Blackenstein (1973)

Blackenstein

Director: William A. Levey

Starring: John Hart, Ivory Stone, Joe De Sue,

Not Starring: Anyone Good

Eat a six foot party sub. Visit Japan. Going on a date with Danielle Harris. Watch Blackenstein. All of these are on my bucket list. I can now cross of one of those, and to my delight, Danielle Harris is even nicer than in my dreams! Ok, maybe that isn’t something I can cross off my list…yet. I did watch Blackenstein though. I could review this movie with one word: “Stiff”. I use that word for a few reasons. Firstly, because the pacing of the movie felt that way. Secondly, the acting was as wooden as George Washington’s teeth. Thirdly, my neck and back were stiff after finishing it. Let’s get down to business.

The movie begins (I actually don’t remember how it begins, despite me just seeing it, so I will guess/make it up) with a Vietnam veteran named Eddie, who lost his arms and legs due to a mine or something. He is in a hospital bed, feeling down about being appendage-free, when his fiancée, Dr. Walker, comes to see him. She promises to stay with him despite his injuries. That is nice of her. She tells Eddie that her former professor, Dr. Stein, might be able to help him. He has the DNA Solution! I’m not exactly sure what the solution is, or whose DNA it is, but it cures anything and everything. I found out about its miraculous properties in the next scene. Dr. Stein takes Dr. Walker to his laboratory, which is in his house somewhere, and shows him a seemingly middle-aged woman who is actually 90 years old. I don’t believe Dr. Stein, that could actually just be some 50 year old woman. Then we see some foreign guy that looks like an emaciated circus strongman. His legs were reattached, but for some reason one of his legs has tiger stripes. I am pretty sure that is the sign of infection, might want to take a second look at that supposed elixir Dr. Stein. Even with his lackluster presentation, Dr. Walker is convinced to bring Eddie to the mansion so Dr. Stein can use the DNA Solution to give Eddie arms and legs. It was probably for the better that Eddie was taken out of the veteran’s hospital, because one of the orderlies verbally abused him. Don’t worry, he will die later. Well after Dr. Stein’s assistant (whose name I forget, so I will call him Igor) mixes up some additional chemicals into the DNA Solution that is set aside for Eddie, things go wrong. Igor does this because he has the hots for Dr. Walker. Shoot, I know I did, so I don’t blame Igor for sabotaging the procedure. Although I can’t imagine it’d be very hard to kill a guy with no limbs.

After the limbs are reattached (where they got the limbs, I couldn’t say. It was never explained) and Eddie Is injected with the DNA Solution. Then he is left in a dark prison cell to rest. Real sanitary. I am beginning to doubt the credentials of “Dr.” Stein. Eddie begins growing hair on his hands (NOT his palms), and his forehead gets longer. Also he gets a boxy afro, I guess Igor did that as a mean prank. The prank must have angered Eddie, as he wakes up and stumbles down the way to an abandoned factory. It turns out it’s not actually a factory, but the veteran’s hospital where Eddie was first seen. Remember that abusive orderly I told you about a while back? Where this is where he dies. Eddie moans and grunts, smacking the orderly around. This is all seen from behind a curtain, so all we see are their shadows. Well Eddie rips off the orderly’s arm, at which point the orderly dies. Then Eddie returns to the mansion to sleep and get his DNA Solution injection. The next night, he goes out on another jaunt to kill some more people. It felt like he killed 70-80 people in all, but I counted 10 or so. I say “or so” because I am not sure if some of them actually died, or if they just went to sleep or pretended to die so Eddie would leave them alone. The one person I wished he would have killed was this annoying nightclub comedian. He tells a joke that is so lame that I wish I could go back in time to punch this guy in the back of the head before he tells his joke. Oh yeah and during this scene we see some pimps in the audience at the nightclub, and one of them has a gold tooth! Instantly that lame joke was forgotten. Eddie then heads back to the mansion, and interrupts Igor trying to rape Dr. Walker. You know what happens next, Eddie kills him and chases after Dr. Walker. She ends up in the laboratory, and Eddie tussles with Dr. Stein. I think Dr. Stein is killed, or he may have just fallen down. For some reason, Eddie stumbles to a warehouse and kills a random woman. The cops show up, and send their Rottweilers to battle with Eddie. The dogs bite him a lot. And Eddie dies. This made me sad, despite Eddie killing innocent people. The End. Oh yeah, and the credits roll from top to bottom.

 

Pros

  • Liberal use of the DNA Solution (which I think is really just super glue)
  • Fake electricity
  • A guy with a gold tooth!
  • Cool lab equipment (which are actually the original props from the Karloff Frankenstein!)

 

Cons

  • The disjointed plot
  • That nightclub comedian (WHO DOESN’T EVEN DIE!)
  • Scenes of Eddie shambling to and fro that lasted way too long
  • Not enough usage of the DNA Solution

The Verdict

Overall:

Clark image BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox (Or 6 Clark heads if you LIKE cheesy junk!)

Plot:

Clark image BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox (Same as above)

Acting:

Clark image BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox (Yeah, same reason…)

Gore:

Clark image Clark image BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox BlackBox (Nope, it just has very little gore)

Atmosphere:

Clark image Clark image Clark image Clark image Clark image Clark image (Trust me!)

Suspense:

Clark image Clark image Clark image Clark image BlackBox BlackBox (It’s very suspenseful, as in will this movie ever end?)

 

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