Frankenstein: Day Of The Beast is the low-budget shocker being watched by the doomed audience in The Last Matinee when the maniac (played by Ricardo Islas, the writer-director of this film) goes on his cinematic killing rampage.
Truth be told, I was intrigued enough by the footage to give it a shot, and it turned out to be worth the effort.
In this version of the Frankenstein tale, Victor Frankenstein (Adam Stephenson) has fled to a remote island to wed his beloved Elizabeth (Michelle Shields).
Victor has employed a squad of mercenaries to keep her safe, but the monster (Tim Krueger, who’s quite good) has promised his creator that he would appear on his wedding night to take her.
Islas stays fairly faithful to Mary Shelley’s source material, but departs from the template in significant ways. This incarnation of the Frankenstein Monster is pure evil, with no grey area. He kills in extravagantly brutal fashion, bifuracting one unlucky guard with intestines on full display. Another gets his spine removed, and a blind man is forced to swallow his own cane.
The monster also eats human flesh, so there’s that. Apparently mangling his victims wasn’t sufficient to inspire terror. This guy bites faces off and rips throats out with his teeth.
How downright monstrous!
As the title implies, Frankenstein: Day Of The Beast is a more elemental take on a familiar story, one that doesn’t hold back on the blood and guts, and allows no sympathy for the monster, who doesn’t speak, but occasionally laughs cruelly.
The aforementioned budget limitations show up in various forms, from flimsy sets to terrible acting by supporting characters, but Islas clearly understands what makes Frankenstein’s creation so damned frightening. He is a relentless enemy who can’t be destroyed.
So what are you gonna do? As the vengeful Mohawk says to Max in The Road Warrior, “You can run, but you can’t hide.”