DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)

    DeRay Davis as MOTOWN
    Jasper Redd as DARIUS
    Charles Murphy as FRANKLIN
    Bob Sapp as FRANKIE
    J.B. Smoove as LEON
    Drew Sidora as TAMMY
    Angell Conwell as SABRINA
    Hassan Johnson as MARCELLUS

    Rated R
    Studio: Lionsgate

    Directed by: Blaxwell Smart

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Motown (DeRay Davis) and Darius (Jasper Redd) are morgue workers who need a third person on their streetball team in order to win a tournament. When their off-kilter colleague Franklin (Charles Murphy) replaces the heart of a corpse and uses Motown’s car battery to bring him back to life, the pair discover a new potential streetball star. The “creature” (Bob Sapp) soon learns some moves on the court, on the dance floor and with the ladies, helping his new friends to hold their own in the streetball tournament.

I like a good Frankenstein movie, whether it takes itself seriously or not. There have been hundreds of films made based on the Frankenstein story, and this is another one of those films. I wouldn’t say it was really a good Frankenstein movie, but it did try. But a good try can be fun in parts, like the 80s camp classic “Frankenhooker.”

I wasn’t all that interested in the streetball side of the story, and I tuned out when that came up. The Frankenstein side was interesting, though. While I haven’t been a fan of what you might call ghetto horror movies (like Snoop Dogg’s “Bones,” “Tales from the Hood” and even the classic “Blacula”), they can offer a fun diversion from the standard horror fare.

“Frankenhood” has heart (pun intended). It just lacks some major focus.

I’ve never been one to root for slackers and dope-heads – unless this is the point of the comedy with films like “Dude, Where’s My Car” and “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.” I know that sticking with the ghetto comedy style, a key stereotype in the equation is copious amounts of weed smoked by the so-called heroes. That just turned me off.

The biggest stumbling block that “Frankenhood” faces is that it doesn’t know if it wants to be a horror movie, a horror spoof or an underdog streetball movie. The idea of a Frankenstein-esque monster playing basketball might have been funny in a pitch meeting, but the two concepts never quite gel together.

The funniest part of the film is Charles Murphy as Frankie’s creator, but sadly he checks out in the first act of the film. If only we had a little more of this elder funnyman.

For a smaller, independent film, “Frankenhood” has a decent selection of special features. There’s an 11-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that is a bit self serving at times but still interesting. Rounding out the special features menu are seven minutes of deleted scenes, which are sometimes funnier than what we saw in the film itself.

Anyone who enjoys the stand-up comedy of the film’s stars.

Watch the trailer for "Frankenhood"

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