The Frankenstein Theory (2013)
Oh Potential, Potential, why do you continue to frustrate your mother and me? We feed you, bathe and clothe you, scrimp and save and sacrifice to give you the very best, and yet time and again you hang about with the wrong crowd and end up totally wasted. Don’t you see the effects you’re having on those around you? Mother’s back on the meth, I’m setting Mormons on fire and your sister’s twerking at Liberace’s grave again!
And I know who the cause for this latest disappointment is: director Andrew Weiner. Based on what I’ve seen with what he’s done with THE FRANKENSTEIN THEORY, I can only assume that if Andrew Weiner was a chef and you gave him a slab of Japanese kobe beef, he’d serve it to a cat before putting the cat in a bag and throwing it in a river. Give Andrew Weiner a bar of gold, he’d use it as a doorstop. If he found Beyonce in his bed, he’d ask her to warm up his side before sending her home. If he found a lost Van Gogh, he’d cut out the flowers and stick them on his bathroom wall to brighten it up. If he had Adam Sandler, he’d make an Adam Sandler film.
Why am I getting so critical of this inept idiot? Because of the premise of THE FRANKENSTEIN THEORY: the notion that the Frankenstein Monster as created by Mary Shelley (the original Teenage Geek Girl) was a fictionalised version of a real creature that had been created early in the Nineteenth Century, and in fact was still alive and living in Arctic Circle.
Now, fuck me gently with a chainsaw if that isn’t a decent idea for a movie! FRANKENSTEIN has appeared in hundreds of movies throughout the world almost since the invention of cinema, in a plethora of adaptations, revisions, sequels, prequels, unequals, and Tim Curry in a fright wig and stockings. But this idea was something new, and I liked it, and I looked forward to watching it.
But Weiner’s resulting work was a boner killer to my fanboy expectations. I’m talking Jessica Tandy Penthouse Centrefold level of boner killer.
And the movie is in a found footage format, because clearly that fucking genre hasn’t been tapped enough already. We’re introduced to Professor Jonathan Venkenheim (Kris Lemche, FINAL DESTINATION 3, a much better film than this), who believes that an ancestor of his, Johann, was a scientist working on behalf of the Illuminati to decipher the secrets of life, and was the inspiration for Shelly’s Victor Frankenstein. However, following the Creature’s creation and escape north, all technical proof of Johann’s achievements was destroyed to prevent the experiment from being duplicated.
Anyone with half a brain dismisses his notions as bullshit, including Venkenheim’s girlfriend (Christine Lakin, VALENTINE’S DAY, another better film than this one), but his only ally, the film crew’s director Vicky Stephens (Heather Stephens, who years before got boiled while skinny dipping in a volcanic spring in DANTE’S PEAK, another *much* better film than this one), insists that they follow Venkenheim to the North Pole to track down the Creature.
Along the way, they stop and meet Clarence (Joe Egender, from TV’s ALCATRAZ and AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM, TV shows but still better than- oh, you get the idea…), a meth head and Obligatory Deranged Witness who allegedly encountered the Creature, and violently reacts after identifying him from an old sketch of Venkenheim’s. Later they pick up the Obligatory Guide, Karl (Timothy Murphy), who berates the whole expedition but still drags them further north, first by car and then by snowmobile. There are the Obligatory Shadowy Figures seen, the Obligatory Arguments that the thing they hear growling and scaring off the wolves is just a polar bear, the Obligatory Destruction of their vehicles cutting them off, the Obligatory Night Vision Sequences, the Obligatory Survivor going off with the last surviving vehicle for help, knowing he won’t make it …
You get the fucking point. This movie plays out like a hundred movies before it; there are tribes in the Amazon who have never seen a movie before, and they could still be sat down in front of this and guess what’s going to happen. I feel like I’ve been bitch-slapped by how unoriginal this movie played out.
I get that there’s always some level of derivativeness in every movie, especially in this genre, but for Lugosi’s sake, this movie takes the fucking cake and pisses on it. Because I can stand predictability, if there’s also a payoff. But there isn’t. The deaths that occur, occur off-camera. And at the risk of spoiling what is already a dead and rotting corpse, when the Creature appears at the end, he’s as fleeting as my salary before taxes. Go back to the poster at the top of this review, and stare good and hard at the image of the Creature, because that’ll be better than anything you see in the movie proper.
And there’s not even a chance to show how the Creature was depicted as in Shelly’s work: as an articulate being more harmed than harmful. Here it’s a generic, grunting thing, like the worst of the movie adaptations.
If you’re masochistic or an anal retentive who must see everything Frankenstein-related, THE FRANKENSTEIN THEORY is available on DVD and VOD, and the trailer is below. Seriously, though, go watch FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY instead (read Scott’s review about it here).
Director: Andrew Weiner
Plot: 0 out of 5 stars
Gore: 0 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains. Yes, all are zeroes.
Reviewed by Derek “Deggsy” O’Brien. The D is silent. A moment’s silence, in honour of the death of the potential in this movie.