Friday, November 30, 2007

FRANKENSTEIN

In the Seventies, Dan Curtis was TV’s king of gothic horror. His daytime soap opera, DARK SHADOWS, ruled the ratings with its witch’s brew of vampires, werewolves and heaving breasts, while his production company churned out movies of the week based on DRACULA and DR. JECKYLL & MISTER HYDE as well as originals like THE NIGHT STALKER and THE NORLISS TAPES.

Somewhere in there, he cranked out this two-part, shot on videotape, mostly-faithful adaptation of Mary Shelly’s novel, FRANKENSTEIN (1973) for late night television, with Robert Foxworth (PROPHECY) as the mad doctor and Bo Svenson (THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS, WALKING TALL PART 2) as his creation.

Actually, both actors give very good performances in this rarely-seen and nearly-forgotten telefilm, and despite the technical limitations of shooting on tape on small, overlit sets, it's actually a pretty enjoyable version of the tale.

Dark Sky’s disc features a full-frame transfer that looks about as good as possible for a shot-on-70’s-video production to look. There’s some video noise and color bleeding, but it’s quite watchable. The disc also includes the original late night network TV promos and bumpers.

Fans of Curtis’ DARK SHADOWS or aficionados of Shelly’s novel will want to check this out.

BUY: Frankenstein