Let me start by saying, if you are someone that doesn’t believe this might be the greatest comedy of all time… then by all means get the hell of my blog. I don’t care for someone as moronic as you reading my stuff. Ok, with that behind us. The other day I was watching the show Everybody Loves Raymond with my kids. My one son always laughs at the character Frank played by Peter Boyle. This was a Halloween episode and Frank was wearing a Frankenstein head piece. My kids thought it was funny so I played them Young Frankenstein. This was a proud moment for a father because in my humble opinion, Young Frankenstein is the funniest spoof movie ever made! So I figured for this day of Horror Movie Marathon 2019 I praise and encourage this gem of a movie. I have done a few dark comedic films in this marathon but this movie is actual comedy. It’s actual intent before being horror is full comedy. So loosen up and enjoy because tomorrow we’re going to hell!
Victor Frankenstein’s grandson Dr. Frederick Frankenstein inherits the family fortune along with a his illustrious castle found in Transylvania. But the fight of succumbing to the fate of his heirs seems too much for Frederick. He soon begins walking in his grandfathers footsteps! Alongside his new associates Igor and Inga, Frederick will awaken a terror that was thought long passed.
Young Frankenstein is a 1974 comedy horror film that spoofs Rowland V. Lee 1939’s Son of Frankenstein. It was directed by legendary comedic director Mel Brooks who brought other infamous films like 1974’s Blazing Saddles… wait! Back the trolley train up a minute! He made both of these movies in 1974? You’re telling me Mel Brooks made two of the funniest movies ever made in one single year? Who the hell does this!?
A Great Cast
Anyways, the movie stars Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory‘s Gene Wilder as Dr. Frankenstien, Marty Feldman as Igor, Teri Garr as Inga, the hilarious Madeline Kahn as Elizabeth, Cloris Leachman as Frau Blücher, Kenneth Mars as Inspector Kemp, and Peter Boyle as the monster. Also there’s one of the best short cameo’s of Superman’s Gene Hackman. Yea, this cast is brilliant.
The film was at first the brainchild of Wilder and he pushed the story to Mel Brooks. Reluctantly it seems, Brooks took on the movie and eventually it script was written.
“we proceeded on a dark narrow twisting path to the eventual screenplay in which good sense and caution are thrown out the window and madness ensues. ” – Mel Brooks
The movie was an instant success and today stands as one of the funniest comedies of all time.
Perfect Blend of Classic and Spoof
Young Frankenstein is a movie that chooses to be presented in that 30’s black and white setting with large engrossing scenery. Although the film is a pure Mel Brooks comedy, the tone of the film is flawless in capturing that classic Frankenstein trilogy feeling. Thunder cracks, fire places crackle alongside a dooming orchestra. Unlike other Brooks films or just spoof films in general, that have a certain… dare I say… fake look to them? I guess if you watch Robin Hood Men In Tights then you might understand what I mean. Young Frankenstein is recapturing an old style with a setting that already is exaggerated. I guess I am trying to say their attempt to recreate feels more real on spot. I’m not saying spoof scenery is bad. But, if you look at the Scary Movies series, they always seem cheap and almost high school looking props. In Young Frankenstein, everything is done in a picture perfect replication, but then sprinkled with that “this is spoof” Brooks gravy on top of it. Enough where we can be lost in the period piece and feel like the movie is genuinely from the late 1940’s. The comedy and the reminiscent Universal horror feeling is so well blended that at times, I forget it is a spoof.
Everything about this film is absolutely brilliant and funny. The film is scattered with whimsical mannerisms and perfectly timed jokes. The spoofs that make fun of the source material are so ridiculously awesome that I actually adopt the impressions more than the source material. Let me explain. In Son of Frankenstein there is a Inspector Krogh. He explains how his arm was ripped off by the monster when he was a young boy. The dude is hard core and serious. But in Young Frankenstein we have his counter character Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars). The guy has this Bavarian accent and know one can understand him. Plus his fake arm always gets stuck and he swings it around like a wild end of a water hose that’s on the loose. When I think of the Inspector going after the monster, I can’t help but think of Inspector Kemp over Krogh because he’s the funnier depiction. I find myself thinking of how hilariously better Irgo is compared to Ygor. Not out of better acting but out of what leaves a bigger impression. Something comedy always does a good job at doing. Think about a guy who is ultra serious and can’t crack a damn smile. But then someone mocks him with impersonation. We always remember the guy who does the comedy routine!
I can’t help but always have a desire to watch Young Frankenstein in my annual must watch list. It’s a film that is perfect for when you have too many serious movies in your array. To not want to laugh and appreciate the work gone into this film is a terrible mistake. Everyone in this movie is absolutely brilliant that I can’t tell who or what is my most favorite. Gene Wilder’s maniacal screams, Marty Feldman’s eyes, Madeline Kahn falling in love with the monster, Peter Boyles scar that is actually a zipper, or Cloris Leachman’s unlit candles. There’s so much great stuff that you actually catch something new every time you see it. Like I said, it is the best comedy of all time and the fact that it spoofs one of the greatest classical horror series is why I have chosen it for day twenty six of Horror Movie Marathon 2019.