Portland Horror Film Festival Short Review: CREATURES OF WHITECHAPEL

The tale of Victor Frankenstein and his monster is re-animated with a fresh twist in CREATURES OF WHITECHAPEL, the short film from director Jonathan Martin. 

Co-written by Jonathan and Jessica Martin, CREATURES OF WHITECHAPEL has enjoyed several awards and nominations while touring the festival circuit. The film, a reimagining of the classic story, follows Jack the Ripper as she (yes, she) searches for the perfect victim to help bring her master's creation to life. Jack is soon revealed to actually be Igor, servant of Dr. Frankenstein, and the creation in question is his monster, a beautiful young dead woman in which the perverted Frankenstein takes liberties with. Throughout the short film, Igor struggles to continue killing in the name of such a despicable master, culminating in a truly gripping finale. 

Fortunately, CREATURES OF WHITECHAPEL never takes itself too seriously, wearing its campiness like a heart on its sleeve and delivering a fun, unique take on a story that's been done to death already. The performances, namely by Carlee Baker as Igor/Jack the Ripper, are entirely over-the-top, but they fit perfectly within the film's cheesy aesthetic. In truth, the short reminded me of Joel Schumacher's BATMAN & ROBIN, minus the shitty dialogue, horrible costumes and bat nipples. Those looking for a diversion will enjoy CREATURES immensely, as did I. 

The modest budget of CREATURES OF WHITECHAPEL shows throughout, with the film displaying several instances of poor CGI. However, visually, the film makes up for that with its eye-popping use of colors, as well as the tremendous set and costume designs, which are perhaps the greatest I've ever seen in a short film. 

Overall, CREATURES OF WHITECHAPEL is a highly enjoyable reimagining of the classic Frankenstein story. Offering more camp than Crystal Lake, the short never takes itself seriously and instead offers audiences 25 minutes of fun. It's a total blast. 

Curt Oglesbee