While the Vietnam War wound down, and Nixon was in the middle of a defense of having evidently attempted to rig a presidential election, people were going crazy for The Exorcist, and The Sting, Jim Croce was singing about some badass named Leroy Brown, and Three Dog Night had an earworm with Shambala (if you’re of a certain age, that thing is blasting in your brain right now (that certain age is old! Goddamnit!), anyway, despite all that, we had this team of misfits creating a black version of the classic Frankenstein story, but while the original monster was kinda sweet really, didn’t actually mean to cause any upset, our poor limb-less Eddie turned monster by Dr. Stein’s new limb attachment techniques combined with a jealous helper’s deliberately tampering with the poor guy’s DNA injections (DNA! It’s like magic!) is a bit more randomly violent. We’re told Dr. Stein won the Nobel Prize for his mumble mumble something DNA! Yes, I think Dr. Winnifred just said DNA, not even structure of or novel use . . . just DNA.
This thing is exactly what it says on the tin, and while the Dr.’s laboratory is properly outfitted with 100 year old artifact equipment, mostly of the electrical discharge type (always wanted one of those goddamned Van Der Graaf generators!), lots of ozone snapping and popping in that lab, and lots of vintage switches being flipped–our Blackenstein scientist is a white guy. WTF? Plus, he’s rather innocent. His tampering in “God’s Domain” which was never really Mary Shelley’s point, just incidentally, is more along the lines of trying to improve living folks’s lives. Our Vietnam Vet Eddie is a sweet unlucky war vet being abused in an administrative setting by a foul nurse who won’t even get him a goddamned mouthful of ice cream. I do believe we’re being roundly introduced to the US Veterans Administration!
Soon enough the gorgeous Dr. girlfriend of poor Eddie, Dr. Winnifred Walker (which no one can quite seem to say) has enlisted Dr. Stein to fix up her beau. And they do! Of course. Dr. Stein’s helper however, Malcolm (not Igor) manages to fall in love with Dr. Winnifred and she politely declines him, but Malcolm has a wicked plan in mind. As voices repeat in his head to set the stage for what is about to happen, he mixes up a cocktail of some fluids and well, we get the idea. Soon enough the poor veteran is a pawn in a careless and pointless system of abuse and scandal. As flatfoots chase him, and ladies are somehow clumsily dispatched by his powerful hands and his mouth somehow gets filled with their flesh, we can’t help thinking, you know, a Democrat could have avoided all this with some decent universal health care.
There are few lovely 70s babes in this flick, and we get some terrific 70s glimpses of some satisfying 70s boobs– sort of the point of any good monster film (if you’re like me and at heart basically 15 years old).
The finale is extremely unsatisfying but somehow wholly fits the theme. Bastards tend to live forever after all! And there aren’t all sorts of justifications for selfishness (ever read any Ayn Rand? Yikes!) in this here United States of America!
This is entirely free on Prime, and it’s mostly well lit, and most of the dialog is comprehensible. Now I want the black version of Jaws.