The first image from CANDYMAN director Bernard Rose’s adaptation of FRANKENSTEIN has been released.
The film stars Xavier (TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE) Samuel as The Monster, Carrie-Anne (THE MATRIX) Moss as Elizabeth Frankenstein and Danny (BIG EYES) Huston as Victor Frankenstein. The Candyman himself Tony Todd is also among the cast.
The official synopsis is:
FRANKENSTEIN is a modern-day adaptation of the classic novel by Mary Shelley, set in present day Los Angeles and told entirely from the perspective of the Monster.
The Monster ‘awakes’ in a bare room. A perfect adult man, he has no idea who he is, how he got there, or even what he is. He has just suddenly come into consciousness and has as little control over himself and his body as a newborn infant. The Monster is attended to by Victor Frankenstein and Elizabeth Frankenstein. They have “made” him in a 3D bioprinter, but he does not know this. He thinks they love him, especially Elizabeth who feeds him and soothes him. The Monster falls in love with Elizabeth and develops a relationship with Victor.
One day Victor notices a blemish on the Monster’s face - a small sarcoma has developed. In no time the problem gets much worse. The Monster’s face and body is eaten up with cancers, polyps and cauliflower-like growths. He becomes hideous and terrifying. Victor knows the experiment has failed and he decides to put the Monster out of his misery. Victor and Elizabeth give the Monster a lethal injection, but instead of killing him peacefully it causes him immense pain and suffering and he appears to die in agony.
Later, the Monster’s ‘body’ is taken to the morgue for dissection, but he is not dead, merely paralysed by the drugs. When the Mortician tries to cut him open he awakes and fights back - he is superhumanly strong. The Monster kills the mortician and fights his way out of the research institute. He escapes into the woods and hides out.
The Monster lives in the woods, learns to feed himself on roadkill and befriends a dog, all the time slowly advancing in sophistication. He wanders into a town. When he tries to rescue a little girl from a river, he is accosted by local police who are terrified by his appearance and shoot his dog. The Monster kills the Police and is then set upon by the townspeople and captured.
The Police cannot identify the Monster at all but find Elizabeth’s ID card in his possession and contact her. She appears but does not acknowledge the Monster at all saying she has never seen him before. This rejection hurts him to his core. They realize he is mentally unfit to stand trial and he is committed to a secure mental hospital. On his way to the hospital the Two Police Officers take him to a derelict location downtown and beat him in vengeance for the cops he killed and shoot him.
The Monster awakes buried alive in a trash heap. He escapes and finds himself in skid row. The Monster is befriended by Eddie, a blind down and out musician, who accepts him without judgement. Eddie introduces him to Wanda, a street prostitute as the Monster wants to experience sex. This goes horribly wrong when she sees the full horror of how he has degenerated physically and he ends up killing both her and Eddie.
The Monster is now in total despair and wants only to find Victor and Elizabeth again to confront them and find out who he really is where he came from and why he is here. The Monster makes his way back to the institute where he was born for the final epic confrontation.
Rose said of the project: “Frankenstein is as relevant today as when it first appeared nearly two hundred years ago. Its central premise that the goal of science is to create consciousness speaks to us because it is a fundamental truth and only in our era is the possibility now nearing fact.”
“In the novel Victor Frankenstein digs up bodies to study them but nowhere does he say or claim that he is reanimating corpses. Victor’s ambition is to create life, but when challenged on the details of how he achieved this he coyly refuses to say in case someone else foolishly follows his method. Now of course the idea of moulding flesh using 3D printing is a reality and the concept of “creating life” takes on a new conviction.”
“That may explain the flesh, but what about the consciousness. Science for all its advances has no more idea of what constitutes consciousness that it did in Mary Shelley’s day. The Monster has an internal life; he is a rich emotional being that dreams, loves, hates, essentially he is the Romantic man, and this convinces us that he is “alive”. We feel for him, for the injustice of his birth, for the violent behavior that he is taught and pays back tenfold, and for his suffering at the rejection of his fellow men.
This is what attracted me to this oft told tale - that one could be inside his head, feel his confusion and hurt; feel his growing curiosity as he discovers the true nature of his origin and wants the answers to the eternal questions; Who am I? From where did I come? What is my destination?”
The film premieres at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival this weekend, and will no doubt see a wider release and festival run later in the year.
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