John R. Hand’s Frankensteins Bloody Nightmare is a wild cocktail of nightmarish sensibilities; its death nerve twitches to a disquieting mish-mash of strange images and even stranger sounds. The credits say this film is presented in Vistachrome70, which may as well be a type of blender given the story’s warped avant-garde arrangement, which oozes suggestive menace. Hand has taken great pains to disguise his miniscule budget, but he has done so with great imagination (which is to say, he does more than shake his camera around like the makers of Feast), catching characters and landscapes at peculiar angles and giving his Super-8 celluloid a molten quality via acid-freaky shifts in audio-visual register. The story is that of Victor Karlstein (Hand), a young doctor who’s determined to keep a girl alive by harvesting parts for her new body. As the murder count rises, detectives begin to come around, but their inquisition transpires in barely audible whispers, as does much of the film’s dialogue. A crucial scene has Victor giggling for minutes on end, waiting for one of his victims to succumb to a sedative he puts in her drink. This is some crazy shit, not unlike Victor’s monster, who sees in digital video and whose face looks like something out of Cronenberg. Burps, ticks, and hisses fill the soundtrack, and the score by the The Greys suggests Vangelis on a mix of ecstasy, ketamine, and weed. The story is bootleg but Hand’s head-trippy dissolving of consciousness is something fierce, inviting repeat viewings with a joint in hand.
- 77 min
- John R. Hand
- John R. Hand
- John R. Hand, Amy Olivastro, Chester Delacruz, Chip Chisum, Mike Ensley, Karl Borst, Wade Best, Erin Pittkin
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