Frankenstein Reborn DVD Review
Written by Steve Pattee
DVD released by The Asylum
Written and directed by Leigh Slawner
2005, Region 1 (NTSC), 85 minutes, Rated R
Released on August 30th, 2005
Rhett Giles as Victor Franks
Thomas Downey as Robert Walton
Joel Hebner as Frankenstein/Bryce
Eliza Swenson as Elizabeth Weatherly
Victor Franks (Rhett Giles – Legion of the Dead, War of the Worlds) is locked down in an insane asylum, suspected of multiple homicides. It is up to Dr. Walton (Thomas Downey – Jolly Roger: Massacre at Cutter's Cove) to figure out what happened, and how crazy Franks really is.
With the movie told in flashback, Walton uncovers Franks' story of how, using nanotechnology, he helped a paraplegic, Bryce, walk again.
However, there were side effects of Franks' experimental treatments with Bryce. See, Bryce starting going a little mad. And when Bryce confronted Franks with his concerns, and a gun, Franks solved Bryce's problems by killing him.
Then he used Bryce's body for some more experiments.
And, like his success raising Bryce from the wheelchair, he raised him from the dead.
But if Bryce was a little angry before, he's a whole lot pissed off now, and everyone who stands in his way will feel the wrath.
Now this is what I'm talking about.
Frankenstein Reborn opens brilliantly with a woman being ripped in half. And it looks good. Real good. And, while that may be one of the best special effects in the movie, it's not the only one. There is plenty of blood and carnage to go around, none of which looks hokey.
In addition, Rhett Giles finally got a role in which utilizes his abilities. You got a glimpse of his talent as the wisecracking pirate in Jolly Roger, but it was somewhat stifled by underuse in Legion of the Dead. But in Reborn, Giles shines. He plays the psychotic Franks to a "T," and you don't doubt this lunatic is capable of doing whatever it takes to further his experiments. Whatever it takes.
But Giles isn't the only rock star in Reborn. Thomas Downey is terrific as Dr. Walton. Calm, cool and collected, Downey is great as the man who is trying to get the truth from Franks. I was impressed with Downey's performance in Jolly Roger and I'm impressed with it now.
And while Giles and Downey are great on their own, they are scene stealers when they get together. Both play off each other magnificently and it's a lot of fun watching these two sit across the table, playing cat-and-mouse. You saw a little bit of their chemistry in Jolly Roger, where Downey was the cop to Giles’ murdering pirate, but here their roles are more serious and the jabs at each other or more subtle and a little more believable.
The monster itself looks pretty damn good. After seeing the trailer, I was a little concerned about how much I would see of the monster because often, especially with B-movies, the trailer shows as much of the monster as you end up seeing in the final product. But once again, The Asylum came through and you see plenty of the beast, but never so much that it gets old.
Reborn is another positive step forward for The Asylum. The special effects are good, the gore is plentiful, the direction is sound and the acting is solid.
Frankenstein Reborn is, of course, a retelling of the classic. However, within the first five minutes of the movie, you know it's not going to be quite the same Frankenstein’s monster you're used to. This beast is not the sensitive and misunderstood creature you've come to know and love. He’s angry, he’s unstoppable and he’s out for blood.
Video and Audio:
Reborn's anamorphic picture is a little soft at times, with some hints of grain. It is not enough to distract from the movie, but it is enough to be noticeable.
Reborn's 5.1 surround sound mix gets the job done. The bass kicks in at the right times and it has a pretty good soundtrack thrown in for good measure.
I'm somewhat torn on the commentary. One one hand, unless you want to hear a room full of people talking over each other, don't bother. I think everyone who had some involvement with the movie is on this commentary and not only are some people hard to hear because of the talking over one another, but it also sounded like there were not enough mics in the room, because some participants you could barely hear even when no one was talking.
However, there are also some really funny moments during the commentary. At times, someone breaks out into a Christopher Walken impression that is downright hilarious and should be heard. At other times, they MST3K the movie and that, too, is hilarious. But even the humor turns to annoyance because of the party-like environment.
A blooper reel is offered that isn't really a blooper reel, but more like outtakes. Sadly, it's not worth a glance, as there isn't anything funny or interesting to be gained.
The behind-the-scenes featurette is, as usual for The Asylum, a fun watch. The actors poke fun at the director and it never borders on fluff.
Five deleted scenes are available and, sadly, two should have been kept in the movie (one dealing with the monster and a little girl, the other a bar scene that is quite comical).
The trailers offered are Frankenstein Reborn, War of the Worlds, Hide and Creep, Legion of the Dead and Jolly Roger.