HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Frankenweenie Re-Animator
Year: 2012
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Catherine O'Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Winona Ryder, Robert Capron, James Hiroyuki Liao, Conchata Ferrell, Tom Kenny
Genre: Horror, Comedy, AnimatedBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Victor Frankenstein (voiced by Charlie Tahan) likes to make home movies in his spare time, all shot on his Super 8 camera and starring his pet dog Sparky, who usually plays the hero. He shows his latest three minute epic to his parents (Catherine O'Hara and Martin Short) and they are very impressed, but as Victor goes upstairs to bed his father voices his worries that his son might be a bit of an oddball and wishes he would take up a normal, sporting pursuit with his friends. His mother points out that she doesn't think Victor has any friends, unless you count Sparky, the best pal a boy could have...

So it's unthinkable that Sparky could be taken away from him, right? Apparently director Tim Burton thought so, having made Frankenweenie not once but twice, the first time as a live action short which effectively had him "let go" from Disney because they didn't think it was the sort of thing they should be promoting, so how ironic was it that they welcomed him back with open arms to craft the remake, this time in stop motion animation as his previous cult classics The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride had been? Funnily enough somebody must have been taking notes after those two, because almost simultaneously for Halloween 2012 this, Hotel Transylvania and ParaNorman were released.

Or maybe they were all big fans of sixties stop motion favourite Mad Monster Party? which appeared to be a major influence. Whatever, at least two of that trio were about as satisfying a horror animation for the whole family, but mostly horror-loving kids of any age, as could have been expected, and with Burton more seasoned in this field you could have anticipated he would be the man to catch if there were pretenders to his style. You might have been right about that, because while there may have been the yeah, yeah, seen it all before brigade declaiming Burton's plots and characters, this was actually an excellent opening up of a short that had been brief but seemingly as much as you could do with its concept.

That concept, as the title indicated, of bringing dead pets back to life, brought to the screen with a surprising seriousness for once poor old Sparky comes off worst in an unfortunate collision with a passing car, Victor grows obsessed with the idea that death is not the end. Inspired by his new science teacher (Martin Landau dusting off his Bela Lugosi accent for some sterling work), he hits upon the notion of reviving his deceased pooch with a bolt of lightning, and thus one of the main homages - to James Whale's Frankenstein - gets underway with the attic transformed into a laboratory. Naturally (well, unnaturally) the scheme works like a dream, and soon a stitched back together Sparky is alive and kicking, not that Victor wants to reveal his success to the wider world, apparently recognising he has broken the laws of science.

That's important, because science was a theme here, and how it can be misunderstood, treated with idiotic suspicion, yet also misused when it gets into the wrong hands. Those wrong hands belong to Victor's classmates who refreshingly for this sort of affair are not a bunch of high school jocks and cheerleaders, but a bunch of weirdos like him and keen to prove themselves at the science fair. Once Vic's Igor-alike acquaintance blackmails him into sharing his secret, it's the cue for the movie to go into homage overdrive, and horror fans of every vintage will relish the references to everything from An American Werewolf in London and Gremlins to Gamera and The Mummy. This was no nerdy checklist but a true celebration of the genre, and that the whole thing resembled a goofy take on Stephen King's novel Pet Sematary was part of the fun. With animation lovingly rendered in classical black and white and Burton reunited with O'Hara and Winona Ryder, it was a celebration of his oeuvre as well. Respectful music by Danny Elfman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2218 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Tim Burton  (1958 - )

American director, producer and writer, frequently of Gothic flavoured fantasy who has acquired a cult following in spite of the huge mainstream success of many of his projects. He began as an animator at Disney, who allowed him to work on his own projects while animating the likes of The Fox and the Hound, which garnered the attention of Paul Reubens to direct Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

Next up was supernatural comedy Beetle Juice, leading to the massively hyped Batman and Batman Returns; in the middle was a more personal project, the melancholy Edward Scissorhands. Ed Wood was a biopic of the world's worst director, a flop with a loyal following, Mars Attacks was an alien invasion spoof that got lost in the Independence Day publicity, and Burton ended the 1990s with hit horror Sleepy Hollow.

The 2000s saw the poorly received Planet of the Apes remake, but Big Fish, a father and son tale more personal to the director fared better. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was unsatisfying, but a success, and Sweeney Todd was another collaboration with frequent leading man Johnny Depp. Burton hasn't turned his back on animation, mind you, with both The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride fast becoming cult favourites.

A reimagining of Alice in Wonderland rewarded him with a further hit, though again reaction was mixed, as it was with horror soap adaptation Dark Shadows and animated update Frankenweenie. He returned to biopic territory with Big Eyes, then next was young adult fantasy Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and one of those Disney juggernauts, the live action remake of Dumbo.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: