The Mondo Esoterica Guide to:

Frankenstein - The Movies

    About Frankenstein:

Written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley in 1818, Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus was soon a massive hit on the stage, and when the 20th Century saw the development of cinema, it quickly became one of the most frequently told stories. From silent movie beginnings and a series of classic films defined by Boris Karloff's performance, so definitive, that it has supplanted Shelley's original vision in the minds of most readers, the Frankenstein tale soon became fodder for some of the best, and worst, of exploitation cinema...


1)  The Novel
2)  The Films
3)  DVD Reviews
4)  Blog notes and comments

The Novel

In 1816, Mary Shelley (at the time Mary Godwin) and her partner, the writer Percy Shelley were staying along with Lord Byron in his villa by Lake Geneva. 1816 is known as the year without a summer, as volcanic eruptions in South-East Asia had filled the atmosphere with a layer of dust that caused unseasonal snow in the middle of the year. With activities outside limited, the trio passed their time reading ghost stories and inspired by this, Byron suggested a horror writing competition. Trying to think of a subject, Mary had a vision of the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out... With her husband's encouragement she wrote the idea into a story, and it was published in 1818. Years later, after Percy's death, Mary re-wrote much of the book and this more commonly known version was published in 1831.

Although the story is well known, a lot of the details are often forgotten (for those who have not read the book, there may be some spoilers here). Told in the correspondance style (ie. in the form of letters) it opens with the story, not of Frankenstein himself, but of a Mr. Walton, an explorer who aims to traverse the polar regions by boat, aiming to find a shortcut to the far side of the world. It is not until later that he encounters Dr. Frankenstein, and in his letters home, takes extensive dictation of the story that the man tells. An avid learner from an early age, the young Victor reads extensively into alchemy and medieval views on science, and inspired by the sight of a lightening struck tree, begins to study the details of electricity. Eventually leaving for education at the Ingolstadt University, Victor soon becomes tired of the classes, and begins to study privately, in due time discovering the cause of human life. He begins the task of assembling his own human, taking from graves and he soon becomes obsessive, cut off from the outside world. Two years later he completes the task and brings life to the creature, but horrified by what he has done, flees into the streets.

His friend Henry Cerval arrives that morning, and after discovering that the creature has fled, Victor becomes delirious and enters a sickness for several months. Eventually they return home together, but learn that William, Victor's youngest brother, has been murdered in the meantime. On arrival back in Geneva, Victor glimpses the creature itself, and believes it killed the boy, but soon finds that the maid Justine has been accused of the killing and she is sentenced to death. In order to raise their spirits, Victor's rather takes the family on a holiday, but while walking on a glacier, Victor encounters the creature again, now able to talk it tells him of his life thus far: Fleeing from Victor's house soon after his "birth", he tried to contact people and get food, but found them only scared of him. Finding an isolated house he hid in their attached barn, able to watch and listen to the De Lacey family in secret for several months. During this time he learnt of their past, including adventures and jailbreaks in Arabia, and learnt how to speak and read. Eventually he tried to contact them, but is attacked and flees, later returning to find the house abandoned, he burnt it down. Learning of his heritage through a journal in the pocket of a jacket he took from Victor's house, he grows angry at Victor for making him alone, and attempts to find his creator in Geneva, on the journey he bumps into William Frankenstein whom he kills in revenge. The creature ends his talk by demanding that Victor make him a mate to ease his loneliness.

Victor returns home and is terrified by the promise he made, not wanting to build the creature at home, and hearing about some new scientific advancements in England he elects to travel there along with Henry. After touring the country, and secretly acquiring some necessary equipment, he leaves Henry in Perth and travels north to the remote Orkney islands where he starts work on the new creature. However, when he sees his first creation watching him, he realises the horror he could be about to unleash, and destroys his work. The monster threatens him with the warning I will be with you on your wedding night before rowing away. Victor dumps the remains of his aborted second creation in the sea, but gets caught in currents and washed out into the sea, eventually landing in Ireland where he is accused of murder - he discovers that the body is that of Henry himself, killed by the creature.

