B Movie Challenge: Frankenstein General Hospital

There are things I know about in this little world (along with a LOT I do not). A few would be in 1818 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly wrote, if not the best, one of the greatest novels of all time, Leslie Jordan is currently making God laugh with his smile (may clown angles sing they to thy rest), and just because you have a movie camera and a couple of bucks does not give you the right to make a movie, especially if the movie turns out to be the 1988 DOA cult NOT-classic Frankenstein General Hospital (paging doctor terrible name). Like so many doctors out there in the world (who went to college to study in beer-ology and were diagnosed with Partyallthetimeitos) just cause they have a sheet of paper on the wall that says they can slice your innards open doesn’t mean they actually should. The same applies to Hollyweird. Just cause they went to film school and got a (10¢) sheet of paper doesn’t mean you should trust them to entertain you! However, if you should hit the play button on your top loading Magnavox VCR VR8346BKO1 (with remote for repair VHS) do yourself a favor: press stop and dial 911 for emergency brain surgery!

The tagline for this little tongue depressor (say aww) is “Patients aren’t just dying to get in; they are dying to get out.” Well, finally we found a movie the audience can relate to! I oft spoke of a ‘McArthur’s Park’ film; a movie that has all the right ingredients, but somehow they left the delicious cake out in the rain (♫and we’ll never have that recipe again, ohhhhhhhhhh nooooooooooooooo♫), and you don’t need to be a Ophthalmologist to see (clearly) this is what happened. Aside from having greats like Jordon and the hugely underrated (and greatly admired) Irwin Keyes (Zapped! Mobb Boss, and Death Wish 4: The Crackdown to name a few), how do you have a great comedy legend Mark Blankfield (Fridays, Robin Hood: Men in Tights) and still find a way to make your tummy hurt (not from laughter)! The producers had everything they needed to proceed with caution and worry-free care, but someone must have left their watch in the body during the surgery because, after a few good minutes, the movie flatlines! To be fair, the cast does their best for a film trying to make the hospital world align with Police Academy, but if you frame the jokes like a stage play and add some unnecessary T&A (you know, Tilley ear forceps and Abbot scalers), the filmmakers should be arrested and charged with malpractice in the dumbth degree.

Dr. Bob Frankenstein (Blankfield), the great-great-whatever grandson of Victor Frankenstein, follows in the family’s footsteps but knows he can make a better example of playing God than what his family legacy is. What better way to get access to fresh bodies for his monster than working at a hip-hopping hospital, full of… doctors (more like first-year med students at Faber College). Along with the help of his trusted hunchback Iggy (Jordan), who fetches body parts from the recently dead, Dr. Frakenstein develops a formula that makes the dead walk… talk… bang… and hold a boombox… and, well… whatever. As promised with a title like this (spoofing the popular soap opera), lots of unique characters are around for the funny (or sad) moments to make it hard for him, but will he succeed? Will the hospital shut down before his monster escapes? Will the audience be in the theatre by the final reel? Will you distal to the proximity of your sanity before being discharged? Only time (and a lot of prescription drugs) will tell (hope you have good insurance).

Labotimized at a mind-numbing ninety minutes, and directed (supposedly) by Deborah Romare (who went on to produce on shows like Romy and Michele: In the Beginning and United Angles Investors), This is one of the earliest films to feature comedian Ben Stein, fresh off his Ferris Bueller’s Day Off fame, as well as a cameo by Bobby “Boris” Pickett (Monster Mash). You can find this little antigen (although why would you want to) on most streamers like Tubi, Prime, and such, but you might need a second opinion if you pay the huckster prices for the VHS online! So relax on the couch in some comfy scrubs,  use some Electrocauterization to tenderize those dollar store steak strips (soak some of the blood with a sturdy gauze), and prepare to have Tachycardia from watching this (not)funny sudsy homage to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly (I’m sure she won’t get a hernia from all the laughter)!

About Ian Klink

As a filmmaker, writer, and artist, Ian Klink’s work includes the feature film Anybody’s Blues and short stories for Weren't Another Way to Be: Outlaw Fiction Inspired by Waylon Jennings, Negative Creep: A Nirvana-Inspired Anthology, A-Z of Horror: U is for Unexplained, The Creeps, Vampiress Carmilla, The Siren’s Call, and Chilling Tales For Dark Nights. Born and raised in Iowa, Klink lives with his family in Pennsylvania where he shares his talents as a teacher of multimedia studies.

View all posts by Ian Klink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.