Gene Wilder Tribute Part 1/Young Frankenstein Review

By Antawn Salinas

Follow me on Twitter: @OwlFeedAntawn

This year the amount of celebrity deaths have not been kind to us. First David Bowie then Alan Rickman and Prince, and now 70’s/80’s comedy star Gene Wilder. While he hasn’t been in a movie in a long while, his movies have always been and will always be remembered. One of his biggest movies is the Mel Brooks comedy/spoof, Young Frankenstein.

downloadFirst, some background information about the movie. Young Frankenstein was directed and co-written by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder. Wilder also starred in the movie as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein.

It also starred Peter Boyle as Frankenstein’s monster and Marty Feldman as Igor and was released on December 15, 1974. The whole movie centers around Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s grandson (played by Gene Wilder) who denied his grandfather’s work. Then he figures about his grandfather’s work and lab, so he tries to bring the dead back to life. Since this is a parody that situation doesn’t go that well.

My first thoughts on the movie is that it’s hilarious. I watched it recently for this review, and it still holds up. There are a few reasons I can point to for this. The first is the immersion into the movie’s universe. What I mean by this is that they set up the world like an old Universal monster movie meaning everything is black and white and the special effects are dated but it is meant to be like in this case.

Another reason is that since they have it set as a parody, they can do what they want. They can get away with some over-the-top characters and moments and even just break physics. But unlike some modern parody movies, it’s not just weird situations surrounded by pointless pop culture references (I won’t point fingers). The actors are actually playing characters with different personalities.

Which leads to my next point: the actors. While all the side characters do great and have some funny lines, the movie centers around 3 main characters. Those characters are Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, Igor, and their monster. These characters have the biggest laughs and are a part of the most memorable scenes in the movie. Especially Gene Wilder’s character because of his comedic timing and how he can take going over-the-top to the right level.

He can say something like, ”MY GRANDFATHER’S WORK WAS DOO DOO!!” and have it both fit his character and be really funny. Same goes for the monster and Igor because they do and say some crazy things, but since it’s a parody and the actors are great they can get away with it and have it be funny. My only complaint about the movie is that in some parts towards the end, it kinda drags, but other than that, it’s a great movie.

Conclusion: In the end, I recommend everyone to watch this movie. This is one of the many reasons why a ton of people miss Gene Wilder. Out of a 1 out of 10 rating system (1 being really bad and 10 being really good), I give it a solid 9 out of 10. Find it on DVD or download it today and maybe watch the next movie I’m reviewing next to have a hilarious double feature. Next up, Blazing Saddles.