Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 88 minutes
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“Rocky Horror” meets “Young Frankenstein”. “Rock N’ Roll Frankenstein” incorporates comedy, gory body parts and a far-out premise to spectacular effect. Writer/director Brian O’Hara has put together a classic piece of B-movie entertainment. Set in present day New York, an unscrupulous music producer puts together the ultimate rock superstar, King, a combination of the best body parts taken from deceased rock n’ roll’s legends.
Bernie (Barry Feterman) is a music producer whose sick of losing control of his acts. After getting screwed out of a contract by yet another musician, Bernie vows “Never again, the next goddamn star I make, I’m gonna own his goddamn ass.” Bernie brings in his scientist nephew, Frankie (Jayson Spence), to use his rejuvenation process to create the perfect rock star.
Frankie created this process while a coroner’s assistant in order to have sex with the cadavers.
Bernie sends stoned-out roadie, Iggy (Hiram Jacob Segarra) to raid the graves of rock n’ roll’s most famous dead to collect the body parts for Frankie to assemble. This new “monster” will have the head of Elvis, the hands of Jimi Hendrix, the guts of Buddy Holly, the legs of Keith Moon and the penis of Jim Morrison. All goes according to plan until Iggy screws up on the last and ultimately most important piece in this hilarious puzzle. In a near recreation of the famous “Abby Normal” sequence from Young Frankenstein, Iggy accidentally destroys the Morrison member and grabs another, some guy named Liber Ace (Liberace). Of course Iggy doesn’t tell Bernie or Frankie about the mishap, after all there’s free drugs in it for him. The rejuvenation process goes according to plan and King (Craig Guggenheim) is born. Though Frankie considers him a success, King is slow at living up to Bernie’s expectations, until Iggy gives him some LSD. The acid works wonders, bringing out the best in all of King’s parts, except for one. Take a guess. At first King reluctantly acts upon his “unnatural urges” in order to quell the gay voice coming from his penis. Gradually feeling more and more powerless against the desires from below, King tells Frankie, “Pussy’s what it wants up here but big fat hairy butt-holes is what it wants down here.” The greedy Bernie sees disaster, King’s largest “demographic” is young teenage girls. Bernie persuades Frankie to operate and remove the “fruity” member. Only problem is the penis has developed a mind of its own. Hearing of the plans ahead for him, the penis grows larger with additional veins rapped around King’s spinal cord. Frankie finds that an operation would prove fatal to King. With no choices available, Frankie and Bernie try to convince King to accept his homosexuality. Of course Bernie comes around only after realizing the Village People made millions as gay music stars. Unable to come to terms with his sexual conflict, King takes his own life by ripping the rebellious penis off with a cargo crane. The film closes with the penis squirming away leaving us to wonder whether this monster’s end has truly come.
With stabs at the music industry, homosexuality and Jews, Rock N’ Roll Frankenstein may be offensive to some, but it’s important to note that these elements are never construed as mean or cruel intentioned. Well executed, with excellent performances and adept filmmaking, Rock N’ Roll Frankenstein delivers an entertaining guilty pleasure worth a viewing or two.
Posted on July 3, 2004 in Reviews by Brian Bertoldo
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- THE JEKYLL AND HYDE ROCK ‘N ROLL MUSICAL
- GIRLS ROCK!
- VOODOO RHYTHM: THE GOSPEL OF PRIMITIVE ROCK AND ROLL
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