|A medieval warrior's gruesome collection of severed heads is missing only one - the monster |
that killed his daughter years ago.
In 1990 Gerald Cormier (Producer of Terror Circus a.k.a. Barn of the Naked Dead) and his crew descended on the tiny town of French Gulch, CA (Pop: 346) to make a truly one-of-a-kind, regional monster-comedy, full of fart jokes and dated video effects. The resulting movie, Franky and His Pals, featured strange new versions of classic movie monsters, partying together across one very eventful Halloween Night. It was pretty big news in the area, with write-ups in the local newspaper and local TV stations stopping by to interview the actors. According to actor Eric Weathersbee they were told that the movie was being made primarily for the Japanese video market, but that plan never seemed to come to fruition. In the end Franky and His Pals was self-distributed on VHS and never made it much further than the local video stores of Northern CA.
I grew up less than 30 miles from the town where the movie was shot, and even though I was a fan of bizarre cult movies, I had no idea Franky and His Pals even existed until my wife brought it up to me one day. Her grandparents lived in French Gulch, and she remembered seeing the production take place (she and some friends even posed for a photo with a few of the monsters). Her Grandma was nice enough to give me a copy of the VHS that she’d purchased from the filmmakers back in 1990. The artwork was bright pink, the only synopsis on the back of the VHS were the lyrics to an original rap song from the movie, and it had a “self-imposed” R-rating. I was immediately hooked.
I started trying to track down the filmmaker sometime around 2014. I was able to get in touch with some of the actors, but no one could point me in the right direction. Franky and His Pals began to seem like it might not happen, but whenever the mood struck me, I’d continue with the search. Along the way I stumbled into some good fortune, including the discovery of another Intervision Picture Corp. DVD release, Dream Stalker, which also features Actor/FX Artist Keith Lack. And in 2019 I was able to get in touch with Jerry Cormier Jr., son of director/producer Gerald Cormier, and the actor who portrays Drak in the movie. In addition to confirming that Drak’s voice throughout the movie was an impression of Christopher Lloyd, he gave his blessing for a DVD release of Franky and His Pals.
Unfortunately Gerald Cormier passed away in 2017, but we can now present the DVD premiere of his sole directorial credit, just in time for the 30th Anniversary of the original release. If you’re an aficionado of shot-on-video cinema, or just looking for a movie where explosive flatulence bursts from Frankenstein’s monster, then I’d suggest you give Franky and His Pals a spin.
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