Now, traditionally your classic Vic Frankenstein-wannabe mad scientist likes to set up shop in a giant menacing gothic castle on a rocky clifftop in eastern europe (or maybe a sprawling manor house in the English countryside if he's having the tiling redone). But in this version Doc Stein decides to go with the cozy if less classic combination dungeon-mansion/mental hospital somewhere in Beverly Hills. Naturally, this attracts the attention of the lovely and dynamic what's-her-face--you know, the chick who did that one black frankenstein movie and that was literally her entire career--who just got her PhD in tedious exposition and is dying to do a prestigious postdoc in some ambiguously gay geriatric Tom Selleck-body double mad scientist's evil mansion-lab/torture fortress/plasma globe factory. Conveniently enough, she also just happens to have a quadruple-amputee war veteran boyfriend, Eddie, who could use a little ultra-experimental, possibly zombifying DNA "laserbeam fusion" surgery. Anything to get him away from the lunatic orderly/nurse who likes to forcibly deliver long, rambling, soliloquys that just keep going and going, no matter how many times you yell "CUT" at your computer screen.

Enter Science. While the rest of the world was busy wasting their time doing "research" and "ethical" experiments "not involving monstrous mutilations of living human patients", Dr. S was advancing western medicine by some huge impressive number of hypothetical years by inventing a radical new kind of lightning-based physical therapy, and--perhaps more importantly--some sort of magic miracle drug* that can cure any ailment up to and including severe oldness, havingyourarmsandlegsblownoff-itis, and even end-stage terminal Marioism. Fuck the genome project, cause we just cracked the DNA genetic code up in here, and fuck if we aren't going to slam plunger after plunger of that sweet deoxyribonucleic nectar into confused elderly patients and homeless quadriplegic veterans until one of them turns into Superman or whatever it is we're trying to do with these lasers and shit.

Despite successfully having all of his arms and legs miracled back on, Eddie comes down with a bad case of monsterism, because his primary care lunatic didn't read the label on the DNA carefully enough. To be fair, it is kind of distracting performing extreme invasive surgey in the middle of a Pink Floyd laser show in a giant Tesla coil warehouse. None of this is surprising, until you look up at the clock and notice you're sunk a solid 40 minutes into a movie called Blackenstein before anyone became a Blackenstein.

Not that the pace really picks up after the monstering around starts, because as it turns out Blackenstein is somehow much slower than he was as a quadriplegic, which is maybe a slight knock on Dr. Stein's surgical success rate. Maybe the DNA vaccine he got was a heady brew of sea turtle, elderly bloodhound, sloth slurry, Ent penis, and maybe one of those jellyfish that just floats around aimlessly wherever the ocean currents push it to.

Eventually, somebody notices that our limb-deficient patient is missing from his bed in the science dungeon and is out on the town murdering extras and pushing lounge singers into random hay bales behind a nightclub. But not before we take a totally inexplicable ten minute pit stop at the Diet Apollo, where the only black comedian worse than Sinbad is punishing the mic and our souls with material that would make the Joker fall asleep. Just when we're desperately hoping Blackenstein will finally get around to facing off with Blackula or Blackzilla or King Blackong or going tagteam off the top rope with his much more popular cousin Blackenberry Crunch in the square arena against Blaq Attack and The Return of Blackrates or singing a few bars with Burt Blackarach or--okay fine we'll stop.

The bottom line? Blackenstein just up and dies on us. Well, not exactly. See, unlike the silly goofball original with all its feelings and ice and Enlightenment themes, Blackenstein is brought down by an elite, crack monster-killing tactical strikeforce (read: big yellow vanful) of dogs. That's right, the best death anyone could possibly hope for: execution by Dog Army:

Is it the perfect ending? No. Does it make any goddamn sense? Hell no. But it's got a Mother Fucking Dog Army, and you know what? That's good enough for us.

Plot-9
Acting-9
Special Effects-10
Directing-10
Music / Sound-9
Overall-47/50

*Ask your doctor (or legal Luigi) if Magikurall is right for you today! (Warning: side effects may include fish leg, random bouts of insanity, and acute cranial penisia. Do not take Magikurall if you are deathly allergic to barking dogs or have a family history of monsterism).


– Garrett "Hydrogen" Neil and Sean "Trillaphon" Neil (@trillaphon)

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