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DVD Review

DVD cover

Frankenstein vs The Mummy


Starring: Max Rhyser, Ashton Leigh, Boomer Tibbs, Brandon deSpain, Constantin Tripes and Robert MacNaughton
Distributor: RLJ Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 18
Release Date: 13 April 2015

Professor Naihla Khalil discovers a mummified corpse of a pharaoh and returns it to a university in America, for study. Victor Frankenstein lectures students at the university for medical studies, but he has his own illicit experiments going on in a nearby abandoned building. When he falls out with his supplier of fresh body parts he uses the man’s brain and manages to animate a corpse. There is instant hate for his creator, so Victor is forced to keep him in chains. Meanwhile, the mummy is discovered to be the corpse of an evil pharaoh. When a symbol is removed from the cadaver it returns to life, going after Naihla in order to free himself from his spiritual captivity. With Victor and Naihla having become an item, it is inevitable that the two creatures will meet...

You know how they say some films are so bad they’re good, and others are just so bad? Well, I would say with some confidence that this movie falls solidly into the latter category. Apart from the fact the writer/director seems to have briefly forgotten that Frankenstein is the scientist creator and not the monster itself, the entire scenario seems to be sold on the prospective heavyweight clash between these two fictional icons of horror.

The marketing/press release cites Alien vs. Predator (which at least creates a back story which links these two races), Freddy vs Jason (which has the teen characters use one to defend them from the other), and Cockneys vs Zombies (which has zombies in London and puts the humour of the situation to good use). This coming together feels utterly contrived, particularly in its contemporary setting. Naihla coincidentally brings her newly discovered Egyptian mummified corpse back to the same university where Dr Frankenstein is teaching medicine with added philosophy to the students, whilst secretly conducting his morally ‘iffy’ experiments in an abandoned building nearby. Additionally, the relationship which quickly develops between the two scientists has an already existing foundation when the film starts – no doubt so the motive for their getting together isn’t so obvious.

Furthermore, any monster movie fans hoping for an hour-long ding-dong battle are going to be sorely disappointed, as the fight between the two titular characters lasts at best five minutes, and is pretty one-sided. Whether this was a move to attempt more fleshed-out human characters or simply that the script wasn’t inventive enough to sustain a longer set-to, I wouldn’t like to venture a guess.

The costume and make-up for the two monsters is pretty good, and I like the idea of the brain used for Frankenstein’s creature being from an existing enemy – so there’s no love lost between the creator and his creation from the start. However, the fun element of the action which existed in, for example, the Universal Studio monster pairings is sadly lacking.

The script plays it straight, but there’s not nearly enough meat on the bone to keep you interested. Even Victor appears to die, before popping up to perform a quite strenuous task, before lying down to die again. Hmm...


Ty Power

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