I like to use Geek like I would any other skill (strength, intelligence, pie-throwing, etc.). I genuinely feel that energy of being obsessive, excited and passionate all at the same time can bode well for many number of things besides the obvious channels. When the time is right and more importantly, advantageous, I unleash the geek within and something positive/progressive usually happens...well, there also might be some confused looks but I'm pretty sure laughter is achieved most of the time. Thanks for reading folks, Seek out, Speak out, Laugh out loud!

Lisa Frankenstein (2024)

Director(s): Zelda Williams

Writer(s): Diablo Cody

Starring: Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse

Welcome back my fiendish FearTastic Vault fans (or well-wishers, I’ll take either/or)! Last entry, I dedicated my time with you to talk about the often-forgotten sub-genre of the HORROR ROMANTIC COMEDY that pulls on the heart strings as much as it pulls out the heart all together in entertainingly bloody fashion (check out the review of the first horror romantic comedy that gave me horrific butterflies, My Boyfriend’s Back HERE)! I thought a great follow up to that gem was to talk about the latest flick that represented the sub-genre in all its horrific, funny, and romantic glory. Lisa Frankenstein feels like an amalgamation of different tones and plot points from other flicks of the same sub-genre but pulls it off so well to the point where it feels more like a homage than derivative.

Just like with most flicks in this space, I was actually quite surprised how invested I became in the actual romantic part of the story because the writing was very sharp (thanks Diablo Cody of Juno and Jennifer’s Body fame) and the performances were top notch (more on that later). The trailer and movie poster for the flick screamed nostalgia with its 80s visuals so I was already on board, but my gut was telling me that this was definitely leaning more towards the comedy and horror aspects and honestly didn’t even think about the romantic part of the movie (my heart is dead, you see lol), so as a result, I thought that this would be a good watch to simply have a laugh and maybe some Frankenstein’s monster tear up some folks in an entertaining fashion.

When Tinder goes wrong…or incredibly right for you freaks

By the time the movie was done, I was thinking about relationships in general and how the movie actually had some deeper tones than I had expected. Now whether this was intended or if I’m just going through a pensive phase is all up for debate, but nonetheless, I thought about the themes this movie explored throughout the flick WAY after the credits rolled which to me, is a sign of a SOLID movie. Although, not necessarily an original thought, the theme of the importance of expressing your feelings before it’s too late was prominent throughout this movie but delivered in a way where you remember you’re in a horror-comedy but again, it does give you some things to think about as far as why being clear on what you want is vital to happiness and this flick took a few turns to remind the audience that honesty is key. Let’s break down how this flick satisfies the sub-genre it represents:

Horror: The tone from this flick definitely pays homage stylistically to Tim Burton with its neon and gothic undertones while also taking plot elements from 80s flicks like Heathers to paint the picture of how High School constructs can be a playground for the macabre. Like I said, the difference between something feeling like a copy vs a homage is purely based on execution. Although the tone and look of this flick reminded me of other movies, it never felt stolen, more like a nod since the movie would take some entertaining turns as far as the gore was concerned and a particular scene in general would never be in a Burton flick…but perhaps more of a Troma studios vibe (can’t say more, this is a spoiler free zone). The kills in this flick were right on point as far as the creativity of the scenes as well as the visuals so it felt fresh and gave the viewing audience plenty to talk about around the water cooler.

Tans should make us darker right?

Romantic: As I eluded in the beginning of this entry, the romantic vibe this movie put out there was not only prominent throughout the movie, but it caught me completely by surprise. Perhaps I was just not paying attention the trailer or missed the point completely but although I knew there would be romantic aspects of this flick, I was thinking this would be more in the vein of a buddy flick rather than a straightforward and genuinely portrayed, deeper connection between two beings. I must give a round of applause to the two actors; Kathryn Newton and Cole Sprouse for giving performances that seem to give the romantic part of this flick a life of its own (see what I did there?)! For goodness’ sake, the zombie character doesn’t even talk for most of the flick, so all Cole had to work with was his ability to emote with his face and for Newton to give exposition on how everyone was feeling at the moment without making it seem too cheesy. By the third act of this movie, I was really rooting for these two to get together, even under circumstances that may be morally in the bloody, wonderful, gray zone.

So…what do we do now?

Comedy: What DIDN’T surprise me with this flick was the witty dialog that drove the plot at an enjoyable pace. Not shocked considering I’m a fan of Diablo Cody’s work with the tone/dialog of the movie being very on point with her sharp and dark style of comedy. I must admit though, there were bits in the movie that had wonderfully grotesque humor which caught me off guard on how far they were willing to go for a gag. It’s always great to see a spectrum of comedy in a movie that caters to both the thinking person and the one who enjoys the magic of smelly orifices. Something worth noting as well was how cool the humor seemed to be no matter how low or high the brow. As mentioned, there are themes from this movie that felt like a nice homage to the ridiculousness of 80s teen comedies but with modern sensibilities so although the movie was a throwback, the humor seemed to be very much in tune with today’s brand of mindful wit.

Okay, so what do we do NOW?

Lisa Frankenstein is a great example of how a throwback movie should be handled; it plays on nostalgia without it being a gimmick and it pays homage to themes without it feeling stolen. This movie is original enough to be its own flick but gives people enjoyment who remember other Horror Romantic Comedies that came before it and leave the movie feeling just as entertained.

Wait babe, they’re about to play our song (that’s your queue to click the link below)

Having said all that, it’s also great to know that this flick also has a BITCHIN’ soundtrack, including a stripped-down ballad cover of REO Speedwagon’s, “Can’t Fight This Feeling” that it utilized throughout the movie. It plays so well with the themes of the plot and was used in some of the sweeter elements of the film.

Click the link below and give it a listen you LOVERS!

Life is FAR more interesting when we take interest in things that scare us.

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