Its premise is badass-simple, like a great first-person shooter, and its cast is mysteriously awesome. Get ready for demonic mad science, an army of Gargoyle angels, and Aaron Eckhart as the Batman-voiced Frankenstein monster who makes his enemies explode. You heard it here first: I, Frankenstein is destined to become a so-bad-it's-good cult classic.
This movie, whose story was dreamt up by Underworld creator Kevin Grevioux, manages to pack a world of weirdness into a kind of amazingly compact story. We begin at the end of the classic Frankenstein tale, with the monster having murdered his creator's fiancee. After tracking the monster into the frozen wastes of the north, Frankenstein dies. "But that was just the beginning," says Eckhart in voiceover as he digs his creator's grave and peeks out at us from beneath a wig that was probably last worn by Christopher Lambert in Highlander. But the gothic graveyard scene isn't awesome enough, so he is immediately attacked by demons — who are then attacked by members of the angels' Gargoyle squad!
But no, that isn't awesome enough, either! Because when a demon dies, it "descends," returning to hell in a giant plume of fiery fire. So every single fight scene is wreathed in 80s metal video glory, with fluffy blobs of lava zooming around any character who needs to look even more gothtacular in their slow-motion axe-fighting fightingness. Seriously, you just have to start putting nouns and adjectives together at random to truly capture the pure bliss of the action here.
This is also a movie that knows how to get plot done, and leave before things get awkward. Within ten minutes, the monster has been brought to the Gargoyle Queen (played by the amazing Miranda Otto), who explains to him matter-of-factly that the Gargoyle Order was set up by some archangels to fight soldiers from the 666 demon troops that Lucifer is always sending to Earth. Their war has lasted for centuries, always fought in secret in the alleyways of the same sexily decayed metropolis that you've seen in such movies as The Crow and Dark City. Now, the Queen announces, somehow the monster is in this war too. Also, by the way, she's going to name him Adam.
Adam is not impressed by all this, mostly because he's still really pissed about being brought to life at all. So he does the whole "I'm a rugged individualist monster leave me alone" thing, storming out of Gargoyle Central with a couple of demon-killing sticks in his pocket. 200 years pass, with Adam brooding in wintry Black Metal landscapes. And then, you guessed it — the demons find him! So he gets a twenty-first century haircut and a hoodie, and decides to shut those demons down.
The best part about all this is that I, Frankenstein seamlessly blends the tortured goth outsider story with the reluctant superhero narrative, in which our superpowered protagonist has to learn that saving humanity might be more important than his personal issues. Things are heating up in the Gargoyle vs. demon war, with the Gargoyles losing more soldiers every day. Meanwhile, the demon prince has a nefarious plan to use Frankenstein's steampunk technology, updated for the twenty-first century, to reanimate a gigantic army of corpses.
Unwittingly helping Prince Demon with this plan are two scientists, one of whom is hot, so you know that she and Adam are going to share a Special Shirtless Moment at some point. A shirtless Aaron Eckhart moment, I mean — complete with monster scars and electricity-enhanced abs. This movie knows what's important.
Will Adam pick a side in the war between Satanic science and beleaguered goodness? Can he stop focusing on his hate for long enough to realize humans are worth saving? Is it possible for any cast to look more awesome walking in their flowing trenchcoats in front of walls of cascading sparks and gigantic flying buttresses? I'm pretty sure you already know the answers, but you won't believe the over-the-top action and scientific helltime sets until you see this cheesy gem of a flick.
So jump on the back of the nearest flying Gargoyle and float to your local movie theater — hopefully at midnight — to enjoy the most irresistible techno-goth, emo-monster extravaganza that's come out in quite a while.