Fantasia 2016: Creature Designers: The Frankenstein Complex Review



Directed by Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncet Written by Gilles Penso, Alexandre Poncet
Starring Rick Baker, Joe Dante, Guillermo del Toro

1h 47min | Documentary | 15 July 2016 (Canada)

After months of waiting for Canada’s biggest genre film festival to begin, I finally got the chance to see my first film at Fantasia 2016 in Montreal yesterday evening.

Honestly, it was a glorious two-hours of my life because not only did I get to enjoy the Canadian premiere of Creature Designers: The Frankenstein Complex, but I also got to see director Guillermo del Toro get awarded with Fantasia’s Cheval Noir Award. So it was definitely a moment in time I will never forget.

Since del Toro is a massive fan of monsters in general, especially Frankenstein, and also appeared in the documentary, it made perfect sense for Fantasia to present the award after the screening. Del Toro also held a special press conference earlier in the day (video coming up shortly).

As for The Frankenstein Complex, it’s a straight forward documentary focusing on the creation of monsters in film and the movement of technology, such as animatronic puppetry and latex appliances, which helped revolutionize the industry back in the bygone era of the 1980s.

If you’re a fan of all the magic that goes into the art of conceptualizing, philosophy and the creation of monsters with rubber and odd materials, then you’ll instantly fall in love with The Frankenstein Complex.



The documentary features over an hour of interviews with the rock stars of the genre-movie business of such as Greg Nicotero, Matt Winston, Rick Baker, Steve Johnson, Phil Tippett, including directors John Landis, Joe Dante and del Toro, just to name a small few. Expect to see some never-before-seen footage (at least none I have seen) from the making of Jurassic Park, The Abyss, Gremlins, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and Alien. I’m sure that I have missed a few other titles, but I think you get the point.

The Verdict

The only disappointment I have with The Frankenstein Complex is that it doesn’t present many facts that I didn’t already know. There’s a few hidden gems here and there, but nothing much to get excited about. This is obviously coming from a guy who watched a bunch “making of” double discs and video clips on YouTube. But if you never watched those extras on Blu-rays and DVDs, then you will easily be impressed with this documentary. So I highly recommend you check it out if that’s the case.

More Articles Like This

Have Your Say Leave A Comment