Frankenstein '80

Frankenstein '80 is a 1972 Italian film directed by Mario Mancini.

Frankenstein '80
Italian film poster
Directed byMario Mancini
Screenplay by
  • Ferdinando De Leone
  • Mario Mancini
Story byFerdinando De Leone[1]
Music byDaniele Patucchi[1]
CinematographyEmilio Varriano[1]
Edited byEnzo Micarelli[1]
M.G.D. Film[1]
Distributed byLes Films 2R Roma
Release date
  • 12 December 1972 (1972-12-12) (Italy)
Running time
89 minutes[1]

Plot summary

By day, Dr. Frankenstein (Gordon Mitchell) works innocuously in his lab. But at night, he works to perfect Mosaico (Xiro Papas), a monstrosity pieced together from dead bodies. Once completed, the behemoth escapes from the lab and embarks on a killing spree. Local beauties begin popping up dead, murdered in a variety of gruesome ways, as authorities attempt to stop Mosaico's rampage.



Despite the films title alluding to Mary Shelley's character, the film has little in common with her creation.[2] The inspiration of Ferdinando De Leone and Mario Mancini's script was from the adult only comics such as Oltretomba.[1][2] Future Academy Awards winner Carlo Rambaldi provided the special effects in the film such as the monster named Mosaic.[2][3] Curti referred to the special effects as "crude" and was an "early hint of the tendency towards excess that will characterise Italian genre cinema of the decade"[2]

Lou Castel was originally going to act in the film but was not allowed after being expelled from Italy in April 1972 due to his political views.[4] Actor Gordon Mitchell stated that parts of the film were possibly shot in Bavaria, but not any of the scenes he was involved in.[4] The rest of the film was shot in Munich and Rome.[1]


Frankenstein '80 was released in Italy on 12 December 1972 where it was distributed by Les Films 2R Roma.[1] Film historian Roberto Curti stated that the film "passed almost unnoticed in Italy at the time of its release"[4] A photonovel version of the film was released in the Italian issue of Cinesex in May 1973.[4]

As of 2017, the film is in the public domain in the United States.[4]


From retrospective reviews, AllMovie called the film "stupid, sickening, and obscene", but "seekers of psychotronic cinema will have a field day with this ridiculous Italian exploitation product."[5] In his book on Italian horror film directors, Louis Paul referred to the film as "strange" and "a lurid sex film dressed as a horror movie."[6]



  1. Curti 2017, p. 69.
  2. Curti 2017, p. 70.
  3. Celli & Cottino-Jones 2007, p. 106.
  4. Curti 2017, p. 71.
  5. Fred Beldin. "Frankenstein 80 (1972)". AllMovie. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  6. Paul 2005, p. 28.


  • Celli, C.; Cottino-Jones, M. C (2007). A New Guide to Italian Cinema. Springer. ISBN 0-230-60182-0.
  • Curti, Roberto (2017). Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1970-1979. McFarland. ISBN 1476629609.
  • Paul, Louis (2005). Italian Horror Film Directors. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-8749-3.
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