Victor is jailed and goes into a fever until eventually his father is contacted and Victor is freed. Returning to Switzerland, Victor arranges to marry Elizabeth, but warns her that he has a horrible secret to share. Staying in an Inn on their wedding night, Elizabeth retires to her room and Victor hears a scream, finding her dead on the bed. He shoots at the creature and people give chase but lose it in the darkness. After his father dies of shock on the news, Victor is again jailed. Upon his release, Victor encounters the creature by the grave of his family and sets off in persuit, across Europe and eventually up into the North of Russia - the creature leaving markers and even food to encourage Victor on, until eventually they reach the polar ice and Victor encounters the boat of Walton, ending the storytelling. Later, as Walton prepares to head home, abandoning his trek, Victor urges to be left on the ice, but he dies before he can. Shortly Walton discovers the creature on board and discovering his maker's death, he vows to head away and kill himself in a pyre...

The novel has prompted a lot of debate in academic circles over its basic themes - although it has tones of science fiction and gothic horror, it doesn't really fill either of these categories. The 'science' in the film is entirely implied, and the mechanics of the creature's creation are brushed over quickly, meanwhile except for the thunder storm scenes, there is little 'horror' in the book and certainly nothing that would be recognised as scary today. Modern literary debates focus round the paternal reactions of Victor Frankenstein, and the fact that he fled from his 'son' shortly after his birth and eschewed it throughout its life, references to God and his creations are often made and there appear to be links between the birth of the creature, and Mary's own birth which lead to the death of her mother. Ultimately, such debates are purely academic and do little to alter the perception of the book which has entered the status of 'classic', despite the actually rather poor storyline - full of unnecessary asides (most notably the de Lacey story), unexplained activities (where does Victor find enough body parts on a remote island for his second creation?) and inexplicable twists (exemplified by the creature's murder of Henry and the dumping of the body in Ireland, exactly where Victor lands just a day later after getting lost at sea).

The Films

Frankenstein was a very well known book, and within a few decades of its release, it had been adapted into stage plays on both sides of the Atlantic - many remembered only for the inventive ways they chose to kill off Frankenstein's Creation - from death in the pit of a volcano to a strike by the deadly force of the once life giving lightening. With the arrival of narrative cinema in the 1900s, it was not long before the first Frankenstein film appeared. Thomas Edison's Frankenstein (1910) was a short, silent and surprisingly elaborate re-telling of the story with some dramatic special effects and an unexpectedly powerful ending as the monster disappears into a mirror and morphs into a reflection of Frankenstein himself. Some more versions of the film were shot during the silent era but are now believed to be lost to time.

At the beginning of the 1930s, Universal Studios under producer Carl Leammle Jr. shot an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1931). It had great success and lead to a 15 year string of films known as the Universal Horror Series. The success rapidly lead to a follow-up film, and Frankenstein (1931) was the result - the script is effective, although heavily adapted from Shelley's original, and direction from James Whale is strong, but it is the performance by Boris Karloff, which along with make-up by Jack Pierce, has become iconic and is undoubtedly the most instantly identifiable image of the Frankenstein Monster. With Universal Studios being kept afloat by the revenue from their horror films, it was not long before a sequel was on the cards, and director James Whale was re-united with Karloff and Colin Clive (as Frankenstein himself). Often considered to be a superior film to the first, Bride of Frankenstein (1935) saw the monster and creator re-united thanks to the fanatical alchemist Dr. Pretorius who seeks to force Frankenstein to continue his works. Horror was out of favour for a few years, after the
Leammle family were replaced at the head of Universal Pictures, but after New Universal Pictures found themselves on the verge of bankruptcy, the new management made some quick money by re-issuing the original Frankenstein (1931) and Dracula (1931) to cinemas.

