Hey there, horror fans! Welcome to another edition of Horror With a Side of Cheese. For all of the newbies, here is a quick rundown. I am on the hunt for the cheesiest horror movies ever made. Twice each month, on the first and third Fridays, I come here and talk about my latest finds. Once I find something dripping with cheese, I rate the film from one to five cheese slices. The factors I consider for the rating include effects, acting, story, dialogue and re-watchability. In this edition, I bring you a ’70s picture from the minds of Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder, Young Frankenstein. Stick around to find out how many cheese slices I gave this 1974 classic.

About Young Frankenstein

The grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein is navigating life in the shadow of his grandfather. During a class where young Frankenstein is teaching the next generation about the inner workings of the brain, he finds out he has been invited to Transylvania. While there, he discovers his grandfather’s notes on reanimating the dead. Although Frankenstein is a staunch supporter of avoiding practices such as Victor’s, he tries to accomplish the goal his predecessor set. Of course, chaos ensues.

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Young Frankenstein stars Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn and Teri Garr. Wilder and Mel Brooks wrote the screenplay/screen story, and Brooks directed the film. The characters are based on those created by Mary Shelley in her novel FrankensteinThe runtime is one hour and 45 minutes.

Gene Wilder as Frederick Frankenstein

This film is Certified Fresh with a Tomatometer Score of 94 percent and an Audience Score of 92 percent on Rotten tomatoes.

Fun Fact: This movie is a horror comedy.

My Thoughts

Young Frankenstein is one of the most enjoyable, fun films I have ever seen. Because it is a comedy, it already has a certain cheesiness level. Also, it does not take itself too seriously, which is an issue with many movies like this. From frame one till the credits roll, this is an entire experience. As a fan of the Mary Shelley novel and the original Universal films, I was skeptical with my first watch-through. Thankfully, it was worth my time.

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Let’s dive into the story. Frederick, a descendant of Victor Frankenstein and a scientist in his own right, travels to Transylvania and finds Victor’s notes. After reading said notes, Frederick decides to try his own reanimation experiment. After a seemingly successful endeavor, chaos ensues. Overall, the story parallels the original with a few additions. By itself, the storyline is not cheesy.

Moving on to the dialogue, this is where the cheesiness begins to shine. One of my favorite things about Young Frankenstein is Frederick constantly correcting the pronunciation of his surname. Whenever someone says “Frank-en-stine,” he immediately says “Frahnk-en-steen.” When he meets Igor and tells him how to say his name, Igor says his name is pronounced: “I-gore.” This film is full of hilarious lines. Allegedly, many of the best moments were ad-libbed.

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This movie was ahead of its time in many respects, including the effects. A fascinating fact about the props involves the lab equipment. According to a post on the American Society of Cinematographers by Gerald Hirschfeld, who worked on the film, the electrical lab equipment was the same items used in the original 1931 Frankenstein. The man who created the props, Ken Strickfaden, still had the pieces in his garage. He was also on set to add his touch during filming.

It is important to note that the movie is shot entirely in black and white to emulate the original film. Hirschfeld stated that Young Frankenstein “incorporated more photographic and special effects than any other film I’ve ever worked on.”

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Now, on to the acting. The iconic Gene Wilder takes on the role of Frederick Frankenstein and does not disappoint. Of course, he brings a song and dance number into the film, which is nothing short of epic. Cloris Leachman’s character was Victor’s girlfriend, and I’m not sure there is much else to say about that. Marty Feldman makes an incredible and snarky Igor.

The Monster in Young Frankenstein

Finally, I bring you the re-watchability factor. Without a doubt, I am putting Young Frankenstein on my regular rotation of satire horror. I am giving this movie five cheese slices! Honestly, I do not think this film can be beaten. Throughout the entire movie, I found myself smiling and laughing. There are many references and homages to the original 1931 film. It is, overall, a fantastic creation.

There you have it, horror fans, another cheesy horror in the books. Have you seen this one? Let me know in the comments. Until next time, enjoy the Young Frankenstein trailer below. Stay spooky, stay cheesy, and most importantly, watch more horror movies.

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