Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein ★★★½

Paying homage to Universal's classic Frankenstein films whilst also providing a delightful parody of it, Young Frankenstein is definitely an entertaining and intelligent piece of filmmaking with absolutely stunning cinematography that hearkens back to Universal's films. More of a comedy horror than a stupid cliched piece of filmmaking (like the Scary Movie franchise), Young Frankenstein is full of thrills, laughs and moments to remember.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of Victor Frankenstein, is a physician lecturer who wishes to have nothing to do with his grandfather's evil ways and the dark nature that runs within his family. Yet, when he inherits his grandfather's castle and comes home to the madness that created a monster, Frederick Frankenstein attempts to resume his grandfather's ways once again stirring danger.

Mel Brooks' direction is quite brilliant and the script written by Brooks and Gene Wilder is phenomenal. Brooks' direction is fantastic in the sense that he, together with Gene Wilder, create the perfect modern day Frankenstein film that not only mocks certain aspects of Universal's films but pays a loving respect to them. Featuring a few iconic scenes from the first two Karloff films (the little girl and Frankenstein encounter, blind man and monster friendship), Young Frankenstein doesn't alienate fans of Karloff's films or fans of the novel but pays a loving respect, creating a darkly humorous and often nailbiting thriller. Simply, the perfect approach for a Frankenstein film.

Gene Wilder is fantastic as Frederick Frankenstein, who prefers others to pronounce his name as "Fronk-en-steen", giving some of the film's finest humor. He embodies the insanity and unpredictability required for the protagonist of the film and his delivery of quick and witty dialogue is fantastic. Yet, the performance is never played out as exaggerated but with some subtlety.

Marty Feldman, however, may be the finest casting choice in the film, taking the role of famous Ygor (now pronounced and written as Igor) that was made famous by Bela Lugosi in Son of Frankenstein. His eccentricities as a character are played to perfection, uttering each of his lines with such memorability. His presence on screen is the dominating factor of the film.

Cinematography-wise, the film achieves great success in making the film feel of Universal's nature. Each scene is shot perfectly and is one of many fine examples of the film not being an insult to previous incarnations but one of respect.

The score is fantastic, dark and eerie. The location is elaborate, fascinating and unique as a striking visual and the use of heart-pounding tension and strong absurd humor makes Young Frankenstein a truly funny, intense and unforgettable affair that is both a parody and a homage to previous versions of the same story.