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'Frankenstein's Bloody Nightmare'

This contemporary variation on the Mary Shelley myth features one Victor Karlstein (writer-director John R. Hand), a nervous young doctor presiding over an ethically dubious research clinic. Grief stricken when the woman he loves, Victoria (Amy Olivastro), dies under his care, Victor dispatches a reanimated corpse to gather some nice, fresh organs for his beloved's new body. There are intimations that Victor may have been inadvertently responsible for Victoria's demise, but it's tough to be sure of anything in this murky experimental feature, which sadly fails to live up to its title. Shot in Super 8, Frankenstein's Bloody Nightmare shifts back and forth between grainy elliptical realism and a more abstract mode of feverish supersaturated color. A few bits—the numbingly distanced representation of Victoria's death, a sexually charged dream sequence—are downright uncanny, but too often the non-narrative stretches come off as tedious and self-indulgent. Still, Hand's pomo affectations are hardly devoid of humor; witness Victor, having just drugged a woman for some unholy purpose or other, as he howls the perennial lament of the low-budget filmmaker: "None of this would have happened if I'd had the proper support!"


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