The Doctor's Monster
the doctor's monster | rick jenkins | zack zublena | benjamin schnau | giselle mendoza | based on | novel | frankenstein | mary shelley | sci-fi | sci fi | monster | creature | united states | terrance wentz | ervia changeux | keith mills | edric carter | mad scientist
Film: The Doctor’s Monster
Director: Rick Jenkins
Writer: Rick Jenkins
Starring: Zack Zublena, Benjamin Schnau and Giselle Mendoza
This was a movie that I saw listed on a group document of 2020 horror films. It was one that I could watch free on Prime and not going to lie, I started it about 2 weeks ago and realized there was something better I could watch. Since this week I already had a featured review for Journey with a Cinephile: A Horror Movie Podcast already recorded, I still thought I’d go back and check it out to keep up with my 2020 viewings. The synopsis is a reclusive doctor, desperate to help his dying daughter, attempts the ultimate experiment, to bring a dead body back to life!
We start this movie with Dr. Victor Monster (Zack Zublena) talking to his daughter Brooklyn (Ervia Changeux). She’s dying of a disease that killed her mother and there’s no cure currently. Dr. Monster is trying to do an experiment on a bringing a dog back to life with the help of his assistants, Lydia (Giselle Mendoza) and Boris (Benjamin Schnau). They’re able to get the heart beating, but the dog doesn’t revive. In a move of desperation, Dr. Monster wants to experiment on a human. Boris tries to remind him this is why he can no longer work in an animal hospital, but he insists.
Lydia is leery about helping in this, but Boris points out that by working with him, no one will hire them. Their only chance is to finish with the experiment in hopes that it works so they reap the rewards with Dr. Monster. Boris finds a person who committed suicide and was buried recently. He digs him up and brings him to the lab.
As they’re setting up, Dr. Monster is interrupted by Brooklyn’s boyfriend, Detective Richard Gatz (Keith Mills). We get to see that Dr. Monster isn’t that fond of him and sends him on his way. Richard won’t go quietly, but eventually has to.
The experiment is a success and they created The Monster (Terrance Wentz). He has something on his arm and a fake right eye. They go about feeding it and trying to re-teach it things. They allow the monster to roam the halls and it discovers Dr. Monster is in with Brooklyn. The Monster is fond of her and Boris is told to take it away. He uses a lighter which spooks The Monster and flees the hospital.
They go out to find it and while they’re gone, it comes back in and takes Brooklyn. They escape and now are on the run. Dr. Monster enlists the aid of Richard to help Boris find his daughter and The Monster. The problem is that they encounter others in the world as well as this creature goes on a rampage.
As I like to state, I don’t like to bash movies to just do it. I don’t find fun in it and I feel that there is a lot of hard work and time that goes into making a movie. With that said though, this is a bad movie. To start with the story, I just feel they were lazy in their writing. This is a take on the Frankenstein story that is brought to the modern times. I don’t mind that, even though it is a story that has been done over and over again. My problem here is that we lazily call our mad scientist Dr. Monster. This also becomes slightly confusing that he creates The Monster. It makes it comical that this is actually the character’s last name. It would work better if it was a nickname that people behind his back, but no. That is not the route they took.
Being that this is low-budget, there are still things that you can do within the confines that don’t necessarily take money. With that said the setting is weird too. I’d bet that they had access to this building that is probably partially abandoned. There’s plywood up over the windows of several rooms that just make it feel off. What makes it weird though, there are two detectives later in the movie, Stone (Edric Carter) and Carter (Olivo), who know of this hospital even though it doesn’t seem to be open. I would go out on a limb to say that the office we see Richard in is also in this same building. I don’t mind when they leave it, but I feel there’s little things that could be done to make it feel more real.
This is also quite boring which is hard to believe with a runtime of 73 minutes. Without a good story and the acting being how it is, I really don’t care about any of the characters, because they’re not fully established for me to. I’m also checked out as it doesn’t feel like they put as much effort as they could of, which doesn’t necessarily cost any money. The ending just kind of happens and it goes cliché to set us up for a sequel that we don’t need.
As for the acting, Zublena as the doctor does play this obsessed mad scientist fine. I get confused is that he’s no longer able to work in an animal hospital, but he is out to bring people back from the dead. I just feel they thought of adding things to the screenplay as they went without thinking of the implications. Schnau was also fine, but I’m not sure why he has the goggle things on his head. He never uses them and it just feels like a prop someone had. Mendoza I think is trying to be sex appeal to her role as a nurse, but she seems more a stripper. Wentz was fine as The Monster. I think we needed more development from Changeux to make this story work. I did think Mills was fine. The rest of the cast was quite mediocre to be honest.
This will take me to the effects, which did have a couple of bright spots to be honest. One of them was the make-up that is done on the faces for the fake eye. The close-ups you can see what they did, but it was solid. Aside from that, the rest of was forgettable. There’s some CGI which just takes it down more for me. There was one scene with blood on a brick wall. I’m sure this was done with computers, but I liked the final product. We also get some odd camera angles so I can’t say that even the cinematography was that good.
Now with that said, this is a bad film and I feel bad saying that. They’re taking a story that’s been done over and over again, but they didn’t really try anything new and really didn’t seem like they cared. I give them credit for making a movie, but it really ends there. The acting is mediocre at best. Everything else here has flaws so it is hard to really say that there is one part that really stood out to me unfortunately. I would rate this movie as a bad movie. Not the worst that I’ve seen as there are little parts that did work for me regardless and I can’t recommend this to anyone as I don’t even think with drinks and friends would help this one.
My Rating: 2 out of 10