“Wolf howl and castle howl!”. Mel Brooks’ Frankenstein Jr. returns to the cinema in a new version

A film that has become a cult, a cinematic appointment that becomes a happening. For three days from 27 February to 1 March Frankenstein Jrthe hilarious comedy by Mel Brooks returns to Italian cinemas for three nights full of jokes that have become common language, surreal situations and costumes: è la Frankenstein Junior Night. Because the invitation is to go to the theater dressed like the unforgettable protagonists of the film (with humps, carts, candles, cloaks), just as happened in 2013 when the film returned to the cinema. This time the film starring the unforgettable Gene Wilder back in digitized and restored version.

Mel Brooks and cast on set

“Laugh and the world will laugh with you. Laughter is good for life, I can assure you that anyone who sees my films will live 2 to 5 years longer than others. Laughter reactivates circulation and refreshes the blood”. This is the maxim of Mel Brooks who at 96 still keeps him alive. The comedian is an inimitable genius who with a dozen films as a director, fifty acting credits not to mention all his theatrical performances, has earned himself a place of honor in the world of intelligent and surreal comedy, master of gags and jokes that have become catchphrases. “What a lousy job. It could be worse. How? It could rain.” / Lupu howls. Lupulula? There! Thing ? Lupu howl and castle howl! But how the hell do you talk? She’s the one who started it. No it is not true! I do not insist. She is the master. / I’m a world-renowned surgeon, I can do something about that hump. Which hump? / It can be done” just to quote the gags from Frankenstein Jr. his cult film. In her long career she got an Oscar at the age of forty for her debut film Please don’t touch the old ladiesBrooks is one of the few (there are about twenty in all) who can boast a poker of awards called EGOT (in addition to the Oscar, Emmy has won 3, both as an actor and as an author, Grammy again 3 and Tony Award again 3 ).

The 1974 film that is now back in theaters features characters who have fully entered the collective imagination: the brilliant Gene Wilder in the role of Doctor Frankenstein (“they say Frankenstin”), the extraordinary hunchback Igor made immortal by Marty Feldmanthe terrible and unmentionable Frau Blücher played by Cloris Leachmanthe creature-monster brought on stage by the immense Peter Boyle And Madeline Khan, the beautiful Elizabeth. Written with his friend Wilder, the film was a blockbuster in 1975 confirming the success of the parody film phenomenon as it had done with the western for Fiery noon and a half while here it refers in a parodic sense to the novel by Mary Shelley and other famous films based on the Frankenstein novel. The plot is simple but brilliant. Dr. Frankenstein, nephew of the famous doctor, is an established neurosurgeon who lives and teaches at a university in the United States in the 1930s, committed to making people forget his lineage from the creator of the Thing and for this reason he reiterates the new pronunciation of the surname, however highly recognizable . But one day he receives an invitation from a notary to go to his grandfather’s castle in Transylvania because of a bequest. Thus he ends up being attracted by the atmosphere of the place, discovers the dusty laboratory in which the experiment was carried out and decides to attempt the enterprise in turn by stealing a corpse to restore its life.

It was the director himself who told how the idea for the film was born: “I was in the middle of the last few weeks of filming for Fiery noon and a half somewhere in Antelope Valley, and Gene Wilder and I were having a cup of coffee when he told me there might be another Frankenstein. I said, “Not another one! We’ve got the son of, the cousin of, the brother-in-law of. We don’t need another Frankenstein!” His idea was simple: what if Dr. Frankenstein’s nephew wanted nothing to do with his illustrious ancestor. Indeed, he felt ashamed of this kinship. I said, “That would be fun.” In 2003, the film was chosen for preservation in the National Film Registry of the United States Library of Congress. In Italy it turns out to be, with 500,000 copies sold, the most successful classic DVD in the history of home video, but seeing it on the big screen is something else.

“Wolf howl and castle howl!”. Mel Brooks’ Frankenstein Jr. returns to the cinema in a new version