Dec 10, 2019
Welcome back for our last Takeover Tuesday for this year! We’re super excited to have the Friends N Flayers podcast guesting today, for YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, the classic film from Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder. You can find them on Twitter @FriendsNFlayers and can subscribe to their podcast on all major platforms. A promo will run before the review. I’ve been noticing a lot of great films that came out in 1974 which we’ve reviewed, including THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (Episode #035), THE CONVERSATION (Episode #091), CHINATOWN (Episode #271), and most recently, Jon-David’s guest review for Takeover Tuesday of THE TOWERING INFERNO (Episode #653). Also, don’t miss Keith Lyons’ review of SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (Episode #622), which introduces quite a bit of lore used for today’s film.
Think you have what it takes to guest on One Movie Punch? Head over to onemoviepunch.com/takeover-tuesday to check out the requirements. If you’re interested, reach out to us using the contact form or over social media, and we’ll see if we can place you on the calendar. We have eleven spots in Q1 2020 just looking for guests. We’ll even run your promo before the review.
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Here we go!
<< FRIENDS N FLAYERS PROMO >>
I’m Joel Anderson; I play the barbarian duo of Gorem and Reginald Thistlewhite on the Dungeons and Dragons actual play podcast Friends and Flayers. You can find us on all major podcasting platforms, and connect with us on Twitter @FriendsNFlayers, Facebook at Friends and Flayers, Instagram @Friends_and_Flayers, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s movie is YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, the comedy film directed by Mel Brooks and written for the screen by Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks, based on the novel by Mary Shelley. Gene Wilder stars as Frederick Frankenstein, the descendent of famed scientist Victor Frankenstein. Fredrick heads back to Transylvania after inheriting the family estate. Along with Igor (Marty Feldman), and Inga (Terri Garr), Fredrick rediscovers his grandfather’s secret laboratory and continues his research of bringing life to the dead.
Coming off the success of BLAZING SADDLES, another comedy classic from Mel Brooks in 1974, Wilder and Brooks team up again to spoof the Frankenstein movies of the early 30’s. This would be the pair’s third and final collaboration. This is a carefully crafted parody, with strong writing and amazing attention to detail. They were able to use to the same laboratory set from the original Universal Frankenstein movies of the era.
The movie’s premise is centered on the relationship Frederick has with his famous grandfather, Victor Frankenstein. The first third of the movie shows Frederick distancing himself as far away as possible from the family name, using the pronunciation of Fronkonsteen and calling his grandfather’s research doo doo. Over the course of the movie, not only do we see Frederick embrace his family name, but the research he dismissed earlier in the movie as well; taking inspiration from the family estate he inherits and the discovery of his grandfather’s research.
Frederick’s change of identity is mirrored in his romantic relationships in the movie. At the beginning we are introduced to Frederick’s fiancée, Elizabeth, played perfectly by Madeline Kahn, a self-absorbed, socialite whose only concern is how she’s viewed by other’s and material wealth. By the end, Frederick marries his assistant Inga, the Transylvanian native who shows Frederick true compassion and care during his time at the castle. Elizabeth marries Frederick’s creation, falling in love with the side Frederick denied his whole life.
This movie covers all the Frankenstein movie tropes, but without making them feel stale. There are the fearful townsfolk, who later mob Frederick for unleashing his monster to society. There’s the monsters love of music and his fear of fire. The inquisitive inspector who’s trying to figure out what’s going on inside the Frankenstein castle. And finally, the mad doctor and his deformed assistant. The humor is still funny to this day and many of the scenes have entered the pop culture lexicon. Abby Normal, Setagive, Putting on the Ritz, and the aforementioned Frokonsteen.
I love this movie. I grew up with this movie, but I didn’t always love it. When I first saw it, perhaps around the age of 6 or 8, I didn’t understand it was supposed to be a comedy. Peter Boyle’s monster scared me. To my young brain, this was a straight horror movie and nothing else. It wasn’t until I watched it as a teenager, when I discovered Mel Brooks, did I realize this was comedy gold. Gene Wilder is a master of the dramatics. No one can act like a maniac with poise and humor like Wilder could. The rest of the supporting cast is also incredible. Marty Feldman nearly steals every scene he’s in; Kenneth Mars’ Inspector Kemp is one of those oddball characters you don’t see much in comedies these days. And if they are in them, they’re often used for gross out humor. Even Gene Hackman, in his cameo of the blind man who tries to befriend the monster, is hilarious in his short scene.
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is,on the surface a funny movie about man brining a dead man back to life and having him dance to Putting on the Ritz. But upon closer inspection, is an interesting study about relationships, both familial and romantic. This is a must see for any comedy fan.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94% (CERTIFIED FRESH)
One Movie Punch: 10/10
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974) is rated PG and is available on Amazon Prime.