“Near an isolated beach on California’s coast, a sinister plan is underway in a laboratory of horror. Three renegade scientists have resurrected the Frankenstein Monster and they have also created a genetically engineered half-man half fish abomination, to use as secret weapons in the fight against terrorists worldwide. However, disaster strikes when the terrifying monsters chemical brainwashing fails and the entire plan goes to hell! Instead of stopping terror, these invincible monsters spread terror! The first victims are a group of young people on a glamour photo shoot are attacked by the amphibious beast of evil! Rescued and held hostage by the scientists, the survivors must find a way to escape the madmen and the monsters!” (courtesy IMDB)
This week I have a black-and-white homage to the classic horror films of the forties and the atomic-age creature-features of the fifties. Produced, directed and starring my good friend Bill Winckler, I will discuss for your eludification the 2005 frightener Frankenstein Versus The Creature From Blood Cove (2005), with a cast of dozens including p*rn star Ron Jeremy, Russ Meyer’s bosom buddy Raven De La Croix, The Munster’s Butch Patrick, Star Trek author David Gerrold, and Troma CEO Lloyd Kaufman. Sounds terrific, right? Well, I wouldn’t want to spoil the illusion. So, ladies, gentlemen, and those of you who think they’re on the I Can Haz Cheezburger website, I will now discuss Frankenstein Versus The Creature Not From The Black Lagoon. I’d like to make that perfectly clear for all you lawyers out there – Blood Cove, not Black Lagoon, okay? Good.
Anyway, three renegade scientists have genetically engineered a half-man half-fish abomination – not a creature, right, an abomination – but they’re not resting on their laurels, either. For an encore, they’ve just reanimated Frankenstein’s long-dead monster, too! The horror begins when the amphibious beast claims its first victims, killing a few bikini babes for doing nothing except taking their bikinis off for some cheesecake photos. There’s a moral in that – dairy and sushi don’t mix.
Not only did Bill Winckler write, direct and produce this dumpster of delight – in an amazing feat of multi-tasking, Bill also plays the imaginatively named Bill. Mister Winckler also gave us The Double-D Avenger (2001) but he wouldn’t take it back. But I dare say you’re more interested in the guest stars of Frankenstein Versus The Creature From Blood Cove.
Butch Patrick is rank – I mean first off the rank – because he played the werewolf we see near the beginning of the film. Butch is most famous as little Eddie Munster of the Munster clan, but he made many appearances on other shows during the sixties, such as Mister Ed, My Favourite Martian, Daniel Boone, I Dream Of Jeannie, The Monkees, Gunsmoke, and eight episodes of My Three Sons as Gordon Dearing. In later years he followed in his Grandpa Munster’s footsteps, and has sunk to hosting late-night horror films – the television equivalent of asking Would You Like Fries With That?
The strange Gypsy Woman we see briefly is played by Raven De La Croix, from Russ Meyer’s Up! (1976), The Happy Hooker Goes To Washington (1977), Hear No Evil (1982), The Double-D Avenger (2005), and my personal favourite, in The Blues Brothers (1980) as an over-enthusiastic audience member.
Another old friend of mine is David Gerrold, who plays the put-upon writer. This requires absolutely no stretch of the imagination, as he’s best known as an award-winning science fiction author who kick-started his career in 1966 by writing The Trouble With Tribbles, possibly the most famous episode of classic Star Trek. Since then, David has written squillions of science fiction novels and stories, two of my personal favourites being The Man Who Folded Himself – about a guy who duplicates himself with a time machine so many times he distorts his own life and reality itself – and When HARLIE Was One, the story of a computer’s relationship with its creator. I had the opportunity to ask David about his role in Frankenstein Versus The Creature From Blood Cove, and he didn’t seem embarrassed at all! He told me he found the small role quite gratifying – especially since he got to write his own dialogue – and he said he’s glad the film is finally getting the audience it deserves – which I think he meant in a good way.
Ron Jeremy is a p*rn star nicknamed ‘The Hedgehog’ for reasons I’d rather not discuss, who was ranked – yes, I said ranked – as number one on The Fifty Top P*rn Stars of All-Time list. Jeremy has also appeared in lots of non-p*rnographic films, such as Caged Fury (1989), Class Of Nuke ‘Em High III The Good The Bad And The Subhumanoid (1994), Tromeo And Juliet (1996), The Boondock Saints (1999), Toxic Avenger IV Citizen Toxie (2000), Tales From The Crapper (2004), Poultrygeist: Night Of The Chicken Dead (2006), and Killer School Girls From Outer Space (2010). Class act all the way. He’s currently doing children’s parties as Mario, just don’t ask to see his Donkey Kong.
The award for Most Enthusiastic Performance In A Motion Picture Titled Frankenstein Versus The Creature Not From The Black Lagoon must surely go to Lloyd Kaufman as the rowdy drunk. From 1979 to 1981, he wrote, produced and directed a series of profitable sex comedies with exclamation marks in the titles, including Squeeze Play! (1979), Waitress! (1982), Stuck On You! (1983) and The First Turn-On! (1983). He found mainstream success in 1984 with the hilariously violent superhero film The Toxic Avenger (1984), which went on to become Troma’s most popular movie, inspiring three sequels, a Saturday morning cartoon show, comics and tons of merchandise. Kaufman’s follow-up to The Toxic Avenger was Class Of Nuke ‘Em High (1986), co-directed with Richard Haines, which inspired two profitable sequels and a healthy run on American late night television. In the late nineties Kaufman astounded everyone by making three critically acclaimed independent films: Tromeo And Juliet (1996), Terror Firmer (1999), and the fourth installment in the Toxic Avenger franchise, Citizen Toxie (2000). Always one to flog a dead mutant, Kaufman is still trying to get The Toxic Avenger V The Toxic Twins off the ground – and may God have mercy on your soul.
I’m sorry, I seem to have strayed a little from the subject at hand. Before I forget all together, let’s get straight back to Frankenstein Versus The Creature Not From The Black Lagoon, okay? And so, as the Transylvanian sun sinks slowly in the north-east due to a cartographic error, the eternal struggle goes on between the monster, the beast and the mad scientist – horror film’s immortal trinity. I wasn’t expecting that – I was expecting a written apology from Bill Winckler for making Frankenstein Versus The Creature From Blood Cove. But kudos for hiring Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeon to design Frankie’s face. It’s not the worst film in the world – that’s yet to come. Don’t worry, you have my personal IOU for ninety minutes, non-transferable and fully redeemable next week for…Horror News! Toodles!
Frankenstein Versus The Creature From Blood Cove (2005)