Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)
Directed by Kenneth Branagh

Starring Alfred Bell George Asprey Helena Bonham Carter Kenneth Branagh Richard Briers Robert DeNiro

Inspired by the big box office numbers of his first horror film in decades, "Bram Stoker's Dracula," Francis Ford Coppola handed directing duties over to Kenneth Branagh and had him craft a film based on that other venerable monster legend, Frankenstein.

What came out was a total piece of garbage, despite a huge budget and some of the best actors Hollywood had to offer.

Branagh is dull in the role as the doctor and is positively ridiculous in the scene where he actually brings his monster to life. Walking around with his shirt off, the short actor/director seemed to want to put some kind of sexual energy into the scene, which came across as ludicrous.

De Niro is forgettable as the monster. Helena Bonham Carter is also unremarkable as Dr. Frankenstein's main squeeze. A scene where the monster rips her beating heart out is interesting, however. Monty Python's John Cleese has a superfluous role as a doctor who helps Frankenstein conquer the secret of life. He looks out of place in a serious role

Despite being closer to Shelley's original story than any of the Universal or Hammer Frankenstein films, this was a big disappointment.

Absolutely, positively skip it.

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-- Review by Lucius Gore


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