Although having had many rave reviews from sections of the horror press 'Rock & Roll Frankenstein' has pretty much not broken into the limelight of the bulk of genre fans awareness. That was until Shock-O-Rama Cinema picked it up for this collector's edition DVD release. So now we could all see exactly what all the positive buzz was about, but would this DVD debut be the launch board for a new horror cult classic? Perhaps, but let's see...
As the film opens we meet ruthless music promoter Bernie as he's being dumped by one of his star clients. Bitter and dejected Bernie decides that the next star he's going to make he's going to make sure he owns, and with a nephew like young mad professor Frankie Stein those words will ominously mean so much more. You see in true Herbert West style young Frankie has been dabbling in re-animation, a project he's been working on privately ever since being kicked out of his job for indulging his carnal pleasures with some corpses. Funding for Frankie's dubious activities comes from uncle Bernie, so when he's asked to help create the ultimate rock star (a rock and roll Frankenstein's monster) both parties realise that they can kill two birds with one stone.
To help Frankie get hold of the appropriate necessary body parts for his creation, Bernie enlists the help of obedient stoner Iggy and his friends. The hapless wasted troupe head off around the world to dig up specific pieces of departed rock legends body parts for use in the new monster, they rummage together such pieces as Jimi Hendrix hands, Keith Moon's legs and Elvis's head but when they go to steal Jim Morrison's penis disaster strikes as the cock is destroyed accidentally so they hurriedly grab the next cock they see, not realising that it was once the appendage of the late (and not so great) Liberace!
So when their new rock monster is brought to life all seems well, but as time passes the spirit of Liberace's homosexual orientated tadger starts to have unwelcome effect on the creatures mental stability, leading to inevitable moments of both great hilarity and some heart warming gory fun!
A cheesy dumb ass gory slice of tasteless fun, 'Rock & Roll Frankenstein' is one of those low budget gems that will inevitably garner a welcomingly unhealthy cult following amongst the horror fan community. Myself, I have to admit that I had decidedly mixed feelings about this one, at times I was laughing heartily out loud at some of the sick antics on show and tapping my feet merrily to the great repeating rock and roll theme 'I'm a Monster' (though the band are somewhat reminiscent of the great Dread Zeppelin) but towards the end of proceedings I was starting to get a bit tired of the endless barrage of somewhat dubious borderline homophobic jokes. A small niggle but a niggle nonetheless.
Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed 'Rock & Roll Frankenstein' for what it really is - a sure fire hit for the midnight movie circuit that while by no means a classic should prove an entertaining diversion for fans of trash cinema.
Being a relatively recent production the presentation here on this Shock-O-Rama release is pretty much faultless, the full screen image is sharp and flawless throughout. The audio is fine though I did find on occasion that audio track would shift slightly in volume level - nothing to be worried about though, just a point that I know some DVD fetishists would no doubt want noted. Extras wise, there's the now standard audio commentary with writer/director Brian O' Hara and some chums that is worth a listen. But it is the featurette 'Behind Rock & Roll Frankenstein' that I found a lot of additional pleasure to be had. Not so much a documentary as such but a voyeuristic sneak behind the scenes of the films production with some larking about on set, fascinating background to the creation of the special effects rounded off with a hilarious intrusion at a festival screening by a wasted blonde groupie.
I was also pleased to see that as well as the trailer for the movie we're also given a great music video for the track 'I'm a Monster' (I'm a sucker for this sorta music and the inclusion of the films gory highlights makes this essential drunken repeat viewing for me!) And of course being an EI Independent release, there's the usual welcome smorgasbord of trailers from the Shock-O-Rama, Seduction and Hollywood spoof lines.
Perhaps not the best genital horror flick (is there really such a genre?) out there ('Killer Condom' still retains that title) but 'Rock & Roll Frankenstein' is a sick little trash gem that is ideal late night party viewing. Give your brain and your sensibilities a night off, get a stack of beers in and let yourself discover the wonders of the 'Boner Blues'. Long live the King!
Review by Alan Simpson
|Released by Shock-O-Rama Cinema|
|Region All - NTSC|
|Ratio - Original fullscreen|
|Audio commentary, behind the scenes featurette, Music video, Trailer galleries.|