|Written by||John Shiban|
|Directed by||Marcus Nispel|
|Theme music composer||Angelo Badalamenti|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||88 minutes|
|Distributor||Lions Gate Television|
|Original network||USA Network|
|Original release||October 10, 2004|
Frankenstein is a 2004 American science fiction horror television film produced and directed by Marcus Nispel and written by John Shiban. It is a loose adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and stars Parker Posey as a police detective on the trail of a serial killer, played by Thomas Kretschmann, in present-day New Orleans. The detective is aided in her search by one of the killer's creations, played by Vincent Perez. Adam Goldberg, Ivana Miličević and Michael Madsen co-star. It was produced by Lions Gate Films, and aired on the USA Network on October 10, 2004.
The film was intended as the pilot for an ongoing series, and was initially based on Dean Koontz's version of Frankenstein. USA and the producers decided that major changes must be made and Koontz had no interest in the show in its new form. He withdrew from association with it and turned to the task of realizing the original concept of the book form. Subsequently, executive producer Martin Scorsese also expressed desire to exit the series. Koontz later developed the concept into a series of five novels: Frankenstein: Prodigal Son, Frankenstein: City of Night, Frankenstein: Dead and Alive, Frankenstein: Lost Souls, and Frankenstein: The Dead Town.
While investigating the murders of a serial killer who mutilates and removes the internal organs of the victims, two present-day New Orleans police detectives, Carson O'Conner and her partner Michael Sloane, learn that Victor Frankenstein, now calling himself Victor Helios, is still alive and has created a number of genetically-engineered creatures with the intent of building a legion of followers to assist in his overthrow of the Old Race (humans). However, his very first creation, the original Frankenstein monster, now calling himself Deucalion, is also alive and looking to kill his creator.
Filming took place in New Orleans. Cinematographer Daniel Pearl shot on Kodak Super 16 mm film with Arriflex 16 SR3 cameras.
Sloan Freer of Radio Times gave the film two stars and said "though the ultra-stylised visuals create an air of brooding menace, they can't compensate for the patchy plotting or the abrupt and hugely unsatisfying finale." Brian Lowry of Variety praised the look saying "Even working on a made-for-TV budget, Nispel provides plenty of striking imagery, giving the film a truly distinctive look" and added "while the climax is somewhat disappointing, the brisk story until then leaves ample room to speculate as to where a series would go with Helios' creations roaming the Earth."