REVIEW: B-Movies: LIVE presents Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster

For any Brisbanites searching for cult movie magic, Kristian Fletcher’s name is probably quite familiar. From screenings at Boggo Road Goal, to music video parties at New Globe, Kristian Fletcher Presents is at the forefront of the cult and classic movie scene in the River City.

Now, as part of Anywhere Festival, Fletcher is launching B-Movies LIVE, taking classic B-movie scripts from the 50s and 60s and re-enacting them on stage. Applause signs and tin foil at the ready – this is going to get ridiculous.

From the moment you arrive at Padre, a quirky bar tucked away in Woolloongabba, the scene is already perfectly set. Desperately handing out signed headshots and angling for a pre-show drink, the cast are named for their actual movie counterparts, the cast of the 1965 version, meaning they’re pretty much in character before they’re in character! It’s a fun way to start proceedings – especially when people just in the bar for a quiet drink find themselves bombarded with signed photos.

The cast, which includes Fletcher himself filling in a pretty wide variety of roles (gaining especially big laughs as official-carrier-of-the-terrible-model-spaceship), are fantastic, really capturing the melodrama and overacting that one associates with this sort of cult film. Kylie Stephenson, as Marilyn Hanold/Princess Marcuzan in particular stood out, with two hilarious characters that wound up being the complete opposite to each other.
The cast is rounded off on the night with an audience member playing the part of robot soldier Frank, a fun bit of audience participation that set the scene for some real belly laughs on the night.

But, as intended, the star of the show is really the script, and Fletcher and his team have found way to make it really shine, appreciating it both as a ridiculous piece of writing, and as an important part of film history. Jam packed with sci-fi cliches, awful special effects, and tropes galore, Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster is a great example of the genre. By making the most of their audience’s willingness to get involved, as well as using original music provided by Chris Richards, the B-Movies LIVE crew offer a really unique way to explore the genre, perfect both for those who are familiar with the films and those who might be new to just how bizarre things can be in B-movie land.

Unfortunately, B-Movies LIVE has wrapped (as has Anywhere Festival 2016 *sob*) but you can keep track of future productions from the team through their Facebook – with a rather large catalogue of B-movies available to them, there’s little doubt they’ll be back!

Jodie Fairclough
Reviewer attended the May 19th performance
Image credit: B-Movies LIVE

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Likes stiff drinks, good books, and the musical stylings of Frank Sinatra.