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  Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie Relatively Creaking
Year: 1984
Director: Myron J. Gold
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Yvonne Furneaux, June Wilkinson, Miguel Ángel Fuentes, Aldo Ray, Rod Colbin, Chandler Garrison, Phil Leeds, Garnett Smith, Ken Smith, Karen Harber, Edgar Vivar, Joaquín García Vargas, Joy George, Margaret Donaghey, Zsa Zsa Gabor
Genre: Horror, Comedy, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: The European village of Mucklefugger has been quiet in the hundred years since Baron Frankenstein visited his terror upon them and the world, creating a monster who rampaged through the place until it was finally overwhelmed and destroyed. But now the Baron's descendant (Donald Pleasence) has arrived with his Great Aunt Tillie (Yvonne Furneaux) and his wife Randy (June Wilkinson), the aunt being over a hundred years old herself and able to recall the events that drove her family from the castle. She has preserved herself with extract from bees, as the Frankensteins are nothing if not innovative when it comes to science, though what she would really like to do is win a motor race...

Apparently, among those who have seen this thing, it was originally a British-made, Mexican set, American funded television series, but for some reason lost to the mists of time, possibly because the producers could find nobody who wanted to buy it, never mind watch it, the whole shebang was re-edited as a feature film, cutting out whole swathes of plot that were chopped up and added to the end of the movie just before the credits. If that sounds shoddy, you don't know the half of it, as this must be one of the least finished films ever made, with just about everyone who gives it a go bailing out by at the half hour mark, if not well before, thanks to its crushing effect of boredom.

It was supposed to be a comedy, but there was nothing remotely funny about it, unless funny peculiar counts, though there are occasional, actual jokes that crop up which are as corny as they are laboured. Pleasence appeared to be enjoying himself, cavorting in an ill-fitting wig with ex-Playboy Playmate Wilkinson, though both were past their prime, and Furneaux was another star who had made her name in the nineteen-sixties, making a one-off return to the screen after retiring over a decade before. The writer and director, Myron J. Gold, was another making a return after a lengthy hiatus from any onscreen credits, though you would have recommended him not to bother.

Pitiful was the best word to describe the utter shambles that unfolded here, the effect of linking a bunch of plots together from various episodes, as you might expect, no coherence whatsoever. Just when you were getting used to the idea of one storyline, or anyway making some semblance of sense out of it, it would be jettisoned and if you were lucky, referred to later on. A bit where women's suffrage is suddenly very important, with demonstrations and stunts, was abruptly dropped, for example, though you may well be pondering what that had to do with a Frankenstein movie. Indeed, the expected creation of life from dead body parts took place in flashback to the original Baron (Pleasence sans hairpiece), yet somehow all the other characters from the present day were there too.

Zsa Zsa Gabor was the guest star, so her fans might be tempted to check this out thanks to her, but not only did she not have any lines, she wasn't in this any longer than a minute in a sequence that didn't amount to anything very much. But then, nothing in this did, it rambled and wavered and dawdled and more importantly, drove you up the wall if you wanted anything resembling a professional piece of work. Should you reach the very end of those credits, you would hear a voice saying "Oh, shit", the only swearing in the whole effort, and if they had put that at the start you could count it as fair warning. There was a monster in it, a very tall Mexican bloke painted blue (or maybe grey) but without the Boris Karloff flat head, and he was revived, and there was a halfhearted allusion to Young Frankenstein, but again, none of it even slightly humorous. It was almost worth seeing this to get to the end after all, not because it was any good, but because that would be a kind of achievement in itself. Music by Ronald Stein.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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