Film poster using alternative title Black Frankenstein
|Directed by||William A. Levey|
|Produced by||Frank R. Saletri|
|Written by||Frank R. Saletri|
Joe De Sue
Cardella di Milo
Cardella Di Milo|
|Editing by||William A. Levey|
|Distributed by||Exclusive International|
|Running time||87 minutes|
Blackenstein, also known as Black Frankenstein, is a 1973 blaxploitation horror film loosely based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It was made in an attempt to cash in on the success of Blacula, released the previous year by American International Pictures. However, Blackenstein fared poorly in comparison to its predecessor.
Eddie Turner (John De Sue) stepped on a land mine in Vietnam and lost all his limbs. His fiancee, Doctor Winifred Walker (Ivory Stone), thinks she's found help for him in her former teacher and colleague Doctor Stein (John Hart), who has recently won a Nobel Peace Prize for "solving the DNA genetic code".
In a tour of Doctor Stein's home-slash-laboratory, Doctor Walker is introduced to his other patients: a ninety-year-old woman with the appearance of a fifty-year-old woman (Liz Renay), and a Frenchman whose lower legs have been successfully re-attached with the help of Doctor Stein's "DNA solution".
Doctor Walker is startled when she sees one of the Frenchman's legs is tiger-striped, which Doctor Stein attributes to "an unknown RNA problem" which he hopes to correct during the course of treatment. His assistant, Malcomb, seems overly interested in her reaction to this sight.
Meanwhile, Eddie is being verbally abused by the orderly at the Veteran's Hospital. When Doctors Stein and Walker arrive to ask if he'd be interested in submitting to surgery that may correct his limblessness, he consents.
Doctor Stein gives Eddie new replacement arms using his trademark "DNA solution", and Eddie seems to be recovering well. Malcomb confesses his attraction to Doctor Walker, who explains she intends to marry Eddie as soon as the surgeries are complete. Malcomb's acceptance of her statement has sinister overtones, and he later sabotages the "DNA solution" used during Eddie's leg surgeries.
As a result, Eddie becomes a moaning, shambling monster reminiscent of Boris Karloff's Frankenstein. He is compelled to leave the house to kill, though he returns in time for his ongoing schedule of "DNA solution" injections.
The police visit Doctor Stein when the body count reaches three, but Doctor Stein is ignorant of the fact that there is a monster living in his basement. Doctor Walker has become suspicious of Malcomb, and spends her time in the lab, examining the various solutions used during Eddie's surgery.
One night, returning from his usual senseless rampage, Eddie hears screaming coming from Winifred's room. He enters to find Malcomb at her bedside, and interrupts an attempted rape. Malcomb runs from the room, and Winifred does nothing but scream in horror until he returns with a gun. He empties the gun into an unaffected Eddie as Winifred flees.
Doctor Stein meets Doctor Walker on the stairs, where she tells him Eddie is the monster. Together they run to the lab.
Winifred busies herself with a needle and a bottle (perhaps preparing an injection of sedatives for the monster). When Eddie draws near, he seems moved by her terror, and backs away, remembering that she is his fiancee. Doctor Stein enters from the side and attacks him. After a brief tussle with his creator, Eddie leaves the house.
The police arrive to console Doctor Walker and discover Doctor Stein's body.
Eddie finds a brunette attempting to start a Jeep, and spends several long minutes unsuccessfully chasing her around an empty industrial warehouse. The police have called for the Los Angeles County Canine Corps. The dobermen surround Eddie, knock him to the ground, and "eat" him.
- John Hart
- Ivory Stone
- Joe De Sue
- Roosevelt Jackson
- Andrea King
- Nick Bolin
- Karin Lind
- Yvonne Robinson
- Bob Brophy
- Liz Renay
"To stop this mutha, takes one bad brutha."
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