‘Young Frankenstein’ Blu-ray Review
While it took a long time for ‘Young Frankenstein’ to make its debut on regular DVD, the film has been released early in Blu-ray’s life. Mel Brooks ‘Young Frankenstein’ comes to Blu-ray loaded with features, adding a clean transfer, and a DTS-HD mix. Now that this classic masterpiece has released in high definition, does it live up to expectations?
‘Young Frankenstein’ is a comedy released in 1974 directed by the great Mel Brooks. In what begins the parody genre with Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder’s take of the classic Universal Studios ‘Frankenstein’. The story begins with Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) whom is an instructor at a medical school. Whenever someone mentions his famous great grandfather, Baron Victor Frankenstein whom was the creator of re-animation, it would make Frederick upset. He would turn around and tell people that his last name is pronounced, ‘Fronk-in-steen’. Frederick spends most of his life trying to hide his family’s legacy due to the bad reputation that his grandfather had made over the years.
Frederick inherits his great grandfather’s castle in Transylvania. On his way to Transylvania, he meets a man by the name of Igor (Marty Feldman) who becomes his assistant and the ever so beautiful Inga (Teri Garr). When they arrive to the Castle, Frederick snoops around and discovers a secret passageway in the library that leads to a laboratory. Once in the laboratory, Frederick decides that he is going to continue his great grandfathers work once he stumbles upon some documentation on his work.
Frederick pieces together his own monster, The Creature (Peter Boyle) with the help of Igor and Inga. While this is going on in the laboratory, the townspeople are trying to decide if Frederick is up to no good, which causes Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars) to pay a visit to Frederick. While this is going on, Frau Blucher (Cloris Bleachman) comes out of hiding in the castle and unleashes The Creature. The Creature is set loose mistakenly on the town of Transylvania until he is recaptured by his creator and assistants.
‘Young Frankenstein’ is a fantastic film that doesn’t try to recreate or even copy the Universal Studios ‘Frankenstein’ of the 1930’s. Brooks and Wilder decided to pay homage to one of the greatest monster movies of our time. They made their own version in black and white to keep the same feel and atmosphere of the 1930’s classic. Also the infusion of comedy throughout the film never wears thin and has kept me laughing through multiple viewings of the film on DVD and now the same on Blu-ray. This is a very well written film and the talent of the actors is fantastic.
The print is presented in 1080p with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio on a 50GB Blu-ray. ‘Young Frankenstein’ was filmed in black and white to pay respect to the 1930’s ‘Frankenstein’ and it really gives the film such a wonderful atmosphere which is missing from may of today’s films in a similar genre. On Blu-ray, this film looks very good with some very deep blacks and excellent details for a 34 year old film. There is intentional grain throughout the print, which was there also on the DVD. I am happy that the grain wasn’t removed as in a film like ‘Young Frankenstein’ it adds to the atmosphere.
The audio is presented in DTS HD MA lossless mix. The soundfield mix for the film is great considering that at one time this was a film with a mono track. The film has music and many sound effects engaging the soundfield mix which uses all speakers in your setup. While ‘Young Frankenstein’ is a dialogue heavy film, the voices come in very clean and crisp through the center channel.
All the special edition DVD features have been ported over, there are also many new Blu-ray exclusive special features that have been released for this film as described below.
- Commentary by Director Mel Brooks
- Making FrankenSense of Young Frankenstein featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- Interviews with Marty Feldman, Gene Wilder & Cloris Leachman
- Still Galleries – 19 individual production photograph galleries
- Theatrical trailers
- TV spots
- Inside The Lab: Secret Formulas in the Making Of Young Frankenstein BonusView – picture-in-picture mode featuring all-new on-camera interviews with Mel Brooks, Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman and others (BD Exclusive)
- It’s Alive! Creating A Monster Classic Featurette (BD Exclusive)
- Transylvanian Lullaby: The Music of John Morris featurette (BD Exclusive)
- The Franken-Track: A Monstrous Conglomeration of Trivia (BD Exclusive)
- 17 Deleted/Extended Scenes in HD (BD Exclusive)
- “Blucher Button” interactive feature (BD Exclusive)
- Isolated Score Track (BD Exclusive)
I highly recommend purchasing ‘Young Frankenstein’ on Blu-ray that is a classic that has aged very well. Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder take the Frankenstein mythos to another level that infuses comedy that works so well. The Blu-ray also has exclusive special features, a great new DTS-HD soundtrack, and a new transfer that makes this a worthwhile upgrade from the DVD. We finally have what I call the ultimate edition of ‘Young Frankenstein’ on the Blu-ray format.
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