Joseph’s Reviews: “The Last Frankenstein” and “Night, Knight Teddy” (Another Hole in the Head Film Festival)

The Last Frankenstein
★★★1/2 out of ★★★★★
Directed by David Weaver
ATMOSfx! Woo!

Jason Frankenstein (William Barnet), descendant of the legendary monster-making family, is going through an existential crisis. Working at a medical job for which he is overqualified and stuck in a relationship with a substance-abusing partner (Jana Szabela) who chooses not to get her life together, he focuses more deeply on what his ancestors couldn’t quite get right — reanimating a living being from stitching together human body parts. Naturally, this doesn’t turn out as he planned, which leads to death and gruesome destruction aplenty in The Last Frankenstein. Writer/director David Weaver has crafted a nifty creature feature that hearkens back to the days of drive-in B-features in the most positive of ways, without being slavish to their trappings. Special Effects Makeup Artist Jared Balog and Assistant Makeup Effects Artist Shawn Maloy turn in highly impressive work, with gore galore and cool creature design on copious display. The members of the quite sizable cast are all game, with Barnet leading the way in an understated performance — he may be one of the most “together” mad doctors in horror cinema. The Last Frankenstein is chock full of loathsome types, terrified innocents, and limb-ripping action. Fans of well-made independent cinema would do well to seek this one out.

Night, Knight Teddy
★★★★ out of ★★★★★
Directed by Adam Kohlenberg and Nicholas Louviere

The computer-animated short film Night, Knight Teddy is an imaginative riff on the childhood “monsters in the closet” trope in which the titular teddy bear dons a knight’s helmet and sword before going on a quest to retrieve something important that an evil bat-like creature has stolen from the bear’s sleeping owner, a human child. The cowriting/codirecting team of Adam Kohlenberg and Nicholas Louviere performed all of the duties on the short except for composing the terrific score, which was done by Banner Driskell. The result is a whimsical, charming horror-adjacent short that works equally well as a nostalgic trip to the past for adults and as a gateway film for youngsters.

The Last Frankenstein and Night, Knight Teddy screen as part of San Francisco’s Another Hole in the Head Film Festival, which takes place December 1st–15th, 2021 with an offering of over 25 features and 200+ short films. The majority of content will be available on-demand via the Eventive platform, plus live online screenings with audience interaction and filmmaker Q&A on the Zoom platform, plus the long-awaited theatrical screenings at New People Cinema in San Francisco’s Japantown.

The full Another Hole in the Head schedule, along with ticket links and programming details, are available at https://holehead2021.eventive.org/welcome

For a direct link to The Last Frankenstein, visit https://holehead2021.eventive.org/films/61880ddf06e591009a1256a3.

For a direct link to Night, Knight Teddy, visit https://holehead2021.eventive.org/films/618cb9efdf4e900094a8ef32.

Reviews by Joseph Perry
Categories: Festivals, ReviewsTags: , , ,

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