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  Frankensteins Bloody Nightmare Human Experiments
Year: 2006
Director: John R. Hand
Stars: John R. Hand, Amy Olivastro, Chester Delacruz, Chip Chism, Mike Ensley, Karl Borst, Evan Block, Justine Davis, Erin Pittkin
Genre: Horror, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Out in the forest, around the site where unwanted garbage is dumped, there is a beast lurking, stalking its next victim. She doesn't realise she is being hunted until it's too late, but the Beast (Karl Borst) is not working alone, as he is in the thrall of a modern day Dr Frankenstein: Victor Karlstein (John R. Hand). But what has this to do with Victor's patient at the institute he runs, Victoria (Amy Olivastro), who lies in bed, dying?

That's one question of many that may vex you, the viewer, as you attempt to make sense of Frankensteins Bloody Nightmare (that's right, the title onscreen has no apostrophe so evidently the protagonist's doctorate wasn't in English). Hand not only starred, but wrote, produced, edited and directed the film, making this something of a labour of love on a tiny budget, and it looks it as well. That's not to say it doesn't succeed on its own terms, however.

The atmosphere, as the title suggests, leans toward the dreamlike even though it's unlikely to give you nightmares and it's not especially bloody for that matter. It takes a measure of hard work to figure out exactly what's going on as Hand has opted to use handheld Super-8 film for his opus, for that nineteen-seventies look. Not only that, but the sound is a mixture of whining synthesisers and dialogue dubbed over the action, and none too distinctly either.

In fact, as most of the dialogue is mumbled or murmured you may be tempted to give up on the film as a lost cause, but after a while a plot just about makes itself plain. Victor wants to save Victoria, and to do so is sending out his beast, who we see him tinkering with as if he were a vintage car, to bump people off. There are sort of three murder sequences, but presented in such an abstract manner slasher fans may well restlessly roll their eyes in despair. Mainly this is about mood and offering as abstruse visuals as Hand can muster, which turn out to be bemusing at best.

That seventies look is intentional, but what Frankensteins Bloody Nightmare is more like is one of those experimental films that used to turn up on Channel Four back in the eighties at about midnight on a Wednesday. Could have been a Tuesday. Actually, maybe it is one of those films and Mr Hand was around for longer than he would like to admit. Anyway, he is to be admired for deciding against telling his tale in a straightforward manner, because from the bits and pieces that do emerge as making sense this is a clich├ęd mad scientist chiller, so it's best that Hand relies on an otherworldly approach. Sadly, all his good intentions come to naught when the result tests the patience so. Music by The Greys.

[The Unearthed DVD has a commentary, a making of featurette, trailers and a photo gallery as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


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