Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I heard a comment somewhere on the internets that claimed this movie ‘Frankenhood’ was ‘stupid’. That was incredibly disappointing to me because as I slipped the disk in the DVD player for a movie calling itself ‘Frankenhood’, I was expecting ‘Raging Bull’ meets ‘Citizen Kane’ meets ‘The English Patient’. Did I get that? HELL NO! Obviously I’ve been hoodwinked, bamboozled and led astray and where I come from we call that some of that ol’ B.S.

Meet Motown (DeRay Davis) and Darius (Jasper Redd), a couple of schleps of suspect work ethic performing their duties at the local morgue. While the two young men were changing a light bulb, yes both of them, they get a visit from the completely out of his mind Franklin (Charlie Murphy) who dazzles these cats with his depth of wisdom and his theories on death and dying. But Motown has a dream, and that would be to one day win the local three-on-three basketball tournament and its 25000 dollar prize currently dominated by the evil Marcellus (Hassan Johnson) and his boy Leon (J.B. Smoove – hey, that’s the mans name. I know his folks Mr. and Mrs. Smoove).

The problem with this dream is that neither Motown nor Jasper has any game. At least not yet. One fateful day after our boys are drugged by the insane Franklin, who did this so he could use Motown’s AMC Gremlin… is any of this sounding like the ‘English Patient’ to you yet? No? See what I’m saying? Anyway, Franklin needed the Gremlin to power his rather unique experiment to reanimate a huge dead Black dude who looks a lot like Bob Sapp. Something goes terribly wrong, Franklin electrocutes himself near to death, and now our heroes are witnessing history as the behemoth of a man has come to life… and it is angry. At least until it experienced the calming effects of fried popcorn chicken.

In no time flat Motown and Jasper become quite attached to the monster they have named Frankie, and they have also found a viable third member for their three-on-three basketball hoop dreams. Love is in the air as well as Motown has caught the eye

of the super cute Tammy (Drew Sidora) and Jasper has Motown’s half-sister Sabrina (Angell Conwell) at his beck and call. The tournament starts and our new threesome is performing quite impressive largely due to Frankie’s impressive low-post presence but the evil Marcellus isn’t going to give up his crown so easily.

As is typical, boys have monster, boys lose monster, boys must get monster back. And since this is essentially a sports movie, a sports / monster movie I suppose, you know it has to come down to last second shot or a critical putt or final second slapshot or a Hail Mary pass with time running out. DeRay Davis is the producer and star of this movie. He’s already cast one of the cutest girls on the planet as his girlfriend so it would be foolishness to think he wouldn’t take and make that last second shot. Ooops. That was a spoiler. Ignore what I just said.

Yes my friends, that anonymous internet user went out of his way in stating the obvious when this person said that ‘Frankenhood’ was stupid. It’s called ‘Frankenhood’ for goodness sake. As we sat down to watch ‘Frankenhood’ we generously allotted a large amount of leeway for stupidity, and though the cup was deep, ‘Frankenhood’ came dangerously close to stupidity overflow. However we are pleased to say that this movie, at least for me, never quite reached critical stupidity mass. Directed by some cat calling himself Blaxwell Smart, which is either his real name or he just made something up fearing that ‘Frankenhood’ might endanger his future career opportunities, this movie works for me for a couple of reasons. First off it is funny. Thank goodness for us that one member of the Murphy clan still uses profanity and isn’t trying to be the next Bill Cosby because Charlie Murphy is pretty damn funny in his somewhat short stint in this movie. Another thing that works is that this movie has some pretty good actors in it acting pretty good such as DeRay Davis whose ‘this close’ to being a big time movie star and Hassan Johnson, and there’s nothing worse than watching actors who can’t play basketball trying to play basketball. These cats can play. Even Bob Sapp looks like he can play.

Yes the movie is mighty stupid, it’s fairly profane with a few fake titties thrown about, and if you’re a bit sensitive about certain racial stereotypes such as a love of fried chicken, malt liquor, weed, basketball and an aversion to hard work then you may find it somewhat offensive. It’s also not the most original or fresh tale ever told but it is funny when it’s not completely engulfed in pure stupidity and again, considering it is called ‘Frankenhood’ this does allow for some stupidity wiggle room. Proceed with caution.

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