Director – Mitch Marcus (The Haunting of Hell House)
Starring – Matthew Lawrence (Monster Night), Ryan Reynolds (R.I.P.D., Green Lantern), and Christine Lakin (The Frankenstein Theory)
Release Date – 2000
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “He has an electric personality”
Halloween is not only a time for Halloween movies but a time for cable-ready horror movies that do not actually look and feel like horror movies. This is what I call “horror for the masses.” These films are often family friendly flicks with a slight bit of sexual humor to appease the older audience. I typically don’t like these kind of films but sometimes I come across one that I do enjoy.
That brings me to the 2000 horror-comedy Boltneck. The film is also known as Teen Monster and Big Monster on Campus but every publication (with the exception of the youtube video I got the stills from) has referred to the film as Boltneck. I first saw it when it premiered on television and liked it. Over time I have been able to acquire a bootleg copy of it on VHS than has now been lost in the move. Luckily, I can still turn to Youtube to get my Boltneck fix.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a young Frank Stein (Lawrence) who is head over heals in love with one of the popular girls in school. Macy’s (Lakin) click is often bullying Frank but she does not. One night Macy and her friends have a small get together to drink. Frank and his friend tries to crash the party but someone further down the nerd chain, goth kid Karl O’Reilly (Reynolds), shows up to drink. The goons in Macy’s click taunt Karl. Karl tries to flee but falls into an empty pool where he receives brain damage and dies.
The two goons freak out thinking they are going to jail but Frank informs them that he can bring Karl back. By using a brain stolen from his dad’s lab, he replaces Karl’s damaged brain and uses the oncoming thunder storm to bring him back. The two goons are grateful for what Frank has done and allows him to hang out with him but he is still unable to get close to Macy. Things, too, change for Karl. Karl is no longer a soft spoken goth. He has now blossomed into a rambunctious teenager that has a way with the ladies and getting in trouble.
He buddies up with Frank to bring him out of his shell so Macy can notice him…and she does. The two become an item but Karl steals money from her and she gets in trouble over it. To make matters worse, Frank discovers that Karl’s brain once belonged to a criminal and murderer. Karl starts to seek out those that done him wrong forcing Frank to fix his mistake…once and for all.**Spoiler Alert**
Sometimes I watch a movie and can not figure out why I like it. That is this movie here. Honestly, this film reminded me a lot of a Misfits, or any late 90s horror punk band for that reason, music video. The film has a beautiful dark suburban feel that is heavily influenced by Halloween and I absolutely love that. The film doesn’t really offer up anything in the way of horror other than being heavily influenced by the Frankenstein mythos. However, for a t.v. movie, it is able to draw you in and hold your attention.
The acting in this one is convincing and above your normal made for t.v. movie. The cast, for the most part, do a great job at portraying their characters. The story is just another modernization of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Nothing new in the way of story but it is still a fun story that is not made to be original but entertaining. Finally, those looking for special effects and blood will not find them here. This film is story driven and does not rely on the same traits horror films rely on. Overall, if you open-minded and want to see a fun, teenage take on the Frankenstein story that was made for t.v. then I highly recommend this one.