‘Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein’
Yes, that’s actually the title. A meta-melodramatic comedy teleplay mockumentary, the story is about Doctor Frankenstein’s attempt at pretending to be his own son/monster, set in a documentary about a son investigating his own father, while also playing him in the meta-melodramatic comedy.
If that’s confusing, trust me, it’s meant to be — as David Harbour the third (the real David Harbour) investigates this strange movie about Frankenstein, why his father was obsessed with it, and how his findings revealed how horrible of a person his father actually was behind the scenes, but most especially, in real life.
Also in the teleplay, Frankenstein’s assistant plays a young movie actor pretending to be Doctor Frankenstein — one whom David Harbour Jr. consistently is jealous of and berates onscreen (breaking the fourth wall). Also, his mother is dying. And his niece is there for no particular reason. And there’s a gun. One that’s mostly there as product placement for a gun store run by the mob.
If all of these afterthoughts seem like sloppy writing, trust me, it’s actually exactly how it’s presented in ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein’ (Are you having fun yet? Try saying that title 3x fast).
Truly, the short doesn’t make much sense as anything but a fun self-parody of actors who take their professions too seriously. As David Harbour Junior Senior (Wow, that’s actually accurate) obsesses over what is true acting, with an emphasis in telling everyone that he went to Julliard (Spoiler, he didn’t), all while proving consistently throughout the film that he’s a hack.
And though much of the character is a parody on David Harbour himself, it’s also, a shot at Orsen Welles. Especially the Milk Steak commercial breaks featured in the teleplay which you’ll see was inspired by Welles’ own commercial below.
The performance is a callback to Orsen Welles’ drunken wine commercial celebrating it’s ‘Sexcellence’
Why You Should Watch This
It’s evident that the cast was having a lot of fun with the cheap sets and overblown melodramatic dialogue and story beats in what’s basically a parody of David Harbour’s attempt at making ‘The Room’. So overall, it’s a fun film. Though I can’t see why Netflix agreed to this except as a low-budget joke and as free publicity for David Harbour — whom I’m sure post-Hellboy fame, Netflix was hoping to cash-in on — as there’s even a ‘Big Jim’ Stranger Things reference in the short (which is why I’m covering this for our ST3 themed July). With only a 30-minute runtime there’s a LOT delivered in a short time, especially with Harbour Jr. Jr. conducting interviews about the play in-between scenes, with those who worked with his father, as well as personal memos and thoughts about the play itself.
But none of it is meant to be taken seriously. Just expect nonsensical comedy and a fun way to waste 30-minutes. As ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein’ feels like it could have been a bizarre ‘Stranger Things’ outtake using whatever props were left over from the backlot of Netflix studios.
It fits in that late-night comedy style-driven well. With little effort, yet a lot of character — a type of joke popularized by Adult Swim that serves as a funny side bit that self-parodies David Harbour yet doesn’t do anything substantially different.
Watch this if you really like David Harbour (Personally, I do, and found it funny) or have 30-minutes to laugh at absurdist/eccentric comedy.
You can watch ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster Frankenstein’ on Netflix Right Now