Tales of Frankenstein

I fell in love with old monster movies as a kid. There was nothing more fun than staying up late to watch a werewolf or vampire movie on cable. This was in the days before home video was everywhere,  and you got to see what was on offer and only that. I was obsessed. I needed more. Luckily, the school library had a series of books about the Universal monsters. Each book dedicated to one of the film series (Frankenstein,  Dracula, The Wolfman, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Mummy). Each book covered all of the films in that particular series. 

My favorite was Frankenstein. 

As an adult I have devoured every Frankenstein tale I can find.

Tales of Frankenstein,  written and directed by Donald F. Glut from his book of the same name, is an anthology film in which each of the stories centers on a different descendant of Victor Frankenstein. 

 The wraparound "story" is Frankenstein's monster sifting through the rubble of his creator's castle and looking at a painting that will then appear in each tale. The creature looks a bit like Boris Karloff and Peter Boyle's versions have been smashed together.  It isn't very scary, but least looks like it was fun to create.

The first story is a pretty standard take on The Bride of Frankenstein.  A deformed descendant of Victor sets out to reanimate the brain of his beloved by using the sewn together parts of beautiful dancers and a local prostitute. 

There is a nice twist that suggests a larger story. I have to say that this section may have made a solid film all on its own. 

The make-up effects are quite impressive.  There is an old school practical vibe here that ticks a lot of boxes for someone like me. That's going to carry through the film. 

The second story is a tale of grave robbing gone awry. A man digs up the grave of a Frankenstein descendant to steal a valuable ring. 

He gets more that he bargained for.

The third section features a noir-ish detective stumbling into the lab of a mad scientist who has plans for experiments involving a gorilla.  

The last story involves a Frankenstein buying the old castle to restart Victor's project.  The villagers don't care at all for that state of affairs and things go off the rails quickly. 

This is a low budget film.

Despite that, it looks good.  The sets (locations, I assume) are wonderful.  Whoever was responsible for finding the castle and various buildings deserves a lot of credit for lifting this film's aesthetic. 

The quality of the acting, shall we say variable? No one is painful to watch,  but a few of the performers are more Community theater than classic Hollywood.  

As mentioned before,  the FX is strong. Clearly the producers guided most of the budget to getting the make-up and appliances just right. It shows.

All in all. Tales of Frankenstein is a lot of fun.  It's a real treat for lovers of old school monsters and late night horror hosts of yore.