Movie #9: 31-Days of Horror Challenge 2017
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Dr. Wakeman, and a team of other scientists, have created a new being from the assembled parts of 88 different body donors. “3” has been given the ability of critical thinking and logic, but not memory, or at least that was the intention. As, who I’m guessing is a neurologist, Dr. English begins evaluating “3”, Wakeman’s true motives come to light.
This is the Sci Fi channel’s first Made for TV movie, and it didn’t turn out quite the way they expected. It was intended to be the pilot for a tv series, however, Rutger Hauer, Dr. Wakeman, apparently wasn’t on board with this. It calls itself science fiction, and it is, but it is also horror, as it is without question, an attempt at modernizing Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which it references entirely too frequently throughout the story. I saw this when it aired on TV. I don’t remember it as making much of an impression, but it must have because on occasion, I’ve thought of it. I’m not sure what sparked it this time, but I actively searched for it and found it.
The first two-thirds of the film is quite a visual treat. It is set in a room that is entirely white, all the equipment is white, or silver, including the bandages that Lazarus wears for the first third or so of the story, except the one piece of multifunctional furniture which transforms from bed, to examination table, to sitting area, to secluded recess as desired. Then we have a patchwork creature, stitched together from 88 different people, 44 male and 44 female, designed as androgynous who, being a logical being, decides to select a gender and a name, Lazarus, much to the dissatisfaction of Dr. Wakeman.
Are the performances remarkable? Not especially, but they’re not horrible either, especially the first part of the film where it’s dialogue intense. As mentioned, Rutger Hauer is our mad scientist, Dr. Wakeman. Wil Wheaton is our creature, and our hero, Lazarus. And Nia Peeples is the romantic interest, Dr. English. Also of note are the amusing cameos, featuring Tom Savini and Ron Jeremy.
In the end, this movie is dated. The conclusion, which had to be re-written because plans for the TV series were scrapped, was lackluster. I might still recommend it for those curious who enjoy creative twists and reinventions of the Frankenstein story.