Plot: What’s it about?
Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Jean Rochefort) has been working on a secret experiment for some time, but can’t seem to find the finishing touches he needs. You see, he has been working on reanimation and plans to piece together body parts to create a complete person, then raise the corpse from the dead. But he has to have just the right parts to complete his masterpiece and since his usual place isn’t too fruitful, things have started to look grim for his experiment. When he runs into a mysterious man after a lecture however, a new method of acquirement arrives, as the man promises he can deliver what the experiment needs. After he returns home, Victor is greeted by an irate girlfriend, who thinks he had been out cheating on her, since he came home late on their anniversary. This drives Victor to put his time into the experiment and after some tweaks, he is able to bring the creation to life. Its name is Frank and Victor begins teaching him about life from the start, as if he were the father. But even as he is taught about manners and proper behavior, will Frank be able to act human or will his monster instincts take over?
If you’ve been waiting for a French take on the story of Frankenstein, then wait no more, as Anchor Bay has released Frankenstein 90. I have to assume that even genre fans will question the merits of this one, but I found it to be a humorous, more than worthwhile experience. Of course, it won’t knock off the classic Frankenstein, but Frankenstein 90 has some memorable moments and offers a cool new take on the material. A more intimate scale is shown here, as we watch Frank try to fit into the normal world, which doesn’t always work out. As the monster is more human this time around, he is able to get into all kinds of situations, from cruising for some chicks to getting into a car accident, as well as other humorous events. Yes, Frankenstein 90 has some traditional horror elements sprinkled throughout, but it is more of a black comedy, with more of a focus on that than the actual scares. But then again, if this would have been made from a serious approach, one can only imagine how absurd it would have turned out to be. I recommend this release to genre fans, as well as anyone interested in dark, offbeat cinema.
Video: How does it look?
Frankenstein 90 is presented in a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. I don’t know they how they do it, but as per usual, Anchor Bay has delivered an excellent visual presentation for a cult level picture. The print has some light grain in some scenes, but looks ten times cleaner than expected, with no real marks or debris to mention. The colors look bright and show no flaws, while black levels are well balanced at all times. I knew this would be a good, solid transfer, but this looks superb and Anchor Bay deserves some serious kudos.
Audio: How does it sound?
A mono option is found here, which sounds good and preserves the original French language, which is excellent news. As you can imagine, this is not an eye opening audio experience, but it has a solid sound and should please most audiences. I didn’t find many instances of pops or hiss, while harshness is never an issue, so the tolls of time aren’t too evident here. The music is clear and well presented, while the various sound effects come across in fine, if sometimes restrained fashion, though I doubt a surround mix would have added much. No issues with dialogue either, as vocals remain clean and crisp at all times. This disc also includes optional English subtitles, in case you don’t speak French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc contains no bonus materials.