I was on the hunt for this little VHS oddity for some time, ultimately expecting to get a huge chunk of kiddie-monster cheese starring Burt Reynolds.
I was pleasantly surprised on several accounts.
First and foremost, it featured Halloween, which was completely unknown to me. That’s a serious bonus right there.
Secondly, it’s a period piece (though take that usage loosely) that happens during the 1970’s. Double bonus.
Thrice over, old Burt is actually pretty good here as the trucker father of a pair of imaginative young dreamers that are also huge horror nerds. Dad even scores them copies of Famous Monsters from the road and let’s them watch all kinds of cool movies. All right pops!
And lastly, the real treat tucked into Frankenstein and Me are all the loving horror sequences peppered throughout. See, Earl tells his younger brother Larry all kinds of little stories throughout the film. Each time, that story is realized visually for us, and each time it’s an awesome little classic horror-homage with the boys themselves and their friends, including a ridiculously young Ryan Gosling. They tackle Frankenstein, Night of the Living Dead, The Wolf Man and even Brides of Dracula. It’s awesome.
Halloween is not a big part of Frankenstein and Me, but it is an important part and it features the kids sneaking into a special Halloween screening of Night of the Living Dead at the drive-in.
Eventually, Earl happens upon the “real” Frankenstein’s Monster, which (believe it or not) falls off a truck. Earl takes the him home with designs to bring the creature back to life.
Frankenstein and Me surprised the hell out of me. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, and certainly not for the reasons I did, and maybe that’s making me like it more than I should. I dunno, but if you’re in need of a family-friendly but also horror-fan friendly Halloween selection this year (and you can find it….took me some hunting and waiting) then Frankenstein and Me will more than fit the bill.
5 horror homages up!