The Frankenstein Syndrome (2010)
Directed by Sean Tretta
[screener provided by MTI Home Video]
There are preconceived notions when your film stars Tiffany Shepis. You expect lots of screaming and blood from our beautiful scream queen beauty. However surprisingly, The Frankenstein Syndrome tones down all those things.
Don't get me wrong. Tiffany looks hot in hospital scrubs, she screams and she gets blood on her but this film which starts off with Tiffany in a mask detailing her story to two FBI agents got my interest peaked initially. However, it lost me in the middle and then got it back towards the end.
It's an up and down ride for this film by Sean Tretta. Lots of inconsistency abound in this retelling of Mary Shelly's classic novel. But what it lacks in budget and in pacing it gets back in creativity. But at the end of the day it's an average sci-fi turned slasher flick that makes its mark by reworking the classic monster run amok. If you dig that ole story, you'll probably find this film interesting to say the least.
A group of researchers conducting illegal stem cell research discover a cell anomaly that has the potential to regenerate dead tissue. Unable to conduct legal human trials, the researchers turn to corpses to test their serum.
Tiffany is Dr. Elizabeth who joins a group of medical doctors who try to evolve stem cell research into ludicrousness. She quickly makes breakthroughs because she's mega smart and the team is resentful but equally impressed. As this is highly illegal research, they are funded by a world re known doc who's hired gangster henchmen to make sure everybody is scared shitless.
When one of their test subjects offs herself, they test the new developed serum to bring her back to life. Later David, one of henchman is sacrificed for the greater good and is also brought back to life with a more improved serum. He quickly heals, has psychic powers and can literally turn water into fruit punch.
But as the medical staff try to poke holes into our new Jesus guinea pig, he has other ideas which lead to chaos at the underground medical center. Dr. Liz is our final girl and has to survive against the new "monster" she's created.
Got all that?
Let's start off with Shepis. She is actually solid in this role, playing the doc with the moral dilemma and struggling to survive. It's a different role for our horror veteran and she makes the most out of it. Dr. Travelle (Patti Tindall), the group leader plays mother to the new more evolved super human David. David (Scott Anthony Leet) is clearly a conflicted monster and Leet does a decent job in this over the top role even reciting Shelly like prose as he passes judgement on the hospital staff.
But as the horror goes, it starts off with some bright ideas but never really follows through. The flick has ideas of what is right and wrong but focuses on going with the wrong and showing us the consequences. There is a lot of conversations that make up a bulk of the middle of the movie. This is where I kinda got bored. Had there been some monster craziness in the middle of the flick, we'd get more conflict from the monster vs the researchers and antagonism between the doctors themselves.
The Gore-ipedia is wicked cool as the red stuff gets sprayed all over. It's precision like beheadings, face-off wickedness but also your standard blood on walls. Coolest effect? Gunshots in the head.
The Frankenstein Syndrome takes the old classic, has it reworked by indie horror and bakes up a decent horror dessert. It's not the best thing you'll see this year but it's not the worst. The ending opens up some possibilities but you'll have to ride a roller coaster to get to it.
If your goal is to see every Tiffany Shepis flick (and boy she's in a lot of flicks) then add this one to the library. It's not your typical Shepis flick and for that it's definitely watchable.
No Shepis nudity...BOOOOOO!
I wish I could turn water into fruit punch
The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis
If you think watching this film is the equivalent of reading Mary Shelly's book, you'd be wrong. Very wrong.
Check out the trailer.