LISA FRANKENSTEIN – Review by T.J. Callahan

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Lisa Frankenstein: “You’re a dead man, not a Chrysler Le Baron.”

Very loosely based on the Mary Shelley novel, Frankenstein and a parody of the graphic design company “Lisa Frank”, Lisa Frankenstein is described as a coming of RAGE love story between a teenage social outcast and the corpse she has a crush on. After a crazy graveyard lightning storm brings The Creature back to life, the two embark on a murderous journey to find happiness and a few missing body parts.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this gothic rom com set in 1989 stars Kathryn Newton as Lisa Swallows, a cerebral seamstress with a passion for poetry, over the top eye make up and visiting cemeteries. She’s a cross between Tiffany and Madeleine Kahn. Cole Sprouse is her reanimated Romeo who could use a hand, literally, to help him get back into life as he once knew it. Carla Gugino sets off the hormonal homicidal high jinks as Lisa’s neat freak, sweatin to the oldies, shoulder pad wearing, evil stepmother.

Lisa Frankenstein is from the mixed up mind of Oscar winning scribe, Diablo Cody. We haven’t had a screenplay from her since 2017’s Tully. I’m glad to report her sharp wit is still intact. I’m not sure though what depths of her devilish brain conjured up this story? Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands) is even confused. Yorgos Lanthimos (Poor Things) is scratching his head.

So the job of trying to chronicle the narrative for the big screen went to first time feature film director, Zelda Williams, daughter of Robin Williams. Unfortunately she couldn’t stitch this spiel together to make it make sense.

This film felt as clunky as the way The Creature walked. I donated brain cells to the cause, but it was too late, this Frankenstein was dead on arrival.

My husband Ricky wasn’t invited to the screening, but the consensus of my colleagues there was he would have had four 👀’s closed, if it were possible.

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T. J. Callahan

Longtime Houston radio personality, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for The Sam Malone Show on AM 1070 The Answer in Houston. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and streaming on Radio Brave. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her live every Thursday morning at 9:20 central on KNTH. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association, the Houston Film Critics Society and a board member and 2017 inductee to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.