With money in the bank and the cinema audiences falling back in love with the classic monster movies, it was inevitable that a third sequel would be profitable. Sadly the original Henry Frankenstein, Colin Clive had died in 1937, so Son of Frankenstein (1939) was the logical follow-up, with Basil Rathbone playing Wolf Frankenstein and
Boris Karloff reprising his role as the creature for the last time - they are joined by the original Dracula, Bela Lugosi, as Ygor, and Lionel Atwil as Inspector Krogh. The film is the 'biggest' of all the Universal Horrors, with a large budget, and an extended run-time, and is an impressive film - most consider it to be the one of the last 'classic' Universal Horror pictures. The 1940s saw a drop in budgets and the fourth film in the series, Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) was obviously a cheaper and inferior production to the preceeding trilogy. Karloff wisely dropped out of the lead role, to be replaced by Universal's new star Lon Chaney Jr., while Bela Lugosi returns as Ygor. The film marked the beginning of Universal's decline, although despite the rather generic direction, it does remain an entertaining diversion. The franchise continued in the same manner with Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943) - Bela Lugosi played the monster, as Lon Chaney Jr. introduced his cursed Larry Talbot character from The Wolfman (1941) into the series. The monster-mashes continued with House of Frankenstein (1944) and House of Dracula (1945) - the creature itself, now played by stuntman Glenn Strange, making little more than cameo appearances, joined by John Carradine as Dracula, with Lon Chaney Jr. still playing Talbot. With that, the series found its demise, and in the post-war years, audiences wanted lighter cinema - eventually the creatures returned in Abott and Costello meet Frankenstein (1948), with Glenn Strange as the monster alongside Bela Lugosi as Dracula, and Lon Chaney Jr. appearing as Talbot again.

The 1950s were the era of science fiction, and while various films emerged with recognisable Frankenstein themes, none bore the iconic name until the end of the decade. Rookie American producers
Milton Subotsky and Max J Rosenberg were the first to try and shoot the story again from scratch, they presented their script to the British Hammer Films company who saw strong potential. With over a decade of B-movies behind them, mostly based on radio and television plays, the studio was slowly moving into top billed horror films with the success of The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) and two subsequent follow-ups. The script as written was considered to be dialogue heavy and poorly paced, so Hammer's own script writer Jimmy Sangster wrote his own adaptation of the classic novel, which would become known as Curse of Frankenstein (1957). Although the Mary Shelley book was now in the public domain and free for adapting, Hammer were threatened with legal action by Universal, whose iconic Frankenstein films were still playing in some cinemas, and had recently been shown on television for the first time, Sangster went as far as to watch through the first three Universal films to ensure that he had not borrowed any of the elements from those productions. Ultimately, the final script bares no more resemblence to the original story than Universal's production did, although it takes the story in a different, much more understated direction - notably, Frankenstein's lab is a small attic room, rather than the massive laboratories of the Universal films. Regular Hammer director Terence Fisher took the helm for Hammer's first widescreen feature, and was joined by composer James Bernard - both of whom would become key players in the Hammer gothic horrors. Popular television star Peter Cushing was cast as Baron Frankenstein, while minor actor Christopher Lee played the creature in what would be a break-through role. The film proved incredibly popular.

As with Universal almost 30 years earlier, Hammer quickly latched on to the success of 
Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and thus began an 18 year run of gothic horrors. Very quickly, work was begun on a Frankenstein sequel, and Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) was born. Peter Cushing returns as the Baron, saved from the guillotine, who sets up a workshop in secret to begin work on a new creation - transplanting the brain of his crippled assistant into a new body, Francis Matthews co-stars as his assistant/disciple. In the same year, Hammer also shot a pilot for a television series called Tales of Frankenstein, with Austrian actor Anton Diffring in the lead role, but this was never broadcast. Meanwhile, in the America drive-in market, production company AIP (best known for their Gothic Horrors of the 1960s) had found a quick success in teen-horror schlock I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), and quickly followed this up with I was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957) starring Whit Bissell as the Doctor. Although considered little more than drive-in fodder at the time, the film stands as the first updated version of the story to bear the original Frankenstein moniker. The success of Teenage Frankenstein and the Hammer films saw a duo of quick cash-ins from the American B-movie market: Frankenstein's Daughter (1958) and Frankenstein 1970 (1958) (which saw Boris Karloff playing the Baron himself) merging horror and sci-fi themes, with modern day settings.

