Director: David Wickes
Writer: David Wickes
Starring: Patrick Bergin, Randy Quaid and John Mills
This film begins in the Arctic in the 1890s. We have two men on dogsleds racing each other, with one of them firing a gun. There is also a ship full of sailors watching this happen. One of them crashes their cart. He is Victor Frankenstein and played by Patrick Bergin. He is taken aboard the ship and sits down with the captain. He tries to tell him to prepare his men, because the person he is chasing, who is Randy Quaid and is Frankenstein’s monster, will attack at dawn. The captain is Roger Bizley and Bergin begins to tell him the tale as to why he knows he will attack.
Bergin is a teacher at a university. He is up for an award with two other professors, but he loses out to a theology professor. His students are in an uproar. He tells them after they carry him out that by acting as they do, will hurt their cause.
Bergin works with the working class and poor population who have cholera. During the time period, it was fatal, but he believes he has come up with a cure for it. He is visited by John Mills, his friend, who tells him that his father and Elizabeth want him to come home. He tells them that he can’t. He does show Mills what he is working on.
He has learned what the elements of all living things are and has made a liquid that is made up of it. He believes he can create anything from it. He has made a snake with a cat’s head and a porcupine with a rabbit head. Bergin shows him how it works with magnets and electricity, creating his arm inside the liquid.
Bergin then creates his monster. It doesn’t go as planned as Bergin is knocked out and Quaid flees. He is chased from the city and falls down an embankment. Those that chased believe he is dead.
At this time, Bergin returns to his family. He is met by his younger brother, played by Lambert Wilson, his father played by Timothy Stark, and Elizabeth by Fiona Gillies. Gillies is his cousin, but she has grown up with Bergin. He has loved her for some time and now that they are back together, he asks her to marry him.
Quaid also survived. He wears a tarp and tries to find his place in the world. He watches some children playing in a creek. One of them notices him and falls into the water. Quaid goes in and saves her. Two hunters have shown up and fire at him. Bergin is in pain from it as well. He has a bruise in the same place.
Quaid ends up running into Ronald Leigh-Hunt, who is blind. He knows there is something wrong with him and that he is on the run, but he still gives him sanctuary. He removes the bullet from his shoulder, which also hurts Bergin. They live together for sometime, Leigh-Hunt teaching him things.
The hunters then show up and try to capture him. They underestimate his strength and he fights them off. Leigh-Hunt tells him that it is time to move on, even though it pains him. Quaid goes back on the road and goes to the home of Bergin.
Gillies’ friend is played by Jacinta Mulcahy and she is smitten with Mills. They decide to get married. Quaid sees what Bergin has with Gillies and wants to have that with Mulcahy. When he goes to give her a flower, she panics. During this, Quaid accidently kills Wilson. This upsets Bergin, knowing that it was his monster that did it.
Quaid tells Bergin that he wants someone to love him and Bergin needs to make her. Gillies convinces him to use her to create a bride for him. She can’t take the pain and he has to stop. It isn’t long enough though and the creature doesn’t survive. This angers Quaid and he attacks. He already warned Bergin that if he didn’t get a bride, he would visit Bergin on his wedding night. Bergin thinks that when Quaid is electrocuted in the lab that it’s over.
This isn’t the case and Quaid does visit on his wedding night. Can Bergin save Gillies and his family or will they become victims of Quaid? Will Bergin catch him and put an end to this? Will he die in the process?
I have to say that this film does do some good things. There are a lot of versions of Frankenstein out there and this one is pretty faithful for the most part. It does do some different things, like where it starts and how the monster is created. I do like that aspect of the film. I actually really liked Quaid as the monster as well. I thought he did very well at making him seem powerful, yet tragic. Bergin also wasn’t bad as the troubled scientist. He is more willing to create a bride than he was in the novel, but it also requires less work to create one.
Now while I commend this film for being different, I still don’t understand how the clone of Bergin is created to become Quaid. There isn’t much of a connection and this aspect is vastly different from the book. I also don’t know if the film realizes that Quaid is wearing a tarp in 1890s, when plastic and how the tarp was made was not invented yet. I did look this up and apparently there were ones made of cloth, but clearly this one was not. If you are going to place a film in the past, it needs to be correct.
Now with that said, there are better versions of Frankenstein out there. This one is faithful to the book, but it does do something different things as well. Quaid and Bergin were good while the supporting cast was okay. The story isn’t original, but still a classic. It does come with some flaws as well. This one was made for television, so that does limit what it could do, but not the worse version out there. If you out to watch one, I would avoid this. If you like to see different versions of the story, then I would say it would be worth it.
My Rating: 5 out of 10