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(aka "The Prometheus Project" )

 

directed by Sean Tretta
USA 2010

 

Dr. Elizabeth Barnes (Tiffany Sheppis, NIGHTMARE MAN) is recruited by the mysterious Prometheus Project, funded by cancer-striken Walton (Ed Lauter, LEAVING LAS VEGAS), in order to do illegal but beneficial stem-cell development research towards developing a stem-cell serum. Little does she know that the embryonic cells are being extracted on-site from illegals, runaways, and addicts living in the basement of the 300-room top-secret research site. Elizabeth immediately clashes with head of research Victoria Travelle (Patti Tindall, THE GRAVES) when she criticizes her methods and suggests a more radical experimental path. Her first attempts are unsuccessful, but she eventually is able to not only repair a damaged heart, but re-animate it (keep that term in mind). One of the test subjects Kima (Zena Otsuka) has been having an affair with security head David (Scott Anthony Leet, FREEWAY KILLER). Feeling guilty because the embryo extracted from her belonged to David, Kima kills herself. Elizabeth uses her body for a reanimation experiment that end disastrously with the girl becoming a flesh-eating monster. When project supervisor Marcus (Louis Mandylor, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING) puts Kima out of her misery, David threatens to go to the police so Marcus kills him. Elizabeth and lead surgeon William (Jonathan Northover) performs an autopsy on Kima and discover that all of her organs are intact except for her intestinal tract (hence the flesh eating, I guess). David's corpse provides the opportunity to refine the serum, but Elizabeth is reluctant and Victoria takes over and is successful. Due to David's "serious brain trauma" (i.e. the giant hole left by the bullet Marcus put in his brain), David has to relearn everything. To the shock of the team, he absorbs information at a remarkable rate, quickly learning to speak and read (it may not have been a good idea to include Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN on his reading list, though). Elizabeth is frightened by David, but Victoria mothers him. They are all unnerved when David reveals that he can read their thoughts (and can turn water into wine... well, fruit punch). While he lacks his memories of adult life, he is able to absorb a perspective on the world from the research time, and he comes to the conclusion that "life is pain" and sets about wreaking his gory vengeance on the team with his brawn and newly-discovered telekinesis.

Owing perhaps an equal debt to RE-ANIMATOR as to Mary Shelley's novel, THE FRANKENSTEIN SYNDROME is a bit of a mixed bag. The random ascription of character names associated with the novel and its author (Elizabeth was Victor Frankenstein's bride, William was Mary and Percy Shelley's son, Walton is the narrator of the novel, and the FBI agents investigating the film's flashback events are named Wollstonecraft [Mary's mother's maiden name] and Godwin [Mary's father]) serves no real purpose. The film picks up though when David is reanimated and has to relearn everything. These scenes engage our sympathies, but the turn from sci-fi to supernatural veers back away from Shelley (although Elizabeth forfeits her turn as "Victor Frankenstein" when Victoria takes over the project, resulting in an ending that does not parallel Shelley's denouement). Scream queen Sheppis turns in a good performance, although her presence recedes into the background mid-way through the film as David's character takes center stage (and Leet is more than up to the task). Writer/co-editor/director Sean Tretta (DEATH OF A GHOSTHUNTER) largely holds back on the gore until the climax, but gorehounds may be the secondary audience for this somewhat ambitious effort.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 2010 (USA)

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DVD Review: MTI Home Video (screener) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

MTI Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:27:10
Video

2.36:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.10 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MTI Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.36:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (16:9; 1:50)

DVD Release Date: July 5th, 2011

Chapters 1

 

Comments

Unlike some of MTI's other screener discs, the watermarked screener of THE FRANKENSTEIN SYNDROME is anamorphic (giving a better sense of the final presentation). The trailer precedes the film. Specs for the final disc include 5.1 audio, optional Spanish subtitles, an audio commentary with the director and actress Tiffany Sheppis, alternate openings with optional commentary, alternate and deleted scenes with optional commentary, and trailers. Given the extras, the bitrate on the final feature presentation may also be higher.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

MTI Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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