A “Frankenstein” adaptation featuring a young Ryan Reynolds in full goth garb, plus the endearing Matthew Lawrence.
A teenage science nerd brings a fellow student back to life with a criminal brain. Let’s dig into 2000’s BOLTNECK, directed by Mitch Marcus!
As I See It
What’s better than seeing Ryan Reynolds put on some spandex and run around killing bad guys with swords and explosives alongside the X-Men? In my opinion, it’s seeing Ryan Reynolds doing his best Robert Smith impression. Heavy eyeliner, long hair, all-black clothing… he may have inspired an entire post-goth generation. Hell, he may have inspired Hot Topic (he didn’t, but who’s counting?)!
In a promo video for Deadpool 2, Reynolds jokes with soccer star David Beckham about some of the shitty films he’s made in the past (I don’t think there are as many as some actors) and that he owes recompense for them. But when Boltneck is mentioned, Reynolds, perhaps facetiously, dubs Boltneck a “…masterpiece”.
We can hardly hold a young actor’s choice to take a gig against them. Stallone did softcore porn before Rocky.
We don’t get much in the way of originality, obviously being a teen adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein classic, but what we do get is to see some young actors who endeared themselves to a generation (Reynolds, Matthew Lawrence, Christine Lakin) play around in a world of whimsical horror.
It’s cheesy fun. Nothing more, nothing less.
Also released as Teen Monster and Big Monster on Campus, Ryan Reynolds IS the biggest star to come out of this film. He was not THE star of this film. That would go to Matthew Lawrence — even though it’s Reynolds’ face featured on almost all photo promotional material.
If you’ve been awake for the past fifteen years, I don’t have to give you too much of a rundown of Reynolds. From his brilliant, close to self, performance in the hilarious Waiting to his hard-fought, close to self, performances as Deadpool in three films plus, he’s now verging on entering the world of North American professional sports franchise ownership as he teases becoming part of the ownership group looking to buy the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League. (As a lifelong hockey fan, I’d welcome that.)
Lawrence is the brother of the Blossom star Joey Lawrence (Woah!) and has starred in his share of films, including Timmy in the wraparound story in the classic anthology Tales From the Darkside, Mrs. Doubtfire, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, and the coming of age TV series starring the younger Savage, Boy Meets World.
Judge Reinhold (Mr. Stein) ruled the eighties. Gremlins, Beverly Hills Cop, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Come on!
Shelley Duvall (Mrs. Stein) delivered one of, if not THE, all-time performances in the horror genre as Wendy in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. She’s also come out of retirement recently and will star in the upcoming indie horror flick The Forest Hills.
Of Gratuitous Nature
No one was left wondering what the story’s source material was, so naming Matthew Lawrence’s character “Frank Stein” was one step too far.
Bianca Lawson (Darien) perfectly plays the commanding popular girl of the 2000s. But Christine Lakin (Macy) takes the title here; she was one of my first crushes for her role as Al Lambert on TGIF’s Step by Step.
Ripe for a Remake
Only if you bring back the same cast in the same roles, that’s what everyone wants.
No progeny to report.
Where to Watch
There is no physical high-definition release of the film, though maybe Reynolds should have lobbied to include it on the Deadpool 2 Blu-Ray as an extra since he evoked its name and prowess to promote that film. You can stream it on Tubi.