Victor Frankenstein (12A)

Three stars

Dir: Paul McGuigan

With: James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe

Runtime: 110 minutes

HAMMIER than a ham and pineapple pizza without the pesky fruit, Victor Frankenstein fair rattles along as an epically daft but curiously enjoyable gothic horror.

Looking like BBC’s Sherlock, and with half its cast doing a turn, it will appeal to those who like their mysteries schlocky, their villains swivel-eyed, and their damsels in distress. All that and James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe too.

Paul McGuigan’s picture tells the back story of Igor (Radcliffe), a severely disabled man forced to work in a circus where he is cruelly treated. Enter his saviour in the shape of the titular Frankenstein (McAvoy). Frankenstein is offering board, lodgings, and lots of lab work. What could possibly go wrong?

McAvoy goes from nought to 90 in the first ten minutes and pretty much stays there for the entire picture, leaving Radcliffe (having a very bad hair day) and Sherlock’s Andrew Scott, playing a detective on Frankenstein’s case, looking meek in comparison. Joining them are Downton’s Jessica Brown Findlay and Mark Gatiss (also Sherlock). The whole shooting electricity into corpses match could have been designed for Saturday night telly, but McGuigan delivers just enough spectacle to make it worthy of the big screen.

Word of warning: you’ll need a strong stomach to get through some of the more surgical scenes. And having seen Dr Frankenstein in action, if James McAvoy ever offers a back rub, just say no.