Night and Day: Wednesday, October 24, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Scary Movie

Fort Worth Public Library has been running scary movies this month with The Phantom of the Opera and Vertigo, but Mel Brooks’ 1974 parody Young Frankenstein concludes the series, and what an inspired choice it is. Brooks is better known for Blazing Saddles, which came out the same year, made more money, and got more Oscar nominations (three to Frankenstein’s two). Even so, this is the better film and probably the best comedy Brooks ever made. It begins with the legendary Dr. Frankenstein’s grandson (a berserk Gene Wilder), who has spent his life running away from his crazy granddad’s legacy, inheriting his ancestor’s castle.

It’s so much better than other Brooks numbers because the scenes don’t run too long (as they often do with Brooks) and because the director has an obvious affection for the horror genre that he didn’t for the Western — many of the sets here are from the 1931 Frankenstein. There are classic bits like the brain depository and the revolving bookcase. Many of the cast members give the funniest performances of their careers — if you know Peter Boyle only as the crotchety dad in Everybody Loves Raymond, this will be a revelation. He’s hilarious and touching as the monster, and he never slips out of character despite a daunting range of set pieces, especially the one where he sings “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Halloween’s always been a time to laugh as well as be scared, so hunker down with Eye-gor and Frau Blucher (cue sound of whinnying horse).

Young Frankenstein screens at 2pm Sun at Fort Worth Central Public Library, 500 W 3rd St, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-871-7791.


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