Thursday, May 8, 2014

1313: Frankenqueen (2012): DeCoteau Goes Meta

1313: Frankenqueen (2012)
dir: David DeCoteau

The 1313 series is one of the best series on the internet to hatewatch. It's not good. It's not good for you. And, it certainly isn't all that watchable. But, the series is completely compelling because it's mysterious for why these movies even exist, nevertheless exist on Netflix. These are the streaming equivalent of straight-to-video VHS tapes in the 1980s that were made on the cheap and sold in bulk to fill the store shelves while the studios were trying to adapt.

With the second to last entry in the 1313 series, DeCoteau seems like he's had enough with making serious films, and decided to go meta. Because, Frankenqueen is all about the creation of a 1313 movie, or at least seems like it.

There is a half-story to 1313: Frankenqueen, as usual. A group of guys have been invited to a mansion (the DeCoteau mansion in Santa Barbara) by Victoria, a famous plastic surgeon. She wants to do tests on them and will pay them handsomely for it. But, one character, the smart one, is there to get some sort of laser that Victoria's late husband had been working on.

However, Victoria is there to watch the guys do whatever. Eat food, take showers, do workouts, roughhouse, etc. She also does tests on them and insults them periodically. And, she constantly talks about the boys like they're actually going to be sold as slaves or something. But, in the end, she is really creating the perfect guy with an amalgamated brain made from everybody and her dead husband. At least I think it's an amalgamated brain, and not body because there are no stitches anywhere.

Victoria is not unlike the audience watching the traditional 1313 film, especially as defined by the final film 1313: UFO Invasion. We sit, and watch a bunch of guys allergic to shirts walk around the mansion, do workouts, take showers, pose, walk some more, occasionally speak some dialogue, and then get bloodlessly murdered while we make fun of the characters and actors for being terrible. Victoria even talks about the characters like chattel, calling them "product." Which is odd because she isn't really selling them or their body parts.

The 1313 series, it has been rumored, isn't really meant to be a series of films at all, but a casting calling card of sorts for both DeCoteau, a talent agency, and the actors in the films. In the case of Frankenqueen, the acting is above the usual standard, and even the dialogue is a little better written than usual. Victoria actually gets in some decent one liners, and the acting for the boys' ham-handed dialogue is at least above boredom.

In the end, the 1313: Frankenqueen boys are generically nice to look at. They're all relatively cute, like flipping through an All American Boy catalog. But, that's always the case with the 1313 series. The metaness of the film actually gives you a little something extra to bite onto, much like Night of the Widow, DeCoteau's other actually not terrible entry. Is it good? No. But, it's not offensively bad (even when Victoria is scanning their bodies with a booklight), and it's kind of funny in an stock but intentional way this time.

Previously reviewed in series: Bigfoot Island, and Night of the Widow

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