Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Frankenstein '80

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Italy, 1972
Directed by Mario Mancini

Reviewed by Michael Hauss

Remember growing up and that green dirty ass puppet on Sesame Street used to sing that song about loving trash? Well, when it comes to my choices in films, the trashier the better I always say... yes, indeed I love me some trash. Now while I ain't gonna lie and say this film is good, because it's really a piece of shit. But damn it's so trashy I fell in love with it! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways....

Gordon Mitchell is in it and his performance is downright awful, his facial expressions don't change and his body language reads, what the fuck am I doing here in this garbage.

There's plenty of blood and guts and boobs on display.

It's from Italy, the land of Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and Mario Bava.

It's so stupid and mind numbingly bad, that it did not make me use my brain, I was catatonic with spittle running down my chin by the time the end credits appeared.

I had a hard time watching this film again, I had seen it years ago and hated it then. I kept putting it off until I was gleaming the bottom of the barrel of things to watch in my DVD collection. I was down to two films to watch, MUTANT HUNT (USA, 1987) and this film. I chose MUTANT HUNT because I had tried to watch it years ago on a shitty vhs copy and turned it off. I had purchased a DVD copy from the Full Moon website, figuring it was a remastered DVD, and what did I get? I got another freaken copy of MUTANT HUNT that was a shitty vhs transfer! I made it through five dirty, shitty ass minutes of that other film and grabbed for the DVD copy of FRANKENSTEIN '80. So I put the copy of this film in, and can you guess what I got? I got another shitty ass vhs copy, this time courtesy of the fine folks at Cheezy flicks, The vhs transfer they offered for this "Frankenflick" was not as bad as the dirty shit stained copy used on their release of the classic bad Jess Franco film OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES (France, Spain, 1982), but it was dark and murky with occasional video roll lines and blurred colors and points of the film where it was so dark it was almost impossible to see what was going on. But on the bright side ninety or so minutes of murky FRANKENSTEIN '80 shit was still much better than five minutes of the God awful MUTANT HUNT!

 photo PosterFull-MUTANTHU-poster-001.jpg
I know that cover is rad, but don't watch it whatever you do!

So, where was I? This film was released in 1972 and was directed by Mario Mancini (not the old school wrestler) and this is his only directing credit. Mancini was a cinemotogropher on twenty films including KONG ISLAND (Italy, 1968), FRENCH SEX MURDERS (Italy, W. Germany, 1972) and DR. FRANKENSTEIN' S CASTLE OF FREAKS (Italy, 1975).

The film is about a disgraced doctor named Frankenstein (Gordon Mitchell) who was a surgeon who killed a politician's wife during a botched surgery and after this disgrace began working in the morgue, no longer allowed to operate. Frankenstein has a secret lab in the hospital where he has patched together a monster called Mosaic (Xiro Papas) from body parts laying around the morgue, Mosiac goes out and murders people for their body parts and to fondle the women he kills, always needing a constant supply of new body parts because of the transplants he receives are being constantly rejected, but thanks to good ole' Dr. Frankenstein who steals a new serum from a Dr. Schwartz, this new serum will help Mosiac's body from rejecting the transplants. Mosaic gets a liver transplant, a new set of eyes and even a new set of testicles that he goes out and tries out on a prostitute who is shocked at his carved up body and screams and struggles as the monster shags away until he gets sick of her screaming and strangles her to death, the funny thing about this scene though is Mosiac steals money from Dr. Frankenstein to pay the prostitute with? Speaking of livers, the standout scene in my book is when Mosiac stumbles into a butcher shop and orders some liver by pointing and grunting, when the female butcher goes into the cooler to get the meat he follows her in and with huge bone in hand beats her to a bloody mess, feeling her up after killing her. Gordon Mitchell appeared in a massive amount of films, mainly as a bad guy or antagonist. His acting credits include many exploitation films and some mainstream films including FURY OF ACHILLES (Italy, 1962), REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE (USA, 1967) and BORN TO KILL (Italy, 1967).

