With "Blazing Saddles," Mel Brooks successfully spoofed westerns. Now he takes on horror movies, a field that has sometimes been funny when the films were done too seriously. Director Brooks, who doesn't appear in the film, wrote the screenplay with star Gene Wilder from the classic novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. They also took highlights from the 1931 film original and its first two sequels, "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935) and "Son of Frankenstein" (1939), using characters from all three. The wild humor of Brooks and Wilder and the even wilder humor of Marty Feldman as the hunchback with a roaming hunch should ensure hefty returns for the Michael Gruskoff production. Peter Boyle is the bald monster with a zipper in his neck, and Kenneth Mars does a broad burlesque of Lionel Atwill's one-armed police inspector from the 1939 film. Gene Hackman guest-stars as the blind hermit of the 1935 release. Cloris Leachman and Madeline Kahn add their names for marquee luster. The black-and-white photography of Gerald Hirschfeld is excellent, and John Morris' score, done straight, is also very good. The spoof uses some of Kenneth Strickfaden's original machinery for the Frankenstein laboratory. Overall, it's great fun.
Tie in with the Ballantine Books paperback novelization of the film. Any Frankenstein memorabilia available locally can be used: movie posters, stills, Frankenstein toys, even a TV or film society horror film festival. Play up the expert comedians and, of course, the Brooks name.
Miss Breakfast, Miss Lunch, Miss a Malted, Miss America, But Don't Miss-"Young Frankenstein"...Transylvania was never like this. FLASHBACK: DECEMBER 23, 1974
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