Frankenstein Cover Do you recognize the name of that ugly looking chap above? Yep? Good. Then you must know about his origins, as well as how he gave birth to a myth that has lived throughout the ages too. Still, myths change, right? Just as it does in this film Directed by Marcus Nispel; and Starring: Michael Madsen, and Parker Posey. It was made in 2004 and lasts for 88 minutes.


The residence of New Orleans are plagued with a series of baroque murders, thus prompting Detectives, Carson O'Conner (Parker Posey) and Michael Sloane (Adam Goldberg), to look into these matters more closely.

However, this is by no means a normal murder case – even though Detective Harker (Michael Madsen) states otherwise – instead, the people whom are being popped off, are those with a genetically enhanced defects.

Strange that, huh?

OK, so who is the person responsible for all of these ‘genetically enhanced defects’, huh? A genetically enhanced doctor, that’s who – whom made his own wife, Erika (Ivan Milicevic), and calls himself Victor Helios (Thomas Kretschmann).

Now Detectives O'Conner and Sloane do not find out about this, until O’Conner is told this by another genetically enhanced individual, called Deucalion (Vincent Perez). But not only does he tell them that, oh no, but he also points them in the right direction on who the real murder is.

Boy, isn't that nice of him?

Unfortunately, though, the murderer manages to out-manoeuvre the detective’s initial gambit, inadvertently goading this fiend to seek sanctuary within a church that has ties to Victor. Still, do you think that God’s haven is enough to protect him? No – me think not either – which is why what next transpires is an end game that is elusive, harsh, and somewhat benign in nature. As monsters fall – people are terrorized – and a beginning of a new dawn arises amidst the blood of the old.

Victor – beware – you have a fight on your hands now.

Hmmm? So how can I describe this 2004 version of 'Frankenstein'? Well, basically, it is a modernized rehashing of the Mary Shelly gothic opus, set in a more modern time and in a more modern way. Still, is that enough? Err? No – not really. As to be completely honest about it – it is one of those films that did initially intrigue me – but then, when I eventually sat down to watch it – it never really took my fancy at all.

Figuratively speaking – I think that this was all to do with the story itself. In essence, it is the Frankenstein of old, though this more retro-take, which just plodded along on its own path, and tried to make something new that did not really work structurally or cinematically.

Frankenstein 2004

Now a good example of this would be how certain plot threads did not seem to resolve itself within this film – and where left hanging in the air – as if a sequel was in the works. Next, I would say that this film did not have an emotional centre – as characterizations were not particularly fleshed out enough, and a relevant back-story was not really divulged.

Please note, a certain amount of these facets were on display. It is just that these points were mealy expressed through fleeting exposition, and did not seem to hold any form of gravitas within the movie as a whole. Plus, in addition to all of this, there is the simple fact that the story on offer was not that good – especially considering that the ‘big revelation’ came nigh on half-way though the film – the main protagonists never meet – and with no real credence to justify why any of this was so (i.e. It wasn't spelt out properly).

Frankenstein 2004 Reborn

Please have in mind that when I say all of this, that I am a big fan of the original works – and I would have preferred that this film had been called ‘Monster Killers’ or something else – as that way I could have viewed this film with a less critical demeanour. Well, there are a couple of nice bits to 'Frankenstein' – as the art direction was very atmospheric – on occasion the emotional score did complement what you saw on the screen – and most of the actors involved did lend some gravitas when there was none.

Three of the actors in question were Adam Goldberg, Michael Madsen, and Vincent Perez: Adam for his jovial counterbalance – Michael for his maniacal disposition – and Vincent for his imposing stance. As for the rest of the cast – namely Parker, Thomas, and Ivana – they did OK... nothing spectacular... just OK.

Frankenstein 2004 Hug

Overall, as much as I hate to say this, this version of ‘Frankenstein’ was meant for the medium it was eventually released on – television. It never really packed a punch for me, and only seemed like a Goth version of CSI... just with a less than satisfactory ending.

Still, if you do not mind things like the ‘The Italian Job’ remake, or maybe a very Luke warm version of the film ‘Stigmata’... hmmm... you just might like this. 


FRANKENSTEIN (2004) FRANKENSTEIN (2004) Reviewed by David Andrews on September 22, 2011 Rating: 5
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