Friday, September 26, 2014

#7 Young Frankenstein

Not lacking for popularity or rabid fan appreciation I still always thought Young Frankenstein was far superior to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and could have / should have been the ultimate "audience participation" midnight movie.

While Mel Brooks' black and white masterpiece is smack full of legendary schtick and hilarious punchlines, it's attention to detail regarding the three great Karloff-era Universal Frankenstein films is what really makes this flivver giv'r.  Gene Wilder's "Dr. Frahnkensteen" is unmistakably inspired mostly by the Basil Rathbone "Wolf von Frankenstein" character that apprehensively inherited this monster problem - not just with the tall guy with bolts in his neck but the hump-backed, gallows-robbing sidekicks Ygor/I-gor.

The scenes where the monster (Peter Boyle) encounters De Lacey (the blind man in the cottage - played by an uncredited Gene Hackman) is some of the greatest slapstick put to film.
If a boiling bowl of soup in the lap and a well lit hot-thumb doesn't make you laugh out loud then you may yourself be a humorless corpse.

I often wondered if Hackman going uncredited had any connection to John Carradine doing the same in the blind man scene from Bride of Frankenstein.

From securing the original Frankenstein's lab machinery to recreating a perfect Lawrence Talbot "there-wolf" forest to spinning book-cases and one-armed, dart slinging burgomasters - all the parts are here for a successful Franky flick that is very worthy of any top-ten Frankenfilm list…

I just wish Boyle would have had some stitches across his noggin.

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