This year for the Boston Underground Film Festival I was able to check out a couple of shorts that caught my eye. BUFF had a large selection of shorts this year, so choosing solely based on the title was a bit of a challenge. Naturally, my first choice was BRIDE OF FRANKIE, a short with a title that sounded like a monster movie spin off, so how could I refuse? And to my surprise, I was correct!
Written and directed by Devi Snively, BRIDE OF FRANKIE showcases scientist Frankie (Rachel Sledd) as she builds a female counterpart to her mentor’s already created monster named Monty (Mark Lancaster) in hopes of them sparking a romantic connection. Frankie’s female monster Shelley (Jessica Ridenour) has a difficult time connecting with Monty, as she finds him to be oafish and uncivilized, leading the story to create its own twists to this classic reimagined monster tale.
This short was definitely a breath of fresh air and very enjoyable to watch. It’s not what you’d except, and demonstrates Snively’s craft as a director. Prior to watching this short, I had not seen nor heard of Snively’s work before, so I’m very glad to have stumbled upon this, and am eager to see more. BRIDE OF FRANKIE is well lit and crafted, giving off the essence of a film being shot during the 1930s. I feel this look was achieved quite well through how it was shot, the set design, and the soft and hazy glow of the character close-ups. It really felt like a film straight out of its era, keeping your artistic interests piqued for its (somewhat) lengthy duration time. The amount of dedication to this short as a whole is apparent in the set design, acting, and writing, which I greatly appreciate.
The story here comes off as well prepared and with a purpose, giving respectable nods to Mary Shelley and female empowering behavior. The story is rather unexpected and unique, which always acts as a good hook for any film. This is a story that contains classic undertones, comedy, and a touch of romance. Each actor provides the right personality to their character, with scientist Frankie (played by Rachel Sledd) stealing the show. I really enjoyed her performance and her ability to come off as genuine and natural. She puts the needs of her monsters first, genuinely caring about their well-being and happiness. I also feel that director Snively has a very unique artistic voice and smartly uses all of her chosen elements well to create a feminist-themed premise, and it’s fun to spot them all throughout this storyline. Her body of work seems to focus around feminist elements, and I am very interested and excited to check out what else she has to offer.