Blackenstein (1973) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: William A. Levey
Starring: John Hart, Ivory Stone, Joe De Sue
Rated: A/Region 0/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Severin Films
Eddie is a Vietnam veteran who loses his arms and legs when he steps on a land mine, but a brilliant surgeon is able to attach new limbs. Unfortunately, an insanely jealous assistant (who has fallen in love with Eddie’s fiance) switches Eddie’s DNA injections, transforming him into a gigantic killer.
Seeing as how I’m such a big fan of Blacula, I was pretty interested in what we’d get with Blackenstein. It boils down to an act of jealousy in the lab turning one poor guy into the monster but seeing as how it’s called Blackenstein it is done with an urban twist to it and is a more outlandish film in the ranks of old school Blacksploitation. The idea is a fun one and the monster is at least interesting, but everything else in the film is a bit on the dull side. I had hopes that things would be picking up in the second half of the movie after our dude Eddie was turned into the monster but that still just doesn’t seem to be the case. The movie packs some mood but it doesn’t do much to hold your attention in between the times something neat actually does happen. Sadly, I’m not sure the neat stuff happens enough to count.
The evil assistant that switches the stuff to cause what happens is a pretty hateable fellow. Just the look on his face makes you want to punch him. So, basically, the only reason to stick with Blackenstein while watching it is just to see him get his. Is that enough to keep you watching? Maybe. Everything else is a bit on the slow side and that can be an issue. I think the movie looks good in HD but does seem to be a bit soft as well. It is a nice complimentary disc to have in your collection if you own Blacula but take my word for it, this one isn’t on the same level as that classic.
– Theatrical Release Version (78 Mins.) and Video Release Version (87 Mins.)
– Monster Kid: Interview with Writer / Producer Frank R. Saletri’s Sister, June Kirk
– Archive News Broadcast On The Murder Of Writer / Producer Frank R. Saletri
Producers / Directors / Actors Ken Osborne And Robert Dix Remember Writer / Producer Frank R. Saletri
– Bill Created Blackenstein: Interview With Creature Designer Bill Munns
– Original Theatrical Trailer
Quality of Transfer: 81%