Friday, January 31, 2014

Frankenstein In The Big Easy!

I saw this TV movie adaptation of Dean Koontz's Frankenstein way back when, but it didn't make much of an impression. I recently got to see it again and I much more impressed.

For the few who might know the premise, as I understand it the Frankenstein story we all know was based on real events. A Victor Helios really created a creature from disparate body parts and imbued it with life, a life that seems incapable of ending. Both Helios and the creature now calling himself "Deucalion" in homage to his "Modern Prometheus" father figure have tumbled through time and space and find themselves sequestered in New Orleans, an American city with an old heritage. In this city Helios has been using his science to not only keep himself alive but to create a new race of improved people with two hearts, massive strength and durability and sadly a limited ability to cope with the lives they are given. We assume most of these people lose their way and seek solace in some most peculiar ways. One has turned to serial murder and that brings in two detectives to solve a grim case which as it turns out has much weirder and darker twists and turns.

That's the set-up as the story begins and we follow our two detectives played by Parker Posey (Carson O'Conner) and Adam Goldberg (Michael Sloane) as they investigate a crime which hits close to home. They are eventually assisted by Vincent Perez who portrays Deucalion and who has his own specific grudge against Helios played by Thomas Kretschmann. You can't really discuss the plot without revealing key information, and truth told the mystery isn't really the core of the narrative. What's of importance is how these "new people" and the regulation humans intermingle and it soon becomes apparent that the searches for meaning they are driven to pursue are those we all might need to take eventually.

This is an atmospheric movie, depending heavily on lighting and some firecracker editing to tumble along, but it fascinates in an offbeat way. Smartly the director Marcus Nispel keeps Deucalion off screen a lot, making his appearances matter more. This is the story of lead detective O'Conner. Sadly I will warn you since this was conceived as a pilot for an unsuccessful series, there are dangling threads, but nothing which demolishes the story's impact.

I've never read any of the books by Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson in this series. I might need to find a copy of the first at least and give it tumble.

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