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Review: FrankenThug (2017)

Opening with the execution-style killing of drug dealer Detroit Jones (Soze Bagley) by the Satan’s Own motorcycle gang, FrankenThug doesn’t waste any time getting down to business. It’s the latest attempt to bring classic Blaxploitation into the present day. Is this Blackenstien inspired film the real thing, or just another wannabe?

Brooklyn (Dante Sellers) gets a call from Doc (David Cairo). It seems he has his brother’s body and intends to reanimate it. But he needs a bit of help. While waiting for the bus over there he meets Kori (Danielle Page, Amazon Hot Box, Strip Club Massacre). What he doesn’t know is she has a man. Little Dave (Nathan Hamilton, Frankenstein Created Bikers) leader of the pack called Satan’s Own.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn and the Doc manage to raise Detroit from the dead thanks to the wonders of “Night of the Living Kush”. The only problem is he can’t say anything but “Gucci”. And he has an even greater thirst for malt liquor than he did when he was alive. Realizing who he is and what happened to him, he breaks out, looking for revenge.

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Writer/director Richard Tanner (Mother Noose Presents Once Upon a Nightmare, Earth Girls are Sleazy) knew he had no budget and went with it. Doc’s lab equipment includes a plasma globe and jumper cables. I haven’t seen props like that since Al Adamson used a colander as part of a mad scientist’s lab gear.

Unfortunately, that means the blood in FrankenThug is CGI. I want to believe it’s intentionally bad, right down to the cartoonish muzzle flashes and spent casings. It certainly matches the footage of a severed head flying through the air. Then the footage is reversed and then shown again to depict a double decapitation.

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One thing that really made me laugh was the film’s intermission. During it, Tanner complains about the lack of sleaze in modern film. Especially the lack of bare breasts. As he rants, we see a woman taking her top off in front of Old Glory. Naturally, it’s the only nudity in the film.

For fans of microbudget films, FrankenThug is a delightfully cheesy treat. It’s a fast seventy-five minutes, complete with Michael Jackson gags and an appearance by what looks like the best no-budget Bigfoot since Bigfoot’s Bride. Needless to say, the film plays better if you have plenty of THC in your system as well.

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If The Toxic Avenger had been filmed in The Hood with an even lower budget, the result might have been FrankenThug. Which makes it only fitting that, according to the film’s Facebook page, it’s been picked up by Troma.

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