THE ANGRY BLACK GIRL AND HER MONSTER starts out narrated by the "angry Black girl" of the title. She tells a few of her growing-up experiences, which are familiar as tragic stories we have heard many times before.
Back in 1972 Samuel Z. Arkoff produced a pastiche of Dracula called BLACULA. Similarly, several filmmakers have made films trying to give classic stories a more contemporary setting (e.g., Jack the Ripper, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the Phantom of the Opera). Now Bomani J. Story has done this with Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN, setting the new version in an African-American neighborhood. (Although the neighborhood that this takes place in is supposedly controlled by a murderous drug gang, it is surprisingly green and pleasant-looking.)
The story follows the plot of FRANKENSTEIN, with director Story staying closer to the plot of the Shelley novel than either James Whale or Terence Fisher did. Much of the enjoyment of this film derives from seeing where its plot points connect to the same plot in the original. Where the original Frankenstein was fascinated by electricity, Vicaria (the "Angry Black Girl" of the title) is fascinated by lightning, but both Frankenstein and Vicaria antagonize their teachers. (Vicaria's first name is an homage to the "Victor" of the novel; her last name is never specified, but it is referred to as sounding German .)
Vicaria speculates that if death such as the death she is seeing all around her is a disease, then perhaps it can be cured. She also has a fascination on famous (Black) scientists and their discoveries and inventions.
Once we get to the middle of the film, however, it no longer seems to be using the plot of the Shelley novel. Ultimately, the viewer then must decide what presentation best fits the Shelley.
Released theatrically 9 June 2023. Rating: +1 (-4 to +4), or 6/10.
Film Credits: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt19896150/reference
What others are saying: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_angry_black_girl_and_her_monster
Mark R. Leeper Copyright 2023 Mark R. Leeper