each, as not to ruin the enjoyment for others. The first story concerns ‘My Creation, My Beloved’ a scientist, Dr. Gregore Frankenstein (Buddy Daniels Friedman) the cousin to Victor who desires to create the perfect woman, a rebirth of his lover, but the risks versus reward may not become a winning successful decision. Next up ‘Crawling from the Grave’ sadly mimics its title with story pacing extremely slow, it involves Vincent (John Blyth Barrymore (Trick or Treats )) is a neighbor to Helmut Frankenstein (Len Wein, who passed on in September of 2017) uses his brains to try and cure himself, but there seems to be a small problem he doesn’t know when to turn off his greed obsession. This tale contains a few weaker moments including poor special effects. As for the third story, ‘Madhouse of Death’ is set in Los Angeles, 1948 a swirling tale involving a mad doctor, detective and gorilla, plus a group nutty characters in an old home, not necessary a dark home. Jack Anvil (Jamisin Matthews (Ring of Darkness )) who breaks down outside the home of Dr Mortality (Mel Novak (An Hour to Kill )), who has bigger plans for Jack, told in 40s tough-guy detective style. This short film, does a great job of a throwback to a bygone era in cinema, and perhaps the best one in the series presented herein, a comical line that refers to ‘central casting’ for those familiar with the era movies. Lastly, the 4th tale, ‘Dr. Karnstein’s Creation’ which, comes a tad muddled, set in Transylvania, Karnstein (Jim Tavare) recruits Carl (Justin Hoffmeister (Flight 666 )) to be his assistant, creating a monster in a land full of vampires, results in a slew of errors, problems, dire consequences and quite a bit of comedy.
Donald Glut, achieves a fine tribute to horror classics on theme of Frankenstein movies, especially those from Universal Studios and Hammer Productions, and while the acting varies greatly, touches of cheesy performances and the stories each convey their intentions clearly. Some of the set designs sells the concept of the stories, generally a gothic theme.
If one judges this movie fairly, yes it has a low budget feel, but the crew uses the funds wisely, poured it all into the sets construction and then rest spent on effects. It won’t blow you away, but it clearly shows the passion for the project, and striving to give viewers something to remember the contributions of Shelley’s influence, and that of mad doctor Frankenstein legacy still transcending multiple forms of media and entertaining all monster fans.
IMDb Rating: 5.3/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10