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Frankenweenie (2012)

by on 2013/05/15

Frankenweenie_2012“Ladies. Gentlemen. I think the confusion here is that you are all very ignorant. Is that right word, ignorant? I mean stupid. Primitive. …unenlightened.”

* * * *

If Frankenweenie‘s Mr. Rzykruski (Martin Landau) had taught my high school science classes, I can’t help but feel my life would be very different today.

In fact, I think if every kid today had Martin Landau shouting about electricity in a German-Russian-Hungarian-Slavic accent in class, we’d all be scientists.

My favourite teenager Miss_Tree and I went to Comiccon in Ottawa this past weekend. Attending the LeVar Burton Q&A on Friday night, Burton asked all the engineers in the audience in the audience to stand. Many said Burton’s Star Trek’s engineer Geordi La Forge was an inspiration to them, drawing them into the nether realms of math and science.

I felt a slight twinge of regret. My education listed a bit more toward the soft-option (mostly words and junk) so I never learned anything as handy as the talents demonstrated by Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) in this gorgeous, black-and-white celebration of beautiful, clever science freaks and the pets who love them.

Frankenweenie is also Tim Burton’s love letter to flickering sci-fi and horror B-movies.

I had intended to review Frankenweenie ages ago. Miss_Tree and I tramped to the theatre to see it in its first-run, glorious-grey 3-D glory.

This is one of those movies that fills with me with too many things to say. The result of so many thoughts swirling around in my busy brain is typically …silence.

So I was silent for a long time. I realized I can’t simply fashion the word ‘Love’ out of grey balls of newspaper and call it a review.

Since I can’t, I guess, here goes.

First of all, this movie is littered, crammed even, with all sorts of film geeky, horror buff references. First and foremost, there is Frankenstein. Loads of Frankenstein, great bleeding chunks, sewn together with loving stitches, and electrified. It is a beautiful homage.

Layered on the body of Frankenstein, there are other Boris Karloff (Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome) references in the form of brilliant Mummy moments. There are even some nice little live-action film moments with The Horror of Dracula on the television.

It is similarly crowded with actors I love. There are Canadian comedic greats Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone 2) and Martin Short (The Canadian Conspiracy) who play Victor’s fretful parents. There’s Landau (Ed Wood), Winona Ryder (Dracula) and voice-acting great Frank Welker (Gremlins).

My affection for Mr. Burton is on record with my Octoburton Fest in recent years. Frankenweenie just reinforced my love. I loved. loved, loved every electro-spasmy, stop-motion moment of it.

I will follow Tim Burton where he may go – just like a loyal, reanimated corpse dog.

* * * *

87 minutes

Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images and action (Beware the Colossus!)

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  1. A Goth’s Month in Review: May 2013 | Geek vs Goth

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