AWESOME-tober-fest 2009: Monster Force cartoon
I finish Frankenstein cartoon week with a little known monster gem from the mid ’90s: Monster Force.
This series was created in 1994 and lasted 13 episodes. The story is set around the year 2020 and features a team of teen warriors using high tech weaponry to battle the Universal Monsters as well as other spiritual beings. Frankenstein’s monster, aka The Monster, fights on the Monster Force team as does Luke Talbot, the Wolf Man (descendant of the original Larry Talbot from the Universal movie). Also on the team is a psychic girl named Shelley Frank who is somehow connected to Frankenstein.
The main villain of the cartoon is Dracula (with a weird goatee-type thing that looks totally beatnik) and his faithfully gross servant Renfield. Other monsters like Hotep (The Mummy) and The Creature (from the Black Lagoon) also pop up within the first 7 episodes. Monster Force was released on DVD this year. I got it off Netflix to watch expecting a cool, monster vanquishing adventure series. The verdict? It’s awful. Imagine a retarded kid doing a book report on Japanese stereo instructions. Now imagine that this book report is a tighter, more interesting script than anything you see in this show.
For instance, the psychic girl, Shelley Frank. Her name. Get it? Shelley, as in Mary SHELLEY. And Frank, as in FRANKenstein? And you know that she’s psychic because she and the team mention it probably three or four times EVERY EPISODE. You know, in case you forgot in the five minutes it takes for them to mention it again. Shelley is also the only one with wings on her battle armor so she can fly. Why? Why did they not think the rest of the team would want f’n WINGS on their battle armor? I would. I’m on the team, I want to f’n fly, dammit. That’s the type of character development you see in this show.
Also, the Wolf Man, Luke Talbot. Every episode he complains about having to turn into the raging, mindless Wolf Man. Seriously, he’s constantly bitching about it. However, after turning into the Wolf Man, he remembers who he is, he seems fairly docile, he can carry on a conversation, OH, and he can change back and forth WHENEVER HE WANTS!! WTF, man?! You are pissed about turning into a bad ass wolf with super speed, super strength and super heightened senses? STFU, dude, you are the Wolf Man. Enjoy it.
Needless to say, I can’t recommend this show to anybody. The best episode of the bunch was the one with The Creature called The Return of the Creature from the Black Lagoon. However even that episode was incredibly dumb. This cartoon actually found a way to make the Universal Monsters LAME. Surprisingly, the cartoon had a few action figures produced. The image on the right up there is the Frankenstein monster figure from the show.
Watch this show at your own risk.
Frankenstein Jr was a Hanna-Barbera cartoon that ran for 2 seasons in 1966. Boy scientist Buzz Conroy fights supervillians with the aid of a giant robot named Frankenstein Jr (Buzz calls the robot Franky). Buzz built the robot and controls him with an energy ring he uses as a remote control. The show was very similar to a Japanese cartoon called Gigantor.
So, technically, this incarnation is not really Frankenstein’s monster, it’s only tangentially connected to the monster (in name only), but it was fairly popular so I thought I’d mention it. You can find a few episodes of this cartoon on a Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960 DVD compilation.
Sorry for the lack of good images from the Monster Force show. I couldn’t get any screen grabs from the DVD because my computer was acting up. Also, surprisingly, there are no videos of this show on YouTube. The above is all I could find.
Well that concludes Frankenstein cartoon week! Hope everyone enjoyed it. Next week we begin looking at the novels featuring the Frankenstein monster.
Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.