YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

HOME REVIEWS FEO'S STUFF FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?
Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME

COMICS

CONS

HORRIBLE NEWS
Movies E.C. McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Young Frankenstein
Bookmark and Share
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN - 1974
USA Release: December 15, 1974
Gruskoff/Venture Films, Crossbow Productions, Jouer Limited, 20th Century Fox
Ratings: USA: PG

In what is arguably Mel Brooks best movie ever (that's my argument anyway, it IS the best Mel Brooks movie EVER!), YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN has become not only one of the finest comedies ever made, but also is the best Horror Movie spoof ever made. Unlike many movies that poke fun at Horror, the humor of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN never lapses into self-parody and self-conscious belittling. While it can be fun to watch a movie that prides itself on its own cheapnis and hackneyed film production values, it can also get a bit tiresome. Mel Brooks and writer Gene Wilder could have taken that route, and indeed, gave it some thought. Finally though, after Gene made a stand that he wouldn't have it any other way, they decided to create a class act.

1974 was the year of the Frankenstein movie. That year saw Andy Warhol release his own version of Frankenstein called FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN or Andy Warhol's FRANKENSTEIN. Hammer Films also released its last movie in the genre that year with FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL starring Peter Cushing as the Weird Doctor and David Prowse as the monster.

Terri Garr, Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman

For those unaware, Mel and Gene were fanatical sticklers for detail in YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. To make sure that it was a drop dead parody of their beloved Universal Pictures' FRANKENSTEIN series, particularly SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, Mel insisted on shooting the entire movie in black and white; shot on same castle movie set, and used the exact same lab props as the original. Universal didn't like the idea of spoofing their cherished version of Frankenstein and didn't want to pony up the budget Brooks felt was necessary, so 20th Century Fox inked the contract and got the money. As with Hammer Pictures before him, Mel was not allowed to have his Creature look anything like Universal's FRANKENSTEIN creature.

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is a tale about the grandson of the infamous Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein (Victor in the novel, Henry in the Universal movie). Dr. Friedrich von Frankenstein is stubbornly and quietly trying to live down the infamous reputation of his ancestor. Working as a teacher at an American university and pronouncing his last name as Fronkenshteen, the mild mannered doctor (Gene Wilder: HAUNTED HONEYMOON) is barely repressing his rage at being the last member of the notorious family line.

"I'd rather be remembered for my own small contributions to science, and not because of my accidental relationship to a famous . . . Cuckoo."

Friedrich comes into an inheritance. His father is dead and the old Frankenstein castle now belongs to him. He says goodbye to his fiancee (played with frigid hilarity by Madeline Kahn: SIMON, CLUE) and boards the train. Soon the train is arriving in Transylvania (isn't there a big ol' ocean in between? Yes! Now hush!) where Friedrich meets the grandson of his family's long time servant, Igor (the googly-eyed Marty Feldman). Confused by Friedrich's mispronounciation of the family name Frankenstein, Igor one-ups by claiming that his own name is pronounced "Eye-gor".

"My grandfather used to work for your grandfather. Of course, the rates have gone up!"

TRIVIA

The original cut of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN was almost twice as long as the theatrical version, and it was considered by all involved to be an abysmal failure.

It was only after a marathon cutting session that they produced the final cut of the film, which both Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks considered to be far superior to the original product.

At one point they noted that for every joke that worked, there were three that fell flat. So they went in and trimmed all the jokes that didn't work.

More trivia at IMDb.com

The funniest thing about this movie is the somber, serious way it goes through all the motions of an actual movie made in the 1930's and 40s. The crazed shenanigans of the cast stand out in sharp relief from the grey scenery around them. As the creature (Peter Boyle: SPECIES II) goes on a pain induced rampage, crashing through the door of the blind hermit's (Gene Hackman: THE CONVERSATION, NIGHT MOVES) home, the blissfully ignorant old man cries out "Wait! Where are you going? I was going to make espresso!"

Laughs careen from word play and physical comedy and yet, through it all somehow, it never destroys the illusion that we could very well be watching some demented old Universal Monster movie. Made perhaps, after the inspiring heat of brainstorming during an all night bender.

