Frankenthumb (2001)

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Released 20-Jan-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Audio Commentary
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Thumb Wars; The Blair Thumb; Thumbtanic
Trailer-Bat Thumb; The Godthumb
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 31:57
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Dave Bourla

Warner Vision
Starring Steve Oedekerk
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    If Shelley was still alive she'd be rolling in her grave (sic).

    This is another classic masterpiece tortured to death by the master of thumbs, Steve Oedekerk. This time he sets his sights on Mary Shelley's classic Frankenstein novel and also parodies various movies including the Mel Brooks spoof Young Frankenstein. The usual thumb work is involved and this was a much more satisfying (i.e. humorous) effort than Bat Thumb. For me, the clincher was when the monster awoke and began punching on with Humpy (Frankenthumb's assistant).

    There isn't much in the way of a plot here. The movie begins in a cemetery where a burial is taking place. Dr Frankenthumb and his assistant Humpy are on the lookout for body parts for a new experiment. After securing what he needs, Frankenthumb sends out Humpy to get a new brain for his now completed monster but Humpy, who can't read, ends up bringing back a less than satisfactory specimen for the monster. After a prolonged lightning storm and the usual interludes of maniacal laughter, the monster awakens and is promptly given a name, Pepper, but he's more interested in taking chunks out of Humpy. Trying to prove that the monster isn't a danger, Dr Frank brings in lots of small animals for him to pet, but he ends up killing them all. Chained in a dungeon, the monster escapes after taking offence at Humpy's song and setting fire to him. The local townsfolk, eager for someone to pick on, decide to chase after the monster who has taken refuge in a windmill. Enter Franken BatThumb to the rescue...

    The whole thing is just silly but it works, provided that this appeals to your sense of humour - if it doesn't, avoid it totally!

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    Again, great expense has been spared on the set production, with papier-maché, balsa wood and lots of cardboard and plaster of Paris in use here, and naturally it works a treat. Little things like realism and CGI are left trembling in the wake of such awe inspiring sets (NOT!). Great use of painted backgrounds and those costumes have to be seen..... but disbelieved.

    The transfer is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced

    There is no problem again with sharpness since only the foreground is of any significance. No major edge enhancement was noticed except at 22:23, but you need to look closely to find it. Shadow detail is again fairly irrelevant although there are a couple of good long shots included for added variety. Fine detail is again only in evidence on the thumbs with the whorls visible under all the makeup (if you look closely enough). Grain is fairly insignificant throughout and there was no problem with low level noise.

    Again the colours are decent enough given their limited scope. Some colour bleed was noted at 2:04 in the burial scene, but apart from that there was little else to report.

    There were no major dramas with MPEG, film or video artefacts throughout.

    Subtitles are again in yellow and very distinguishable against the background in an easy readable font. They are very accurate to the spoken dialogue.

    There is no layer change on this single layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio is exactly the same as on Bat Thumb; English Dolby Digital 2.0 at a bitrate of 224 kilobits per second. Don't expect anything more or less than before, although there are a few more special effect sounds thrown in this time (lightning/thunder/the sounds of Pepper punching on with Humpy/etc). It's decent enough for what you are watching and nothing more.

    The dialogue and syncing are again spot on as you'd expect.

    The music is suitably spooky with some good sound effects thrown in and is again uncredited.

    No surround channel or subwoofer activity was noted on this disc.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Introduction

    As with Bat Thumb, the opening sequence animation gives way to a static background picture with the menu options available.


    1:40 and approximately 25 line drawings outlining the plot.

Audio Commentary

    Steve Oedekerk, George Duben, Mike Duprey, Dave Merrill, Paul Marshall and director David Bourla (connected by phone) basically take the Mickey out of the show even further and have a generally fun time doing it. From comments like 'that took 42 takes' you can basically tell they were really enjoying themselves. This is a good commentary - light and not too serious.


    3:32 - another spoof within a spoof as Humpy, Dr Frankenthumb, FrankenBatThumb, Pepper and the Italian father are all 'interviewed' with their thoughts on the production and making of the show. Total silliness but mildly amusing all the same.


    1:24 - again, extra footage made up to be outtakes.

Theatrical Trailer


    This is a collection of trailers for all the Thumb series.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The only real difference between the Region 1 release and the Region 4 release appears to be a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Given the limited nature of the sound, it would be much of a muchness between the local copy and the Region 1, so buyer's choice.


    Another of the Thumb series that you either love or don't care about. There were some moments of true mirth for me in this one which is all you can really ask for in a spoof.

    The video is pretty much spot on with only very minor problems.

    The audio is good enough for what this is - a comedy.

    Another good assortment of extras are on offer given the running time of the main feature. Again they are probably funnier than the show overall.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Thursday, April 03, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD5300, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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