Welcome to the DoT Daily Horror Film Fest! Throughout the month, I’ll be featuring a different horror film every weekday. Sometimes that will be indie films, sometimes it’ll be big-name stuff, shorts, or even TV shows. Scary, funny, schlocky, quiet, eerie – something for the well-rounded horror fan. Plus interviews with filmmakers and a chance to support projects still in the works. Today’s feature is Young Frankenstein, which is coming back to theaters tonight for one night only.
Young Frankenstein is a fine collaboration between Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder, whom we sadly lost in August. Brooks told the GOOD Web site the screening had been in the works before Wilder died, but there will undoubtedly be a tribute to the man who co-wrote and starred in the film. Brooks plans to introduce the film live from the 20th Century Fox studio lot where it was made.
Young Frankenstein is a seminal movie for me, and I’m sure countless others. I saw it as a kid, the fact it was in black and white gave it an exotic feel. It messed with my sense of time. I knew Brooks and Wilder were still making movies in the late 70s or early 80s when I first saw it, but it looked like all the old movies they showed on the UHF channel on weekend afternoons. It existed in this strange nether world between the Universal horror films and movies like Stir Crazy, in which Wilder starred with Richard Pryor. With its modern humor and its classic look, it was a perfect fit, somehow, in both worlds. –
And yes, Young Frankenstein is more a comedy than a horror film. But it did follow Mary Shelley’s masterpiece in one important way many other films did not, in that it featured an eloquent monster (at least briefly). And it used the same props from the 1931 Universal classic Frankenstein designed by Kenneth Strickfaden. And when I first saw it, I was scared – for the monster.