Frankenstein, Missouri

In the velvet darkness of the blackest night
Burning bright, there’s a guiding star
No matter what or who you are.

There’s a light over at Frankenstein, MO
There’s a light–betcha didn’t even know
There’s a light, light in the darkness of everybody’s life.

(Lyrics mutilated with apologies to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.)

Yes, Frankenstein has had a long and storied history since Mary Shelley, at the tender age of 18 nearly 200 years ago, set out to write the spine-chilling novel that would launch not only the science fiction genre but also that humongous sub-genre of Franken horror we all know and love so well.

Dating back not quite so far but still pretty darn far is the sleepy little town of Frankenstein, Missouri. It received the name Frankenstein in 1889, probably after Gottfried Franken, a major donor of land, but the town had actually been established about a quarter century earlier as a parish of German Catholics.

A whole lot of Frankenstein happened to the world between then and now, whilst this tiny hamlet continued more or less unperturbed as a quiet, hardworking, tight knit farm community. But a convergence took place in 1999 when the town was . . .

invaded by 25 skydiving Peter Boyle-style Frankenstein monsters in honor of the 25th anniversary of Mel Brooks’ movie, Young Frankenstein.

As they leaped from the plane they yelled, “Putting on the Ritz” and landed in the Frankenstein Community Ball Field.

The monsters handed out Young Frankenstein DVDs and the “mayor” re-dubbed the town Young Frankenstein.

The re-dubbing must have been very temporary as it is denied by more knowledgable area residents, and may be an urban legend.

As you might guess, Halloween season has a special claim on this town, and more than a few people visit it, in any season, to get trophy pics like this.

frankensteinmo

But one chapter of our story remains unwritten: a kickstarter movie project called Frankenstein, Missouri, under production by the independent filmaking group Moonhunt. The film’s ominous tag line “It Exists” refers to more than just the town . . .

Pets are disappearing from backyards in Frankenstein, MO, and people want to know who the culprit is. Could it be Momo, the infamous Missouri Monster, hungry for a midnight snack? Or could it be the result of a murderous cult’s animal sacrifices? Two young filmmakers set out to solve the mystery in an attempt to exploit the town for their own gain. But when they uncover the truth, they get far more than they bargained for.

Or let the trailer speak for itself:

Naturally, we’ll let the last word go back to The Rocky Horror Show.

Puttin' on the Lipz

Puttin’ on the Lipz

The darkness must go down the river of nights dreaming
Flow morphia slow, let the sun and light come streaming
Into my life, into my life.

There’s a light over at Frankenstein, MO
There’s a light–aren’t you glad I told you so?
There’s a light, a light in the darkness of everybody’s life.

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30 Responses to Frankenstein, Missouri

  1. Pingback: There’s a light . . . | What Do You Do for an Encore?

  2. kerbey says:

    Well, you have resurrected the RHPS lyrics I memorized (and have since repressed) at the tender age of 9 (Really, Mom? What were you thinking taking a child to see that?) I always wondered what “flow morphia slow” meant. In any event, Morphia would make a lovely name. P.S. I think that Momo is a chupacabra.

    • wdydfae says:

      Thanks!

      9! Wow. Just wow. That’s just. Wow.

      I wondered about Morphia, too. The commentary I read through indicated that it was a drug reference. Erk! Maybe I should edit that out. But it would really mess up the flow of the verses to do that.

      • kerbey says:

        Well, now, that makes perfect sense. I should have known. Patients need morphine in ER, so it’s legit.

        • wdydfae says:

          That verse is sung by Riff Raff (played by Richard O’Brian, who wrote Rocky Horror) and the commentators note that you can see needle tracks on Riff Raff’s arm.

          • kerbey says:

            !! Even more appropriate for a 9 yr old to witness…Such were the good judgment calls of the 1970s…

          • wdydfae says:

            Don’t tell me. She took you to see Saturday Night Fever too.

            You could really rock with this theme, you know. “Movies Mom took me to see in the 70s.”

          • kerbey says:

            No, no, I saw SNF a bit later. Too much Italian masculinity oozing for a child (as opposed to transvestites in RHPS). But I do remember Travolta knocking Debra Winger out in Urban Cowboy. You’re going to send me to therapy…

          • Liz says:

            like no car seats? secondhand smoke everywhere?

          • wdydfae says:

            Liz . . . I don’t know what this means!

            I feel like I just lost some trivia game.

    • Dave says:

      9?!? That’s incredible! Wow, your mom was so much cooler than mine! 🙂

      • kerbey says:

        Dave, you can’t unsee what has been seen. And to Liz’s comment, seatbelt and car seat laws weren’t even passed until the mid-80s (1985 for Frankenstein, Missouri), so we were all being driven around free as the birds, all loosey-goosey in Camaros and Thunderbirds.. I remember clunky metal seatbelts that clipped in place and were hot as Hades in the summer.

  3. Liz says:

    Don’t sign me up to watch that kickstarter movie. Though Rocky Horror is classic and Gene Wilder is fantastic and Young Frankenstein (and even Bride of Frankenstein) are all winners. You have something for everyone here. Like 🙂

    Speaking of Like, Kamakaze Girls was (were?) great fun. Liked a lot–hadn’t expected it to be sweet! Really just a story of friendship. But lots of fun and quirky to boot. The DVD had a feature where I could click on a cabbage in certain scenes and the movie would stop and a bit of explanation about Japanese culture would be given. Lolita, etc. Did you have that when you watched? It was all new to me. Fun watch and I thank you for your recommend.

  4. ksbeth says:

    i love the skydiving event so much.

  5. Dave says:

    A very impressive post, Diddy! You are a master at taking BoFN in zany new directions, often with original poetry!

  6. amb says:

    I was trying to come up with a “time warp” joke about how I was sorry I couldn’t have gotten here sooner … but I’ve got nothing. Sorry, Diddz, it’s been that kind of day. Love the post though!

  7. What is not to love about this post? RHPS, Frankenstein, Momo, Young Frankenstein, Richard O’Brien and a shout out to Mary Shelley.

    Well played with the “lyrics”. 🙂

  8. wordscity says:

    nice work heard of him but not that much. now i know

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