DR. FRANKENSTEIN ON CAMPUS (1970)
Article 2767 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-4-2008
Posting Date: 3-11-2009
Directed by Gilbert W. Taylor
Featuring Robin Ward, Kathless Sawyer, Austin Willis
A student named Viktor Frankenstein must contend with the fact that he bears the same name as the scientist in Mary Shelley’s novel. When he is unjustly expelled due to a compromising newspaper story, he uses his knowledge of brain control to exact revenge.
This movie is one bizarre compendium of mad science, the drawbacks of having a notorious name, drugs and the counterculture. It’s a strange movie; it seems almost plotless for the first half, some of the dialogue is quite florid, and it gets fairly arty on occasion; one scene uses both double exposure and subliminal images. It also has a neat twist ending. Unfortunately, the movie is utterly unconvincing; the opening scene features the worst sword fight I’ve ever seen, there are characters who make monumentally stupid decisions (such as the three men whose drinks are openly tampered with by Frankenstein but have no suspicion they’re being drugged), and some scenes are just difficult to believe, like the one where the students protest the arrival of a new computer. It’s also hurt by the fact that Robin Ward’s performance as Frankenstein is more distracting than effective. It’s a bit of a shame; there’s some interesting ideas here, and a better script and stronger direction could have made this one more effective. As it is, it’s more of a curious misfire than anything else.