Tom Milne

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Young Frankenstein begins on a dark and stormy night, with the camera panning lovingly over a torchlit courtyard, zooming slowly in to a dusty window, and dissolving as the clock strikes midnight into a caressing inspection of the Gothic inscription on a coffin reposing within a dank and doomladen crypt. A brilliant pastiche of the horror film's studied quest for atmospherics, the sequence suggests not only that Mel Brooks has added some sort of cinematic style to his bag of tricks, but that he knows his genre and intends to stick to it. An illusion that is dashed all too soon … as one discovers that anything goes even more frantically than it did in Blazing Saddles…. [All] too often Brooks resorts...

(The entire section is 446 words.)