A group of high-schoolers on a class trip to a wax museum become the latest victims of the evil doctor Charles Frank, who is attempting to create the perfect human being from the reanimated parts of previous unlucky patrons - reanimating an army of undead mistakes and experiments as the teens try to survive the night.
From Director Richard Griffin comes FRANKENSTEIN'S HUNGRY DEAD. In the film, High School teacher, Ron Jefferson oversees class detention. He gives the class of misfits, two options; spend detention with him for the next month, or accompany him to the local wax museum. So of course, the students choose the latter. Orlok's Nightmare Gallery in Salem Massachusetts, houses many wax figures in the likenesses of some of Horror's biggest names and iconic characters. When the class arrives at the museum, they are greeted by the museum's tour guide, the rather strange, Charles Frank. Frank is enthusiastic about the museum's many subjects, thus, he is quick to spout many factoids about each. However the students, a very diverse group, couldn't be more uninterested in what Orlok's, or Frank, for that matter, has to offer. Instead, they have sex and a good time on their minds. To carry this out, the teens find themselves sneaking back into the museum, later in the night, after hours. Initially, all is good, and the night kicks off, however soon, sneaking into Orlok's, would prove to have been a grave mistake for the group, when they eventually uncover Charles Frank's deep dark secret hidden within the museum. Charles Frank, a German defector, who was once an assistant to one, Adolf Hitler, has been on a quest for years. For many years, he has had hopes of creating the "perfect human". Using the basement of his museum as a laboratory, Frank has extracted many "parts" from multiple victims, aiming to incorporate them into his perfect creation. Unfortunately, many of his experiments have failed him, thus creating an army of undead flesheaters that roam the museum at night with hunger on their breath, and killing on their minds. Which is also unfortunate for the detention class, who now must fight to survive, or else possibly become another piece for Charles Frank's morbid puzzle.
Over the last couple of years I have found myself becoming a big fan of Director Richard Griffin's work. I have seen a number of his films now, and each of them have been different than the last. While most of Griffin's work has been done in Horror, he has covered just about every variation of the genre that there can be. He has done, Creature Features, Exploitation, Sci-Fi, Slashers, even a musical. Griffin has basically done it all, however, what is most unique about him as a filmmaker is, that no matter what he choses to do, he never loses his style, and the fact that all of his work has been achieved under a budget is amazing.
One of his latest projects to be released is FRANKENSTEIN'S HUNGRY DEAD. FRANKENSTEIN'S HUNGRY DEAD is a throwback to the old Creature Features, but with a modern twist. essentially the film to me, is the equivalent of THE BREAKFAST CLUB, meets THE HOUSE OF WAX, with a little bit of Stuart Gordon's RE-ANIMATOR thrown in. FRANKENSTEIN'S HUNGRY DEAD attempts to recreate the type of film that one might have found on video shelves back in the VHS heyday. And on that, the film succeeds with flying colors. Although the film never tells us when it is exactly that the film takes place, FRANKENSTEIN'S HUNGRY DEAD is successful in creating a vibe that feels very retro. Not only does the film's plot help aid in this, but also, so do things such as the characters' wardrobe and dialogue. There is never a time which the film tries to hide the fact that it is what it is, a B-Movie. A fun B-Movie at that. I really enjoyed this film as much as I did for many reasons. First, I love the fact that the film takes place in a wax museum. But not just any wax museum, one filled with many recognizable names and faces of the Horror genre. It couldn't get much cooler than that. This is an ideal setting for a Horror film. I also enjoyed the many types of characters seen in this film, and the humor that they often create. Among our group of High School students, many types are represented. There's the nerd, the bitch, her hunky beau, the punk, and the gays, all in one place. All of them, making available many fun opportunities for the film, not to mention that they are also chased by an undead army of freaks through out most of the film's minutes, while being scouted by a guy as eccentric as Charles Frank(later to be revealed as Dr. Charles Frankenstein).
And speaking of the character Charles Frank, it is Michael Thurber's great performance as the off-kilter German doctor, that truly makes this film memorable. Thurber, who has now worked with Richard Griffin several times, offers yet another knockout performance here. Taking on a somewhat exaggerated German accent, and an old school Horror demeanor. Thurber really transforms himself into the character. I really enjoyed the performance which is both witty, and sometimes funny, brought on by the film's overall, humorous nature.
To sum things up. It is Michael Thurber's performance combined with the film's outrageous plot, along with its colorful range of characters, that make FRANKENSTEIN'S HUNGRY DEAD an all-around good time.
5/10 Employing all practical effects, FRANKENSTEIN'S HUNGRY DEAD has some decent effects for its budget. There are several bloody zombie feedings, several limbs are ripped from the bodies of victims, as are their intestines. There are also things, such as one's skull ripped open, and a weapon impalement.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
FRANKENSTEIN'S HUNGRY DEAD is yet another fun, worthwhile effort from Director Richard Griffin, who here, brings to life a really fun and entertaining send up of the old Frankenstein mythology. I enjoyed it. It has a nostalgic quality, and a rather tongue-in-cheek outcome that I feel that many of you will enjoy, just as I did. I recommend.