Ahh yes. The 1980s. When computers were new and the world was modern and clean. There was an optimism towards technology back then that does not exist today. When the beginning credits roll on this post modern Frankenstein saga, they bleep across the green screen in a high tech font like an old IBM dumb terminal accompanied by high tech synthesizer music worthy of an old Atari game console. Yes, this film is dated. Probably a good reason why there has never been a DVD or Blu Ray edition, but you can find it copyright free on You Tube if you don’t want to hunt for a VHS copy on e-bay. For a true connoisseur of bad science fiction, past visions of a future that never came is all part of the fun.
This post-modern horror story is filmed in Montreal by Director Jean-Claude Lord, but could have taken place in just about any squeaky clean suburb in the U.S. or Canada. Lord was a commercially successful Canadian director of both film and television and his next project after this one was the award winning sled dog adventure movie, Toby McTeague. Lord then spun that success into the opportunity to direct the Hollywood Sequel, Eddie and the Cruisers II. This is not Lord’s best work, but there is some interesting stuff here that begets his future success.
The hero and monster of this story is Carl Lehman, a family man and scientist designing spacesuits for a defense contractor. Lehman ends up crossing his crooked boss, played by Richard Cox of Star Trek: The Next Generation, for the usual financial shenanigans. Cox then rigs an explosion that mutilates Lehman’s body, using what is left of him as a horrifying Frankenstein experiment. Wrap the remains in his own spacesuit, throw the whole mess into an incinerator and the fun begins.
Franken-Carl then has a night out on the town as he terrorizes the population, although the black remains of his spacesuit remain much less terrorizing without the help of light and reflection he does remain frightening as long as you don’t get to close. The monster also acquires superhuman strength and a very nasty temper, partially from implants provided from his boss’ monkey research. Carl’s eyes, the only part of his body exposed through the melted spacesuit, show his emotion of shock and terror at what he has become.
After defeating the minions his former employer sent after him, Carl is reunited with his pregnant wife one final time where he is able to explain to her that the monster he has become can no longer love her or be loved by her, or even be trusted by her. In the end, this modern Frankenstein does win the battle and creates a legacy his children can be proud of. Along the way we are treated to plenty of low budget effects and a synthesized soundtrack worthy of any 80s production. Frankenstein 2000, in some markets titled The Vindicator.
Carl’s inner battle is not with his own demons, but with the demon his creator attempted to force him to be. In the end he must make the choice of not only destroying his creator, but destroying himself as well. An interesting twist on an old story.