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Image Entertainment presents
Frankenthumb (2002)

"If you start to feel a tingle on your neck do not worry. If the tingle starts to go down your left arm and into your leg, then please consult a doctor as soon as possible."
- From the opening warning for Frankenthumb

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: March 06, 2003

Stars: Steve Oedekerk, S. Scott Bullock
Director: Steve Oedekerk

Manufacturer: ritek
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing offensive)
Run Time: 00h:24m:23s
Release Date: September 24, 2002
UPC: 001438103646
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C B-B-B- B-

DVD Review

Frankenthumb represents my second foray into the Thumb world created by Steve Oedekerk and I am starting to greatly enjoy the tongue (or maybe thumb)-in-cheek humor that comes along with each parody created through the process of Thumbation. That said, Frankenthumb is seemingly the most tame film in the collection. The jokes and parody are still funny, but the sharpness of the humor seems off compared to Oedekerk's other works.

In his lab, Dr. Frankenthumb (S. Scott Bullock) has created a monster that is the culmination of a life's work. By infusing energy into a deceased body he creates Pepper (Oedekerk), who is named this simply because he spiced up the doctor's life. Pepper gets loose, and he draws the ire of the nearby townsfolk. When an angry lynch mob is sent to track down the monster, only Dr. Frankenthumb can stop them and plead his case.

Oedekerk seems to be having a blast playing off the original Frankenstein film by James Whale, including a hilarious send up of the original's opening "warning." But moments such as this are few and far between. The film's closing sequences have the same sort of elevated level of humor, but the entire middle section drags slowly by. Take for instance a sequence where a torch rental kiosk is rushed by a group of angry villagers; it is a quick throwaway gag, but it produced more laughter than anything to found in the previous twenty minutes.

Overall, the brevity of Frankenthumb makes the material a perfect fit. While certainly not overly hilarious, the gags come at such a rapid-fire pace that sooner or later you are bound to have a good chuckle.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo

Image Transfer Review: Presented in a full-frame transfer, Frankenthumb is far from outstanding, but what is here gets the job done. The transfer has a large amount of grain throughout, which is problematic in the darker scenes in the short. Colors are very bright, almost too bright at times, evident in a scene in which Pepper plays with a pet bird. Detail and sharpness are hampered by the grain. As a plus, I noticed no real signs of edge enhancement.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix offers no demo-quality material, but what is here does a better job than I expected. The surround speakers are used largely for ambient sounds such as lightning and they do a good job of providing a nice sound field when coupled with the front speakers. Dialogue is clear with no distortion.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 8 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Blair Thumb, The Godthumb, Batthumb, The Godthumb, Thumb Wars
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Steve Oedekerk
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Outtakes
Extras Review: A commentary by Steve Oedekerk and numerous other unidentified participants is the most notable extra, and it is often funnier than the feature presentation. The participants relate stories about making the short, as well as pointing out improvisations and mistakes. A nice track.

A collection of humorous outtakes as well as a storyboard sequence rounds out the extra features selection for Frankenthumb.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

In all, Frankenthumb is worth a look if you are a fan of the previous Thumbation films. For the uninitiated, Oedekerk has done better work and you should seek other films in the Thumb collection.


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