Friday, March 31, 2017

Frankenstein: The Real Story

Directors - Richard Brown
Starring - Rick Baker (The Strain, Michael Jackson: Thriller), Jeanine Basinger (A Better Way to Die), and Peter Bogdanovich (The Simpsons, The Wild Angels)
Release Date -1995, 1997, 2008
Genre - Horror/Documentary
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     There is very few stories that has left a lasting impression on horror like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  Since the very beginning the story has captivated readers before leaving its mark on broadway and eventually film.  As impressive as the story is, the behind the scenes of the groundbreaking novel is just as impressive.  There is a shroud of mystery surrounding Shelley and the writing of Frankenstein.  Some believe that her husband, poet Percy Shelley, was responsible for writing the now infamous tale.  Not long ago I received a press release announcing the DVD release of Frankenstein: The Real Story and The Real Wolfman Frankenstein: The Real Story actually consists of three different documentaries centered around the fabled tale.  The three documentaries are In Search of the Real Frankenstein, Frankenstein, and It's Alive! The True Story of Frankenstein.  I was curious by these documentaries and reached out for a review copy and was lucky enough to have access to one.  Thanks for sending this one my way.
     These three documentaries follow three different aspects of the famous story.  The first documentary follows Mary Shelley and he fascination with electrical current and the human body that was taking place around the world by controversial scientists and doctors.  Most of which would steal corpses to perform their grotesque experiments on.  The second documentary follows the bizarre situations around Mary Shelley and her family starting with her sister committing suicide, to her future husband's wife taking her life, and her husband, who was said to be abuse, dying at sea.  The third and final documentary follows the original story from written form to broadway, and the various screen adaptions.  We also get a huge look back at Boris Karloff in his iconic role.
     It's been awhile since I reviewed a documentary let alone three.  However, I really enjoyed myself with this release.  Most of the info in these documentaries are common knowledge by this point but some it was very interesting with some new light shed on the novel and author.   The interviews we get in all three documentaries are very well informative and some cast a different light on Shelley and her husband that most never had before.  Some of the interviews are from experts in literature, science of the time, and even historians on Shelley.  Most had positive things to say but a few are able to paint Shelley in a different light.  This was very welcomed.  The three documentaries offer up a variety of different aspects that went into writing Frankenstein from the home life, to the technological advancements of the day, to Shelley and her demons.  Some of these facts were very eye opening and topics most of never thought of.  Finally, these three documentaries range in quality but all would agree that they are very well put together.  Each segment has smooth transitions and the editing is great.  Some of the segments have reenactments that were weird or awkward to watch but I get what they were going for.  Overall, Frankenstein: The Real Story is essential for any Frankenstein fan.  I highly recommend it.  

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