Young Frankenstein at the Orpheum 

Young Frankenstein is Mel Brooks' parodic masterpiece. Not only does it give Mary Shelley's gothic horror story a proper send-up, it's a visual treat, nailing the moody black-and-white tone of Universal Studios' classic, 1930s horror films. This week's opportunity to catch Young Frankenstein on the Orpheum's enormous screen seemed like a perfect excuse to interview the film's namesake character, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein.

Memphis Flyer: Not so long ago you described your grandfather's unorthodox scientific research as "doo doo." Would you care to elaborate on that?

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: I'm a scientist, not a philosopher ...

Yes, but can you tell us a little bit about your work?

A few short weeks ago, coming from a background, believe me, as conservative and traditionally grounded in scientific fact as any of you, I began an experiment in, incredible as it may sound, the reanimation of dead tissue.

click to enlarge werec_youngfrankenstein.jpg

That sounds ethically questionable.

From that fateful day when stinking bits of slime first crawled from the sea and shouted to the cold stars, "I am man," our greatest dread has been the knowledge of our mortality.

And that sounds like philosophy.

But tonight, we shall hurl the gauntlet of science into the frightful face of death itself. Tonight, we shall ascend into the heavens. We shall mock the earthquake. We shall command the thunders and penetrate into the very womb of impervious nature herself.

That ... I don't even know what that sounds like.

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