What’s better than a modern take on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” shot on the novel’s 200th anniversary? A modern take on “Frankenstein” set in Brooklyn. Veteran genre writer-director Larry Fessenden has teamed up with indie producer and fellow filmmaker Joe Swanberg for his unique vision of the literary classic. “Depraved” will make its world premiere as the opening night film of What the Fest!?, a genre festival put on by New York’s IFC Center.
IFC programmers promise it’s “the best film version of the Frankenstein legend in decades,” while an official press release called it a “meditative reimagining of the novel” that “explores the crisis of masculinity and ideas about loneliness, memory and the subtle psychological shocks that shape us as individuals.”
The official synopsis reads: “Alex (Owen Campbell) leaves his girlfriend Lucy (Chloë Levine) after an emotional night, walking the streets alone to get home. From out of nowhere, he is stabbed in a frenzied attack, with the life draining out of him. He awakes to find he is the brain in a body he does not recognize. This creature, Adam (Alex Breaux), has been brought into consciousness by Henry (David Call), a brilliant field surgeon suffering from PTSD after two tours in the Mideast, and his accomplice Polidori (Joshua Leonard), a predator determined to cash in on the experiment that brought Adam to life. Henry is increasingly consumed with remorse over what he’s done and when Adam finally discovers a video documenting his own origin, he goes on a rampage that reverberates through the group and tragedy befalls them all.”
A fixture of New York’s indie film scene, Fessenden last directed the Chiller-produced monster movie “Beneath,” and has produced countless low-budget projects through his Glass Eye Pix, including Ti West’s “The Innkeepers” and Jim Mickle’s “Stake Land.” As an actor, he has appeared in Jim Jarmusch’s “Broken Flowers,” Kelly Reichardt’s “Wendy and Lucy,” Martin Scorsese’s “Bringing Out the Dead,” as well as dozens of independent horror films.
“Depraved” was written and directed by Fessenden, who also produced with Chadd Harbold and Jenn Wexler. Swanberg, Edwin Linker, and Peter Gilbert served as executive producers.
Check out IndieWire’s exclusive teaser trailer for “Depraved” below.