Film: Frankenstein 90
Director: Alain Jessua
Writer: Paul Gégauff and Alain Jessua
Starring: Jean Rochefort, Eddy Mitchell and Fiona Gélin
This film begins with a man walking around a fence and then climbs over it; he is played by Jean Rochefort. He sneaks into a lab where there is different body parts in water and machines hooked up to them. A woman enters and she screams at the sight of Rochefort, she is played by Fiona Gélin. He already has an arm out of a tank and uses it to knock her out. He flees with it. We also see that this is a comedy, because the arm falls out of the container it is being carried in and a dog picks it up. He has to wrestle it away from it.
The next day we then see that Rochefort is dating Gélin. He shows up at her lab is shocked at what happened. There is an inspector there played by Ged Marlon.
Marlon then visits Rochefort when he is teaching. We learn that Rochefort is an expert in this new technique that allows parts from incompatible bodies to be used with a low failure rate. Marlon makes an offer to Rochefort that he can get him a head, because he seems to know what Rochefort is up to. They meet out in a downpour of rain to make the exchange.
Rochefort comes home to find Gélin. She made dinner for him and it turns out to be their two year anniversary, which he completely forgot about. She wants to get intimate, but he is concerned with the head that he brought home. He tells her that he is tired and she is irate. She thinks that he is seeing someone else.
He then goes down to his lab. He has been working on a computer chip that talks to him. It has been pleading for a body, which is what he is doing now. He has inserted the chip into the brain, erased some of the memories and then tries to bring the creature to life. It should also be pointed out that his lab is hidden in the wine cellar, behind a fake wall of bottles of wine. The creature is given life.
The monster is played by Eddy Mitchell and Rochefort has his hands full trying to teach him how to be normal. He eats with his hands, doesn’t know his own strength, attacks people who are rude as well as watch Rochefort and Gélin while having sexual intercourse. She is freaked out by him and the scars on his face.
Mitchell accidently kills Rochefort cleaning lady and they hide her body in the cemetery. Marlon watches as they do. Rochefort and Mitchell then flee out to the countryside. It should also be pointed out that before Mitchell getting life, Rochefort had nightmares of his family castle and being chased by a headless body. This is his fear of creating monster like his ancestors. Mitchell has a nightmare of the place as well, because he feels he’s a monster and that he isn’t safe anywhere, but there.
Mitchell is confronted by Marlon and he kills him. Gélin then shows up to the cabin and she is leery of Mitchell. Her fears are realized when Mitchell rapes her in the woods. One of his big problems is that he doesn’t know right from wrong. He does explain that he is lonely and wants to be loved. They explain how Mitchell was created and Gélin decides to help make him a bride.
Rochefort takes Mitchell to a Frankenstein film, so we know that Mary Shelley wrote her famous story. Rochefort also doesn’t go by Frankenstein, but a French name. The three of them go to a strip club. Rochefort makes comments about the perfect parts of different women there. The next morning Mitchell steals a refrigerated van and the three women are dead inside.
Rochefort is at his wits end with Mitchell, but Gélin helps him. She creates the perfect woman for him, this creature played by Herma Vos, while Rochefort helps with her programming. When she wakes up, she is attracted to Rochefort. She does show affection for Mitchell, but he wants Gélin. What will happen? The police are on to Rochefort and Mitchell, can they get away? Will they all get what they want?
I have to say that I didn’t know much about coming into this film and after watching, I have to say it’s not that bad. The first thing I need to point out is that this is foreign, mostly being in French. I had to watch it with subtitles on. The other thing is that it is a comedy. There were a few parts that had me laughing, so that’s good. The story is a modern take, for the 1980s. I like the use of computers and explaining how the monster was made. The acting isn’t bad either. Mitchell does a solid job at playing the tragic character.
The first issue I will point out will be that it is a comedy, so you can’t take most of this film seriously because of that. The ending was good, because I’m surprised that Gélin and Mitchell end up together, even after he rapes her in the woods. Rochefort is also a horrible person from what I’ve seen in this film, yet all the women seem to love him. He cheats on Gélin with Vos. He also ignores Gélin a lot. The film also drags itself out at the end and gets a little boring.
With that said, if you like foreign films, especially French ones, I might give this one a viewing. It isn’t the best take on Frankenstein, but it is interesting. The acting isn’t bad and the story is decent. This is a comedy and there are some funny parts. Also being foreign there is quite a bit of nudity as well. Not all that good, but definitely could do worse.
My Rating: 5 out of 10