Blackenstein (1973) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Blackenstein (1973) Review

Horrorific content by Yo Adrian on April 30th, 2020 | Movie Review | Classic Horror, Mad Scientist, B-Horror, Black Horror, Classic Creature

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It's about a Vietnam vet who lost both arms and legs in the war, but had a girl who knew a guy who could stitch him back together like new(ish).

Blackenstein was directed by William A. Levey (who also directed Hellgate) and stars Ivory Stone, Joe De Sue and Andrea King (from House of The Black Death and  The Beast With Five Fingers).

To Stop This Mutha Takes One Bad Brutha

So here's the deal with Blackenstein, before we get into it. It's a B-movie cash grab that was rushed to release the moment Blacula became a hit. It failed hard and was justifiably panned by critics. I personally got a kick out of it, but only because it was such a train wreck. Blackenstein, in my experience, is second only to Manos: The Hands of Fate when it comes to movies that are so bad they're good.

So, this guy named Eddie comes home from Vietnam with no arms or legs, after stepping on a landmine. Only problem is, he totally still has arms and legs because you can very clearly see them poking out from under the sheet he's always covered in, but whatever, we're supposed to think he's a torso. So, Eddie the torso has a fiance who knows a mad scientist who happens to perform controversial procedures on patients in his home. She talks him into taking on Eddie as a patient and he quickly comes up with some new severed limbs to sew onto Eddie. We don't know where he got them or how he managed to find ones that fit Eddie perfectly, but whatever. The doctor has his ways. He stitches them on and starts to inject Eddie with a DNA treatment to help his body adopt his new parts.

Dr. Stein's assistant, Malcomb, takes a liking to Eddie's girl, who rejects his advances. Malcom gets pissed and sabotages Eddie's DNA treatments, turning him into Blackenstein.

Once Eddie becomes Blackenstein he basically just starts wandering around killing and eating random people.

The thing about Eddie is he's played by a guy who has the acting chops of one of his severed limbs. He's painfully bad to watch. Turns out, it's because he wasn't even an actor. He got the gig simply because he worked for the producer, and it showed. Sad thing is, Eddie didn't even stand out for being a shitty actor. Nobody in this movie showed any real emotion. They don't even react to murder or gore, they just kinda stand there and watch.

Overall, Blackenstein was about what I expected. A cheap Blaxploitation B-movie that was made just for laughs.

Worth Watching? 

Yes and no. Yes if you're looking for a So Bad It's Good black horror movie. It does offer plenty in this regard. Cheesy special effects, bad acting, ridiculous music and lots of titties. No if you're looking for a serious black horror movie. If you're looking for something actually good I'd go with Blacula or something like J.D.'s Revenge.

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