A title like “Frankenhood” leaves little to possibility. Sure the end product will turn out bad, but at least the title suggests an outlandish concept can provide campy fun. Basically the film all it is “We reanimated a corpse. Let’s go smoke some pot and shoot some hoops” with no shred or pulse of creativity.
Frankenhood is about two guys who work at a morgue enlisting the services of a reanimated corpse to better their chances at a streetball tournament. Imagine a white guy whose only exposure to black people was through stereotypes in films and you have the film script in a nutshell. Filled with “black” and “gangsta” dialogue that fail at repersenting its brotha. This writer be wack if they b representing them homeboys like this would b fly. That last sentence is pretty much in the same line of dialogue it provides. My personal favorite line of bad dialogue even in context sounds bad is, “Yeah, your farts do smell kinda nutty”. This line of dialogue is horrible for three reasons; 1.) a character can recognize the smell of his best friend farts, 2.) its discussed so naturally among the two friends, and 3.) farting is Frank-E first action when he’s alive. Failing in providing crass “humor” ensuring every joke fails because it doesn’t follow any rules of humor. Since there’s no consequences of any sort in a comedic situation there’s no punishment the characters receive. Therefore there’s nothing funny about it if every situation is passed up as a mundane annoyance. Not even when two grown man take taller grown man Frank-E to the bathroom it does nothing with the setup. The protagonist sister hears what sounds like an attempt to make a sex joke and walks away without much of an reaction. Another example, once the antagonist discover Frank-E is a reanimated corpse he just goes on with his everyday life. Apparently according to this film resurrecting the dead is common thing in the neighborhood. As for a plot you’re not going find much underneath all its fat. Subplots are easily resolve/forgotten and characters are underdeveloped. Like the protagonist love interest who appears in two scenes before the “I thought you were different” line comes up. Wasting time with bad jokes, Frank-E learning to dance, streetball montage, throwing popcorn chicken to divert Frank-E attention, peeping through a window, a mad scientist walking around the neighborhood, and are you kidding me I barely scratched the surface of how often it wasted time.
Now the film is directored by someone named Blaxwell Smart. He does live up to his last name by making a comedy film that is entirely humorless. One example being Smart setting up scene where the protagonist (named Motown) attempting to “get it on” with a women by telling her he’s an astronaut. The woman tells Motown she didn’t know there was black astronaut. Instead of following up on “It’s a funny story” Smart cuts away from that scene. This goes for the streetball (basically basketball with a maximum of three players) scenes feeling like a waste of time. You think having Frank-E play streetball would be funny, nope that is was what Smart wants you think. Every streetball game has little humor with the most “creative jokes” being Frank-E licking a basketball and a player getting arrested on the opposing team during a live game. Blaxwell knows how to kill comedy in his own movie, but since this is a comedy Smart is actually dumb for killing jokes. DeRay Davis and Jasper Redd are the unfunny actors that carry the film. DeRay Davis improv is so bad there’s a scene in the film that splices six of his take of the same scene in a minute. His timing is off and his acting is bland going along with his stereotyped character. Jasper Redd has a bit more range compare to Davis, but is weighed down by the material. Whenever Redd has to deliver a “joke” he has to hold for a minute no matter how dead it is. Bob Sapp has little dialogue relying allot more on his appearances. His performance is one of the more competent only requiring to do silly faces. Charles Murphy is the best actor in the film which is not saying much. He plays his role straightforward provides some semblance of energy. Music tends to be inappropriate for the tone it sets in scenes. In the opening scene it opens in a morgue and some bodies while playing cheery music. Also, for nearly an all rap score it has a heavy metal track that sticks out badly.
Frankenhood is likely the product of filmmakers who also probably believe resurrecting the dead is a common thing “in tha hood” as Blaxwell Smart would put it. Its characters are stereotyped, story with no understanding of humor, and actors that while not annoying are lazy in providing much from the dead material. Much like Frank-E, the comedy is dead aimlessly wasting time.