David Michael Latt, David Rimawi, Sherri Strain for The Asylum
directed by Leigh Scott
starring Rhett Giles, Thomas Downey, Joel Hebner, Eliza Swenson, Jeff Denton, Dan Kaplan, Christina Rosenberg, Sarah Lieving, Amanda Barton, Tim Travers, Matt Kawczynski, Monique Jones, Kandis Fay, Alicia Vigil, Lorielle New, Josh Sobotik, Steven B. Fish II, Kyle Redman, Dana DeArmond
screenplay by Leigh Scott, based on the novel Frankenstein by Mary W. Shelley, music by Regan, special makeup effects by Dizzworks Designs
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Psychiatrist Dr Walton (Thomas Downey) is entrusted with evaluating
whether or not Dr Victor Frank (Rhett Giles) is fit to be tried for murder
or not, and while Victor seems totally clear in his mind, his story is
more than a little messed up, apparently he tried to revolutionise medical
science as such, by using nanotechnology to revive dead cells - and the
process works quite well with his test subject, terminally ill and totally
paralized Bryce (Joel Hebner), who bounces back to perfect physical health
with remarkable speed ... but somehow part of Victor's brain gets uploaded
into his head and he becomes more and more schizophrenic - to the point
where Victor has to shoot him dead, but then to not lose funding revives
him from the dead ... with some success, as reviving a dead human is an
achievement in itself - but revived Bryce now looks like a proper monster,
and he's a homicidal maniac with Victor's memories. So one of the first
thing he does is he kills Victor's assistand Hank (Jeff Denton) and his
girlfriend Elizabeth (Eliza Swenson), as they were having an affair behind
Victor's back. Thing is, once Elizabeth is dead, the monster regrets what
he has done and he and Victor team up to bring her back to life, but have
to piece together a new body and thus numerous women are killed. Things
get too out-of-hands though, and eventually, Victor, no stranger to
suicidal tendencies, is afraid the monster might kill him and rather gives
himself up to the police ...
Dr Walton is puzzled by Victor's story, as
while it's totally crazy on one hand, it's also totally plausible in
itself, not some mad rumblings of a madman but a compact, almost
believable story. So he decides to investigate some more - but hey, that
puts him at risk of actually running into the monster ...
this is quite an interesting modern day take on the Frankenstein
tale that as a very welcome change doesn't overdo the updating, doesn't
try too hard to bring modern science into the mix, and does not try to put
a post-modern spin on it, and while it sure enough was influenced by
classics from James Whale's Frankenstein
to Re-Animator, it (while
never reaching these movies in quality) manages to stand on its own. That
said, unfortunately the film's not perfect, basically because while the
film's tense enough and gruesome in all the right places, it at times
lacks in terms of character motivation. First and foremost, the
relationship between the monster and his master is in constant flux, at
one point they seem to be working together, the next one wants to kill the
other, likewise the monster kills Elizabeth - and it's premeditated
murder, not just a crime of passion -, then does everything to help revive
her ... and there are more examples like these.
That all said, the
film's still good fun and does manage to hold its own in the mad scientist
subgenre - it would just have benefitted from a couple or so rewrites ...