Q30 Television

Q30 Television

Q30 Television

Q30 Television

Q30 Television

Q30 Television

“Lisa Frankenstein” is (literally) all the rage


Director: Zelda Williams
Starring: Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse
Rating: 5/5

She was a girl. He was an undead zombie. Can I make it any more obvious?

“Lisa Frankenstein” is the most recent installment of this current Franken-wave of cinema. Like its titular monster, the film is a messy mash-up of parts that miraculously works to the highest degree, in large part due to Diablo Cody’s quirky, quippy and queer-coded writing. Although she’s mastered horror, she truly shines when she writes comedy: multiple lines had me laughing obnoxiously loud in the theater, dignity be damned.

Lisa (Kathryn Newton), a recently traumatized gothy teen, yearns to share a life with the boy of her dreams – who just so happens to be decaying in a cemetery. After an electric night, her knight in rotting armor appears and helps her fulfill her vengeful fantasies. However, things spiral out of control, and Lisa must confront the consequences of her dearly decrepit’s actions.

Cody, the mastermind behind the likes of “Juno” and “Jennifer’s Body”, always delivers in the character department. I was delighted at the peculiarity of Lisa Swallows, she’s absolutely absurd! More weirdo girls in cinema, please! Her zany endearment is accredited to Newton’s incredible performance. Somehow, she found a way to bring a ton of heart to an otherwise unhinged role.

Cole Sprouse plays a dreamboat from the dead (a sentence I never thought I’d be writing, but here we are). For a character whose lines only consist of grunts and groans, he plays “The Creature” with immense emotion. Watching him slowly regain his humanity is super fun, and honestly very touching. Liza Soberano completely steals the show as Lisa’s cheerleader step-sister Taffy. The dimension Soberano brings to the role is remarkable. Despite her ditziness (and maybe her better judgment), she genuinely cares about Lisa: about as much as she cares about her tanning bed, or her cheer squad. Rounding out the cast is Carla Gugino as evil stepmother Janet. This performance is on the same level as Catherine O’Hara’s in “Beetlejuice”, and will gain the same icon status in due time.

Nothing about this film would have come to fruition without the direction of newcomer Zelda Williams. I am shocked that this is her directorial debut, as her vision for the film is so clearly executed on all fronts. Being the daughter of the legendary Robin Williams, there was no question that she’d bring the laughs. I was even more impressed by her attention to detail regarding the film’s cinematography and production design.

Speaking of, this is my favorite film within the vast sea of 80s period-piece media, as it cranks the campiness of the decade up to eleven. From the neon magenta hue blanketing its color grade, to the REO Speedwagon needle-drop to the opening shot of Lisa crimping/frying her hair and suffocating herself in Aquanet – it all works.

“Lisa Frankenstein” is totally killer. Under its sugar-coated exterior is a heartfelt and hilarious story about acceptance and belonging. Despite a few missing stitches, the film is a comedy for the ages.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Grace Doyle
Grace Doyle, Associate Producer: #THAT
Grace Doyle is a senior 3+1 film, television, and media arts major from Dedham, Massachusetts. She works as production assistant on campus and has interned with 7News WHDH-TV and Tuff Gong Worldwide. She is an Associate Producer on #THAT and has previously served as a Music and Television Beat Reporter for Q30TV.

Comments (0)

Comments on q30tv.com stories are screened and managed by the Web Director.
All Q30 Television Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *