Friday, January 28, 2011

Review - Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove

I stumbled across this flick in my continuing quest for B-Movie fodder (now that I'm regularly contributing prizes to the B-Movie Cast) and decided to check it out. I'd been wondering recently why old-style monster movies weren't being made nowadays, since modern technology should put doing so within the reach of talented amateurs.  This flick, from its promo material, seemed to fit that bill.  And it's a pretty decent movie.  I enjoyed it.  There are plenty of monsters and monster fights and the makeup/suits are pretty good looking, though the werewolf outfit (not the face) is a bit Muppety.  What surprised me, as it was billed as a homage to Universal and films of the 40s-50s, was the amount of nudity.  I'd expect that in an exploitation homage, or a Euro homage,or a modern film, but not something that claims lineage from Universal and AIP.  In its execution, the film reminded me of the Lost Skeleton of Cadavera, though it's not as successful.

The main problem I had with "... Blood Cove" were these: 1) The story needed more development: though the elements were good, they didn't come together to form a compelling whole; extraneous ideas should have been trimmed and the plot focused on the title conflict' the story should finish on the title characters, not with a deus-ex-machina "twist." 2) Though the cinematography was generally competent, the lighting made the movie look flat and uninteresting.  Consulting any Outer Limits episode would have helped, not to mention the movies this film was homaging.  Again, Cadavera did a better job in aping the "classic" look.  3) The acting was often campy when it would have been better served by being sincere.  Playing it straight is what saves a lot of Euro-horror flicks with stories just as underdeveloped as this one. 4) A full orchestral score, or something approaching one, would have helped.  The score, though well conceived, often sounded tinny to me.

Despite all that, I liked the picture. I enjoyed the attempt at a modern Frankenstein vs. ... film.  I just wish they'd pushed it a little further toward the material that inspired them.  I think there's a market for old-style horror movies, and this was a good attempt (despite the nudity).  That and better lighting would have raised this a star, at least, in my estimation.  I still enjoyed it more than the "classic" Dracula vs. Frankenstein, which I watched 2 days previously.  It was worth the few bucks I paid for it -- and it has a really good set of DVD extras.

Rating (out of 5) - ***