‘To stop this mutha takes one bad brutha’
Blackenstein, also known as Black Frankenstein, is a 1973 blaxploitation horror film directed by William A. Levey (Wham! Bam! Thank You, Spaceman!; Hellgate) from a screenplay by producer Frank R. Saletri (director of the unfinished Black the Ripper in 1975). It was made in an attempt to cash-in on the success of Blacula, released the previous year by American International Pictures (AIP). However, Blackenstein fared poorly at the box office in comparison to its predecessor.
The film stars John Hart (Welcome to Arrow Beach; The Centerfold Girls; The Astral Factor), Ivory Stone, Andrea King (Red Planet Mars; House of the Black Death), Liz Renay (Desperate Living; Corpse Grinders 2; Mark of the Astro-Zombies), Roosevelt Jackson, Joe DeSue, Nick Bolin (The Devil’s Daughter), Cardella Di Milo, James Cousar and Marva Farmer.
When her boyfriend Eddie Turner (Joe DeSue) returns from Vietnam without arms and legs, Dr. Winnifred Walker (Ivory Stone) appeals to former teacher and Nobel Prize-winning Dr. Stein (John Hart) for help — and Dr. Stein, who has been fiddling with DNA, accommodates them by growing some new arms and legs.
Unfortunately, the experiment goes awry, and Eddie suddenly develops a square afro, takes to wearing ankle boots, and sneaks out at night…
“For all its suckitude, Blackenstein delivers a bit of T&A and some surprisingly explicit gore, with intestine-ripping scenes years before the likes of Dawn of the Dead (I’m not saying that it’s well-done, but it’s there).” BlackHorrorMovies
“Is Blackenstein the worst movie ever made? Well, it’s certainly in the running. Is it the worst of the blaxploitation/horror movies? I certainly hope so. Otherwise there’s one that’s worse out there waiting for me, and there are simply some things Man Was Not Meant To Know.” Freeman Williams, The Bad Movie Report
“Pacing is too slow and acting too lethargic to make this a camp classic, but it’s extremely entertaining. The transformation takes several stages, giving us several buzz-spark-flicker lab scenes. Apparently, the lab features some of the same equipment as the 1930s original … A few women, including our heroine, are topless for a few moments.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers