Thursday, October 29, 2015

Young Frankenstein (1974)

Halloween Movie #1

Synopsis: It’s basically 104 minutes of Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman and Terri Garr screaming at each other in black and white. 

Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “Mel Brooks’ monstrously crazy tribute to Mary Shelley’s classic pokes hilarious fun at just about every Frankenstein movie ever made.”  

What Did I Learn?: Hearts and kidneys are tinker toys compared with the central nervous system. 

Really?: I realize this is a Mel Brooks comedy, and that judging it on its overall credibility would be a fool’s errand, but still.... 1) When does this movie take place? Wouldn’t Transylvania be ruled either by Nazi Germany, or a Soviet-imposed Communist government? This is never made clear. 2) Come to think of it, how long has the castle been deserted, and how much time has passed since the previous Dr. Frankenstein (Fronkensteen’s great-grandfather) did his experiments? Why was he only recently informed? 3) So, Fronkensteen leaves behind his career and his fiancé and travels across the world in his great-grandfather’s castle? What?!? I imagine he would take that trip for the sole reason of selling the old dump, but this is never once mentioned. 4) Funny how the film takes place in Transylvania (basically modern-day Romania), and yet everyone speaks English, and all of the signage is in English, too. 

Rating: Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein is widely considered to be a classic, and I really, really wanted to like this film, but I couldn’t. YF actually starts out fairly well, and it has a few funny moments (Wilder’s Fronkensteen, and Terri Garr’s Inga discovering the bookcase secret passage, for instance), but most of the humour is loud, crude and extremely obvious. Moreover, the movie really starts to drag by the end, and I couldn’t take all of the incessant shouting. I cannot recommend this movie. 4.5/10 stars. 

Would It Work For a Bad Movie Night?: Maybe – take a drink every time somebody becomes unnecessarily loud.

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