20. Young Frankenstein (1974)

Officially I don’t like spoof horror. If it doesn’t take itself seriously, horror loses all its purpose. There can be humour in there, but satirising something that’s beyond satire is pointless. However I make an exception for Young Frankenstein, which is so funny that I have to suspend all my objections. Gene Wilder is great in the title role, Madeline Kahn steals every scene she’s in as the bitchy, frigid girlfriend, and Cloris Leachman gives my favourite performance as the neurotic Frau Blucher. There are loads of great catchphrases which still pepper my everyday conversation (‘Yes! Victor was my… boyfriend!!!’), and some of Mel Brooks’s best setpieces, including a fantastic tapdance number with the monster. Visually it’s a very good spin on classic black and white monster movies.Young-Frankenstein-young-frankenstein-4190487-1024-768 Last time I watched it I laughed as much as ever, but I thought it could have been much better if Brooks had actually bothered with a decent horror plot rather than a dazzling firework display of one-liners. Still, I can forgive anything for the fantastic body-swap gag at the end, and Madeline Kahn’s orgasmic rendition of ‘Oh! Sweet Mystery of Life’.

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