Fantasia 2015: Director’s Commentary: Terror of Frankenstein

From director Tim Kirk and producer Rodney Ascher (Room 237) comes this fake director’s commentary for the 1977 film Terror of Frankenstein. The new special edition of growing cult hit Terror of Frankenstein features a commentary between director Gavin Merrill (Clu Gulager) and screenwriter David Falks (Zack Norman). As they talk about this particular adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel, David begins to be flooded by painful memories of a series of murders that happened on set. Over the next two hours, the two try to set the record straight about this behind the scenes nightmare.

The director/producer team of Tim Kirk and Rodney Ascher previously had some success with Room 237, which features conspiracy theorists narrating over scenes from The Shining. A criticism that some aimed towards that film is that it was little more than a glorified DVD special feature.  Well, Tim Kirk takes the directorial reins for Director’s Commentary: Terror of Frankenstein, which is exactly that. Terror of Frankenstein is played in its entirety, accompanied by newly recorded audio of two actors pretending to be the film’s director and screenwriter. What follows is a conversation that is not unlike Mystery Science Theater 3000, as the discussion moves away from the film and towards a serial killer who killed the bulk of the supporting cast.

At the very least, Director’s Commentary: Terror of Frankenstein is an interesting cinematic experiment, even though it eventually becomes quite taxing to watch. With the exception of select lines of dialogue, all the audio from Terror of Frankenstein is muted in favour of the commentary, so the film is pretty much a radio play, accompanied by non-contextual images from the film. This film is truly nothing more than a glorified special feature and I almost wish I could’ve just watched Terror of Frankenstein without the commentary.

 ★ ★ 1/2 |  INDIFFERENT 

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).