I've heard of beating your meat but this is ridiculous!

 Thrown in, is an angle with a crime news reporter named Karl Schein played by John Richardson (BLACK SUNDAY Italy, 1960, ONE MILLION B.C., U.K. 1966, TORSO, Italy, 1973) whose sister was to receive the serum after an organ transplant before it was stolen by Dr. Frankenstein (she died). So, you have yourself a snooping news reporter and add in some frustrated detectives along with an ulcerative screaming police inspector (Renato Romano) and you have the makings of a cluster fuck that this move spirals into! We have multiple parties looking, searching for any clues that may help them solve the case and making the viewers suffer through this tedious shit.

Tor wants Sherbet!

Schein had become suspicious of Dr. Frankenstein after two witnesses smelled formaldehyde at the murder scenes and since that's associated with dead people, bingo, Frankenstein becomes a witness. Schein and the inspector go to Dr. Frankenstein's estate and of course the mad doctor denies any involvement, but Scein does meet Frankenstein' s lovely niece named Sonia (Dalila Di Lazzano) who is studying to be a doctor. Schein becomes romantically involved with Sonia and this adds to the unhealthy shit stew already brewing. After finding audio tapes in Frankenstein's office that details his transplants on Mosiac and the use of the serum, Schein alerts the police. The police with the help of Schein investigate Frankenstein' s secret lab and find a dead nurse, the head of Dr. Schwartz in the fridge and the empty bottle of stolen serum, I think there's a joke there somewhere.

This time the elephant that left his footprints in the butter crossed a line!

Mosiac eventually wants to shag Sonia and Dr. Frankenstein tries to stop Mosiac who kills him, Sonia had locked herself safely away from the hideous beast. Dalila Di Lazzano plays Sonia and is a beautiful blonde woman who gets to bare her breast and hairy charms through a see through robe, for no specific reason except to exploit her beaver--damn! Lazzano appeared in many Italian films including YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY (Italy, 1972), THE BEAST (Italy, France, 1975) and PHENOMENA(Italy, 1985).

Being slathered in tomato paste wasn't on the hooker menu

Through the audio tapes, Schein figures the monster has around 36-48 hours to live before his brain is rejected and disintegrates, speaking of rejected and disintegrating, my brain by this time was feeling those effects also. One detective tells the police inspector, they should "swear out a warrant for his (the monsters) arrest?" To which the always excitable inspector asks a warrant for what, a "monster?" The last part of the movie has the cops trying to find a disfigured creature as he rampages through some pretty public places like a Grand Prix race, where he busted some dude's head wide open against the wall in a public toilet, and a strip club, where Mosiac hid in a dressing room and after killing the stripper, felt the dead woman up. The killings keep on until the finale when Mosiac' s head starts bleeding profusely and he falls dead,  back at Frankenstein' s estate from brain rejection. Pretty shitty climax to a pretty shitty film.

No, I'm not Dick Cavett supplementing my income, you are mistaken

Do you ever write something and upon reading it back it makes little or no sense? After watching this movie and making notes of the films progress, it read back like I was a bit touched in the head. The film really was miserable all the way around, the acting was atrocious across the board, the script was stupid and the direction was a mess and it just went on and on.

Shit! I dropped the bottle of BBQ sauce again

Ok then, this all leads back to the statement I made earlier about "loving" this film. You may ask yourself, how can this douche bag say he loves it and then write it up as a boring piece of shit, right? Well love for me when it comes to this film is the love I feel for an era of filmmaking, and let's face it garbage like this is still better than most crap being made today. Admiration of a bad product is no more pronounced than affection of a good product, right? What's not to love about a film that gives a shitty conceived monster a new set of balls, a set that sent him to visit a prostitute to do some monster shagging. A shitty film, yes, but a film with Balls!

Frankenstein has balls. . . film at 11.


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