HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
   
 
  Curse of Frankenstein, The Bad Brains
Year: 1957
Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Peter Cushing, Hazel Court, Robert Urquhart, Christopher Lee, Melvyn Hayes, Valerie Gaunt, Paul Hardtmuth, Noel Hood, Fred Johnson, Claude Kingston, Alex Gallier, Michael Mulcaster, Andrew Leigh, Ann Blake, Sally Walsh, Middleton Woods, Raymond Ray
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: A priest has been called to the jail in a remote Swiss town, and when he arrives he is informed by the jailer that he is the only person Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) will talk to. However, once he enters the cell it becomes clear that the priest is the only person willing to listen to what sound like the ravings of a genuine madman. After grabbing the priest's lapels in a bid to make him take him seriously, the Baron calms down and begins to recount his story. It all started when he was a precocious boy (Melvyn Hayes) whose parents had died, leaving him their estate and wealth, so the only reasonable option he saw was to hire a tutor (Robert Urquhart) and learn...

If you've ever wondered why horror films stopped being spooky and started being gory, well, a lot of them at any rate, then look no further than Hammer's groundbreaking version of the famous Mary Shelley novel. At first this was to be a straightforward retelling of the tale until Universal, who had made a fortune with their nineteen-thirties Boris Karloff film, threatened to sue if there were too many similarities. And so screenwriter Jimmy Sangster and company had a brainwave: make the Baron the centre of attention rather than the monster.

And make Frankenstein the out and out villain of the piece, too. Peter Cushing was well known in Britain for his television work, specifically an adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, and so when Hammer were looking around for a lead he was the obvious choice in light of how scary a lot of the public had found that T.V. play. His Baron is an intellectual, but a dangerous one, caring little for ethics when the advance of science is of paramount importance to him. Cushing's incisive delivery and the driven nature he brought out in the character meant that the United Kingdom now had a new film star to contend with.

The morals of bringing the dead back to life - as espoused by Urquhart's dubious assistant - and then creating life in a stitched together body intended to bring out the best in humanity, are treated with a surprising ambivalence here. As the Baron is up to his elbows in eyes and severed heads, we are keen to see his experiments succeed, yet also enthusiastic about his punishment for meddling in God's domain. Complications include the two women in Frankenstein's life, his cousin Elizabeth (Hazel Court, whose apple-cheeked voluptuousness started the trend for glamorous females in peril during Hammer movies) who he is supposed to marry to keep her from destitution, and the Justine the maid (Valerie Gaunt, whose only other film was the following year's Dracula).

The Baron is having an affair with Justine, but when she announces she is pregnant, his typical ruthlessness comes into play. We have already seen that he is not aversed to murder when to secure a genius's brain for his creation he pushed a respected professor off a balcony and stole the organ from the corpse that he had thoughtfully buried in the family crypt. Therefore, when a few bolts of lightning get his creature animated, its violent nature he realises can be implemented for his own gain. As the monster, Christopher Lee was another actor destined to be recalled for his horror roles after this film; he doesn't have any lines but his miming is simultaneously pathetic and menacing (his vampire Count would be a better role). Though there are moments of dark humour, overall the tone is grim, perhaps too grim to be truly enjoyable, but this was a landmark work for all that. Music by James Bernard.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4057 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: