FEARLESS FRANK (1967)
Article #1514 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-7-2005
Posting Date: 10-4-2005
Directed by Philip Kaufman
Featuring Jon Voight, Monique van Vooren, Severn Darden
A hick comes to the big city, and is shot by gangsters when he hooks up with a woman. He is then revived from the dead and given superpowers by a doctor intent on fighting evil.
There are different levels of bad. This movie starts out as a bad parody of superhero movies; it’s not totally worthless at this point as it has the occasional funny moment (Best Line: “I can count!”), but for the most part it just falls flat. However, as the story progresses, it starts dealing with some complex moral and metaphyhsical issues having to do with the Doctor’s dictatorial control of Frank as well as the character of an evil version of Frank (known as False Frank or Frankie, a variation on the Frankenstein monster whose scar not only runs down his face but across his suit as well). These are potentially interesting ideas, but they’re so out of tune with the cheesy parodistic approach of the movie that the whole thing turns into an utter disaster that fails to work on any level. It’s hard to believe that this was written and directed by Philip Kaufman, who had already won a prize at Cannes for his movie GOLDSTEIN, and would go on to an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay of THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, as well as having contributed to other fine movies such as THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, THE RIGHT STUFF, and the remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. This was the first screen appearance of Jon Voight, who would later go on to win an Oscar himself for COMING HOME.