The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

Lisa Frankenstein: a “Coming of Rage” story no one will forget

Cole Sprouse, Kathryn Newton, and Michele K. Short in Lisa Frankenstein (2024) Via IMDb

   With the 1980s fashion and styles increasingly trendy, it would make sense for a movie with a very 80s feel to hit theaters. On Feb. 9, Lisa Frankenstein opened for a major letdown. Despite a killer soundtrack, a few notable stars, great costumes, makeup, and set design, the execution of this movie was poor. 

   The movie follows Lisa Swallows (Kathryn Newton), a high school senior who recently moved to a new town after a family tragedy. Depressed, reclusive, and edgy, Lisa is the pinnacle of an 80s goth. She has huge, crimped hair, bold makeup, dark clothing, a dark room, posters of Bauhaus, and an attitude to match.  

   There were many predictable parts of the plot. For instance, when Lisa and her step-sister Taffy went to the party at the beginning of the movie, due to Lisa’s lack of experience, I knew she would get intoxicated to keep the movie rolling. Naturally, with a movie with “Frankenstein” in the title, I also predicted people would lose body parts for a newly undead creature who was missing some when he came out of the grave. An 80s movie needs to have a great soundtrack, and Lisa Frankenstein did not disappoint. The stellar soundtrack featured “The Promise” by When In Rome, “I Can See Clearly Now,” by REO Speedwagon, and “Lips Like Sugar,” by Echo and the Bunnymen.

   The makeup on Frankenstein after he was brought back to life was phenomenal. It was grimy, and you couldn’t see his pale skin as though the dirt was in his pores. I found the makeup to be comparable to the makeup and prosthetics in The Walking Dead. 

   In movies with a retrospective lens, I feel that some costume designers don’t delve into the time period the movie is set in. Being set in 1989, the costume department did their homework compared to other 1980s set movies. 

   There was a certain element of whimsy brought into this film, and a large part of it was the sets. It was all beautiful and bright, except for that part of town no one visits. 

   There is one thing about this movie that has to be cleared up: this is not a good movie. It was uber campy, with often forced dialogue and poor execution from director Zelda Williams and writer Diablo Cody.   

   Lisa is disturbed by the trauma of her past, and the way she lets that out is through an expression of love with a dead creature who came back to life. Necrophilia doesn’t land well with a majority of the audience. I am honestly appalled that Williams and Cody were able to get away with it, considering the woke culture we live in today. There was often forced dialogue and poor execution.

   This movie was one that I won’t forget, but not for the right reasons.    

   Of course, there were great aspects – the makeup, the sets, the music – but the overall concept of the movie didn’t land with me or the audience. The one thing about this movie is that this is not a good movie, however, it was so bad that it was good. 

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