The Gravedigger (Movie Review)

The Gravedigger (Movie Review)

To write an entire list of all the films or TV shows that have included Frankenstein and his monster would take entirely too long. Needless to say, at least some of the most important films can be honorably mentioned. In 1931 you had the very first release of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein adapted into a full-length film. Based on the novel which was originally written in 1818 by Shelley under the title The Modern Prometheus, as a continuation of Frankenstein, there was also 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein. Jumping forward in time a bit, you also had 2014’s TV series Penny Dreadful which included Victor Frankenstein and his monster. Which leads us to 2022 where Frankenstein lives on with The Gravedigger.

The Gravedigger still

Coming to DVD and digital August 30, 2022 via Indican Pictures, The Gravedigger was directed by Erynn Dalton (Theater of Terror 2018, American Cryptid 2021) and written by Joseph Zettelmaier (Pumpkin Queen 2018, American Cryptid 2021). Now, it must be stated that the past has shown that titles can be a misguide to certain films. As for this particular film, the title would have been better off as something like Frankenstein’s monster and The Gravedigger.

All this in mind, The Gravedigger is about a Gravedigger (Paul Homza: Smokin’ Stogies 2001, 2 Fast 2 Furious 2003) that stumbles upon a very upset, scared, and disheveled man in his graveyard, Frankenstein’s monster (Gisbert Heuer: Theater of Terror short 2018, American Cryptid 2021). Set in the 1700s Bavaria, it is about Frankenstein’s monster finding his humanity with the help of his new found friend, the gravedigger. However, no Frankenstein film is truly a Frankenstein film without Victor. With The Gravedigger, just like all other Frankenstein films, Victor (Tyler Charles Kane: A Life Untitled 2015) is hunting his creation down to put an end to him for murdering his family.

The Gravedigger still

So how does it all add up? Beginning with one of the most difficult topics, there is a fine line between stage play and film. That said, The Gravedigger should be established as the stage play. Why? Because the entire film feels as if it is filmed all on stage with only a handful of sets. Sadly because of this there is no sense of reality that an actual film would have. Just like in a stage play there is little movement and there is more dialogue than movement. Granted talking is not a bad thing, however, this only it is supposed to be a movie about a monster…so you do the math.

Speaking of talking, most of the voices and sound seem to have been recorded in a booth and the talking does not sync in certain scenes. As for lighting, not even it could help the film. There is way too much noise in the background and at certain times the darkness is way too dark. As for the acting, at least the cast does a good job and makes it seem more realistic. The dramatic scenes are not overplayed and the few action scenes do not look too choreographed. Even the Gypsy (Arlette Del Torro: Pompano Boy 2021, Shag Carpet Sunset 2002), seemed to know the role of her character very well. Which leads us to the writing, and this is something that could have been enjoyable had the entire film not been hampered by poor sound/lighting as well as the unbearable sense of it being a stage play. 

The Gravedigger still

Maybe in the future The Gravedigger could be re-examined and turned into a masterpiece, something more Frankenstein lovers could agree on, but until then, Cryptic Rock gives this film 2 out of 5 stars.

Indican Pictures

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Lauren Hopkins
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