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Frankenstein Unlimited

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Frankenstein Unlimited

Sponsored by: Telefilm Canada
  • Quebec 2009
  • 90 min
  • HD
  • English/cantonese/french
Hosted by the fimmakers


Martial ArtsHorrorDramaCrime / ThrillerComedyAction / Adventure

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“Haunting... as varied in style and substance as the six filmmakers themselves” — Casey Ryan, THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR

“A bit of poetry directed at Mary Shelley and the dominating memory of her famous novel”
 — Josh Samford, ROGUE CINEMA


Director: Matthew Saliba, King-Wei Chu, Matthew Forbes, Maude Michaud, Peter James, Martin Gauthier
Screenplay: Matthew Saliba, Matthew Forbes, King-Wei Chu, Maude Michaud, Peter James, Alex Sabbagh, Martin Gauthier
Cast: Gordon Liu, Kayden Rose, John M. Thomas, Kayla St.Cartier, James Harrington, Brad Carmichael, Jasper Round
Producers: Matthew Saliba, Roberto Cialdella, Matthew Forbes, Patty Keung, King-Wei Chu, Maude Michaud, Sandra Lombardi, Peter James, Andre Navarre, Alex Sabbagh, Martin Gauthier
Print Source: Sinema Saliba



The Frankenstein story has inspired many artists since the publication of Mary Shelley’s gothic novel. Montreal director Matthew Saliba has joined forces with five other filmmakers to create FRANKENSTEIN UNLIMITED—a Frankenthology composed of six sketches, each of which not only has a distinct tone and personal directing style, but also offers the audience yet another facet in this modern rendition of Frankenstein’s myth.

Saliba directs the first segment, “Dark Lotus.” Following his wife’s death while in labour, a doctor plants his infant daughter in the soil. A band of citizens intervenes and brutalizes the doctor, defacing him with quicklime and then beating him to death. A few years later, the doctor’s daughter hatches a plan to avenge her father. Like Chris Marker’s LA JETÉE, this segment is presented as a series of black-and-white still photographs. Matthew Forbes’s “Victor” shows Frankenstein at the twilight of his life. Banished from society for his experiments, he is closely followed by an intriguing harmonica player. Fantasia programmer King-Wei Chu’s “Flesh for Kung Fu” presents a metaphor inspired by a Confucian proverb. In the near future, an ultimate battle between the two last martial arts masters will decide the fate of the discipline. For like science, martial arts should be used with discretion. Gordon Liu plays the virtuous master who must defeat his cruel, deceitful counterpart. Maude Michaud’s “Reflection” explores the concept of interior and exterior beauty. A defaced young woman works in an eccentric cabaret. Following a successful surgery, she discovers that ugliness is not the mother of all monstrosities. Peter James’s “Occam’s Razor” presents two parallel interrogations in which the accused, Frankie and Mary, each confess to the same murders after turning themselves in. What follows is a tension-filled cat-and-mouse game between detectives Whale and Karloff and the two detainees. Martin Gauthier’s “Mr. Fluffenstein” finishes things off with the tale of a little girl who brings her cat, Fluffy, back from the dead. Around the same time, neighbourhood pets start to disappear. Coincidence?

As you’ve no doubt figured out, this anthology focuses on subtexts related to Frankenstein, with each sketch illustrating a specific theme of Mary Shelley’s novel, but without ever showing the monster created by Victor Frankenstein. Interesting to see these universal ideas being revisited by young Quebec directors!

—Marc Lamothe (translated by Guillaume Desbiens)

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