March 5, 2010

Gruesomestein's Monsters

Gruesomestein’s Monsters was a series concept developed through the early part of the last decade for Toronto-based Nelvana studios. Created, written, produced and directed — with voice acting thrown in — by Mark Ackland and Riccardo Durante, the project yielded six 5-minute Flash animation shorts that ran as part of the Fun Pack program on the Canadian kids network YTV. One episode, Russell’s Tussle, made the competition list at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival in 2005.

The show, beautifully designed, drops its outrageous monster characters into whacked out situations. There’s a witch that runs afoul of “Fairy Tale Land” laws — some rule against cooking children — and a Jekyll-Hyde character messes with a bank robber on the lam. There’s an obvious love of classic movie monsters at work in a Teenage Werewolf episode set in the rock n’roll Fifties, and a Yeti story unfolds in “Cushing Falls National Park”, a reference to the early Hammer horror, Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas. A Frankenstein episode, The Worst Date, is done in vintage black and white.

The Worst Date features a mad scientist, a hunchbacked assistant, and a cute Bride character with sutured neck and trademark beehive. When her milquetoast beau comes to the castle to pick her up, he becomes an instant candidate for a one-way brain transplant, for the benefit of a hulking, drooling, comatose Monster with glassy eyes.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the Frankenstein episode: The Worst Date.

All six episodes of Gruesomestein’s Monsters are online. The show’s blog archives are loaded with fascinating info, design and production art. I wish they had made more of these.


Max the drunken severed head said...

Once again, FRANKENSTEINIA brings quirky but fun Frankenstein-related news to a wide audience. Thanks, Pierre!

The Vicar of VHS said...

This looks great, Pierre! I'll have to check out the video when I'm home, out from under the watchful eye of my corporate overlords. ;)

BTW, are you familiar with the SPOOK HOUSE DAVE web series? It's a kids show type thing done with puppets, about the titular character, who lives (surprise!) in a haunted castle. Vampires, witches, a Spanish Werewolf, and a 1920s-slang-slinging mummy are just a few of the fun/silly characters, but of particular interest to you is the Frankenstein Monster in the basement. Fun stuff. Check it out:

Pierre Fournier said...

Yep, I know of SPOOK HOUSE DAVE and I plan to post something about it here at some point.

veronica.s said...

Here is a tip for another Frankenstein animation! Search on youtube for Duck Dodgers ep 14, season II. Title: "Castle HIgh"!

Trust me! You going to like it! :)