Blu-ray Review: Young Frankenstein

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Young Frankenstein
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Review By Jerry Rutledge

Long before the Wayan brothers produced Scary Movie parodying teen slasher horror flicks, Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder wrote Young Frankenstein, their classic comedy spoofing Frankenstein movies.  Being a classic it is a must have for the serious collector.

Doctor Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder), the grandson of the original doctor Victor Frankenstein, does not want to have anything to do with his grandfather whom he regards as “cuckoo” for having tried to reanimate dead bodies.  To distinguish himself, Frederick has moved to America where he works as a neurosurgeon, insists on pronouncing his name as Fronken-steen and is engaged to a snooty debutante (Madeline Kahn).

Frederick is soon forced into a moral quandary when his grandfather dies and Frederick, as the only named heir, must return to Transylvania and the Frankenstein family castle.  In Transylvania he is introduced to his hilarious supporting staff: Igor, pronounced “eye-gore” (Marty Feldman), his eye popping henchman with the moving hump; Inga (Teri Gar) his ditzy, well endowed lab assistant; and Frau Blucher (Cloris Leachman) the castle’s strict housekeeper and former lover of Victor.

Frederick is lured by violin music to discover his grandfather’s secret lab and succumbs to his grandfather’s obsession – resulting in the creation of the Frankenstein Monster (Peter Boyle).  Much hilarity ensues as Frederick attempts to love his creation and to have the Monster accepted by the fearful town – including a classic scene that has Frederick and the Monster in top hats and tails tap dancing on stage for the villagers to the musical number Puttin’ on the Ritz.

The Blu-ray Disc includes special extras such as: It’s Alive! Creating a Monster Classic (a commentary on the making of the movie by Mel Brooks, Teri Gar, and Cloris Leachman); Making Frankensense of Young Frankenstein (an interview with co-writer Gene Wilder and others); deleted scenes and outtakes (including a hilarious reading of the Frankenstein will); a voice over commentary by Mel Brooks and subtitled trivia (both can be turned on to run while the movie is playing), Inside the Lab: Secret Formulas in the Making of Young Frankenstein; Transylvania Lullaby: The Music of John Morris; production photographs and trailers.

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