Flesh for Frankenstein (1974)

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Released 6-Feb-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1974
Running Time 94:55
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Paul Morrissey
Studio
Distributor
Andy Warhol
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Joe Dallesandro
Monique van Vooren
Udo Kier
Arno Juerging
Dalila Di Lazzaro
Srdjan Zelenovic
Nicoletta Elmi
Marco Liofredi
Liu Bosisio
Fiorella Masselli
Cristina Gaioni
Rosita Torosh
Carla Mancini
Case Amaray-Opaque-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Claudio Gizzi


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The absolutely unique Udo Kier stars as Baron Frankenstein in this writing and directing effort from Paul Morrissey, a very campy take on the Hammer franchise of the 70s.

    The Baron Frankenstein has settled into family life, with a frustrated wife who also happens to be his sister Katrin. Their two understandably weird children like to spend play time cutting the heads off dolls with a miniature guillotine and spying on their inattentive parents - their father in his cadaverous laboratory and their mother in the sack with the labourer. What a childhood! The Baron and his ever-faithful assistant Otto have been hard at work for years, perfecting a man of parts with which they intend to begin a race of super humans that can populate and eventually take over the world. Now only one piece is missing - a head. But it can't be just any ordinary head - it must be the head of a strong, virile, insatiable hunk. The mayhem begins when the Baron mistakenly installs the head of a quiet artistic lad who can't get it up, and is left with his plans for world domination in tatters.

    This is actually quite a funny film, but sadly not funny enough to stand up to repeat viewings. There are many gross-out scenes that focus on the fondling of internal organs, but all of the props and effects are so laughable it is absolutely impossible to take any of this seriously. The terrifyingly awful rubber bats on strings cracked me up in particular.

    Although the title bears the words Andy Warhol Presents it is widely believed that the famed artist had very little to do with the creative process of filmmaking, only offering financial backing in exchange for the inclusion of his name and an acting job for some of his 'friends'. Morrissey's flair behind the camera can can only be respectfully described as unique, although it certainly does this horror/comedy style justice. Flesh for Frankenstein is by no means the best retelling of this classic monster tale. However, one thing is for sure - Hammer did it better.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Our transfer of Flesh for Frankenstein has been slightly overmatted into a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, though still quite close to the original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1. Be aware that contrary to the disc's packaging, this transfer is not 16x9 enhanced. Considering the film's age and relatively low budget, I was prepared to cut it a bit of slack. I have, however, ultimately been left disappointed by the transfer.

    This is a hazy transfer at best, generally lacking in definition. There are absolutely no examples of film-like sharpness to be found, and black levels are similarly foggy and inconsistent. Judging by the lack of detail and some distractingly jerky pans, I suspect that this transfer may have been sourced from an NTSC tape.

    The colour palette is muted and drab, with no rich colouring to speak of. Skin tones take on a slightly orange appearance in well lit scenes and appear washed out during darker moments.

    Film artefacting isn't the the worst I have seen, but it does become obvious at times. There are many segments of damaged or scratched film, and some rather dirty portions as well, presenting both positive and negative specs intermittently. An ugly black spot also appears on the camera lens at 7:50 for a few seconds and is a little distracting. Telecine wobble is surprisingly rare, but similarly noticeable. I didn't see any compression issues during the transfer, probably because I was so consumed by the lack of detail.

    There are no subtitles on this single-layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    An English Dolby Digital mono soundtrack is included.

    The film's dialogue is composed of location audio and a little ADR in some scenes. Voices off camera are muffled and hard to understand, while some pieces of dialogue are presented at a lower level and are even harder to discern. There were a couple of minor instances of audio sync problems, but these were only brief.

    The soundtrack score by Claudio Gizzi is not surprisingly the most professional aspect if this production. His contribution to the film is a haunting, melodic and strangely romantic theme reminiscent of many classic European horror films from this era.

    There was obviously no surround activity or subwoofer response in this mono soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    None.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both Blood for Dracula and Flesh for Frankenstein are available in Region 2 (Germany) as a double pack, with the following extra features:

    A Region 1 Criterion release also exists, with these extra features included:

    Both releases are coded Region 0 and do not have any subtitles. Despite not being 16x9 enhanced, the Criterion transfer is reportedly superior to the Region 2. The best value has to be the Region 2, offering both films in a package.

Summary

    Flesh for Frankenstein is an interesting and humorous film in an historical sense, but sadly is just too silly and abstract to be recommended as worthwhile viewing. Viewing the film in 3D would be an entirely different experience.

    The video transfer is not very good.

    The audio transfer is similarly ordinary.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Friday, March 12, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-525, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
A great fun flick -
Censorship rated -- R - wolfgirv
What Anamorphic? - REPLY POSTED