Mel Brooks deft direction, combined with cinematography by Gerald Hirschfield (THE CAR, COMA) and set design by Robert "Bob" De Vestel (BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, DAMIEN: Omen II) creates a wholly believable stage upon which Mel Brooks usual cast of mad actors chew the monochrome scenery to the hilt. Recognizable Mel Brooks acolytes include Cloris Leachman (KISS ME DEADLY), Kenneth Mars (THE PARALLAX VIEW), Marty Feldman, and Madeline Kahn. Teri Garr (THE CONVERSATION, WITCHES BREW), a virtual unknown at the time, also turns in a great performance as the bosomy, provocative Inga

"Vould you like a rrroll in za hay? It's fun!"

More than worth renting, this movie is worth owning. I've met hundreds of Horror fans over the years who can attest to the fun of shouting out memorable quotes to each other as a means of fan recognition ("Blücher!"). The movie has so many of them.

Kenneth Mars and Gene Wilder

The DVD is now digitally remastered in THX and has some interesting scene extras as well as fascinating background. Fun for any fan.

Like any spoof, of course, this only works if you have seen the Universal Pictures original, SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, and perhaps the original FRANKENSTEIN and it's first sequel, THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Otherwise the many jokes will go sailing right past you. If by some great flaw of chance you have not seen YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, then don't wait any longer. This has earned its place among both Horror and comedy and is a full 5 Shriek Girl classic.

Shriek GirlShriek GirlShriek GirlShriek GirlShriek Girl
This review copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN STUFF
BLU-RAY FRANKENSTEIN
Universal Pictures
SOUNDTRACK POSTER BOOK
Bookmark and Share Young Frankenstein (1974) on IMDb

Return to Movies

E.C. McMullen Jr. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
BLOG
DEVIANT ART
ECMJR - PORTFOLIO
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

 

BUY BOOKS FROM
E.C. McMullen Jr.
WILLOW BLUE
Willow Blue
"'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of
FINAL DESTINATION

PERPETUAL BULLET
Perpetual Bullet Paperback
"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, Infinityplus

IN OTHER BOOKS
E.C. McMullen Jr.'s

short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
Fear The Reaper
"This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Amazon Review

HORROR 201: The Silver Scream
PAPERBACK

Horror 201: The Silver Scream
Filmmaker's Guidebook
featuring
RAY BRADBURY,
JOHN CARPENTER,
WES CRAVEN,
TOM HOLLAND,
E.C. McMULLEN Jr.,
ED NAHA,
GEORGE A. ROMERO,
and many more.

Extensively quoted in
Phantasm Exhumed
PHANTASM EXHUMED
The Unauthorized Companion


Robert S. Rhine's
SATAN'S 3-RING CIRCUS OF HELL
Satan's 3-Ring Circus of Hell

Forward by
GAHAN WILSON,
FEO AMANTE.
Featuring comics by
WILLIAM STOUT,
HILARY BARTA,
STEVE BISSETTE,
SPAIN RODRIGUEZ,
FRANK DIETZ,
JIM SMITH,
TONE RODRIGUEZ,
FRANK FORTE,
ERIC PIGORS,
ALEX PARDEE,
MIKE SOSNOWSKI,
OMAHA PEREZ,
DAVID HARTMAN,
D.W. FRYDENDALL,
SHANNON WHEELER,
VINCENT WALLER,
JACOB HAIR,
NENAD GUCUNJA,
STEVEN MANNION,
NORMAN CABRERA,
and more!

ALSO
IN CINEMA
E.C. McMullen Jr.

HEAD PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Mine Games
MINE GAMES
(Starring:
JOSEPH CROSS, ALEX MERAZ, BRIANA EVIGAN)

Dept. head
SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKE-UP
(SFX MUA) and Michael Madsen's stunt double on the movie
A Sierra Nevada Gunfight
A SIERRA NEVADA GUNFIGHT
(Starring:
MICHAEL MADSEN and JOHN SAVAGE).

PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Universal Dead
UNIVERSAL DEAD
(Starring:
DOUG JONES, D.B. SWEENEY, GARY GRAHAM)

ART DIRECTOR
The Crusader THE CRUSADER
(Starring COLIN CUNNINGHAM, GARY GRAHAM)

I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright 1997 - 2017 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.