Hammer overreached themselves in the early 1960s, and suffered from some big-budget flops. Meanwhile, their biggest star Peter Cushing left the studio to pursue other projects. As Hammer sought to recover with some quick, guaranteed successes, Cushing found that the theatrical and television business was in a decline (costume dramas were out, and kitchen-sink dramas were in), and he soon found himself back at the studio - inevitably another Frankenstein sequel followed. Evil of Frankenstein (1964) was shot as part of a co-production deal with Universal Films themselves, and so finally Hammer were able to use elements from the classic Universal series - unfortunately, this means that the story bears no relation to Hammer's earlier Frankenstein productions, and the monster make-up looks more like a high school Hallowe'en mask - director Terence Fisher was on a break from Hammer at the time, so Freddy Francis was brought in, but he fails to capture the magic of the earlier productions, and most fans consider Evil to be the worst film in the series.

More low budget American B-movies followed, including the admirably daft Jesse James meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966), the first (and probably only) appearance of the Frankenstein name in a Western. Meanwhile, in Japan, the kaiju (mysterious creature) films were becoming increasingly popular and in Furankenshutain tai Chitei Kaijû Baragon (Frankenstein Conquers the World) (1965), the still beating heart of the Frankenstein monster (taken to Japan during WW2) is eaten by a savage child who grows into a giant monster and does battle with the equally giant Baragon. In the sequel, Furankenshutain no Kaijū: Sanda tai Gaira (1966), two cells from Frankenstein's monster have grown into giant brothers, one good and one evil and as expected, they do battle over various Japanese cities. Although released in the USA, both films had references to Frankenstein removed by the American distributors.

Hammer returned in 1967 with the next installment to their franchise Frankenstein Created Woman (1967). Terence Fisher returned, and Peter Cushing again played the Baron - this time engaging in soul transplants, moving the soul of an executed man (framed for murder) into the body of his former lover with typically murderous consequences. Although with some nice ideas, the film moves rather slowly, and is one of the lesser series entries. Frankenstein Must be Destroyed (1969) followed, with Cushing and Fisher returning, and ranks as one of Hammer's best films - the Baron, hiding from the law, blackmails a young couple into providing him with lodging and assistance, and his creation is the most tragic ever created. Well directed and written throughout, it stands in stark contrast to the following year's Horror of Frankenstein (1970) - part of Hammer's attempt to push Ralph Bates as their new star name, and a desperate attempt to re-invent their image, the film is unconnected to the previous titles, and plays like a spoof of their original Curse of Frankenstein (1957), ultimately falling completely flat.

Meanwhile, more low budget exploitation cinema followed - with an amazing triple bill of Dracula Vs. Frankenstein films! The first production, Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) was shot in America by B-movie mogul Al Adamson, featuring the final, wretched performances from Universal Horror era stars, Lon Chaney Jr. and J. Carrol Naish. The second film, originally titled Los Monstruos del terror (1970), and released in the USA as Dracula vs. Frankenstein doesn't even have Dracula in, but does star a re-incarnated Frankenstein's Monster as part of a daft scheme by aliens to terrorise humanity with their greatest fears. Spanish actor Paul Naschy wrote the story, and plays the creature, as well as his normal Waldemar Daninsky werewolf role. The final production was Dracula contra Frankenstein (1972), released in the USA as Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein to avoid confusion. Filmed by Spanish cult filmmaker Jess Franco as a tribute to the Hammer and Universal horror films, it starred Dennis Price as Dr. Frankenstein, with Howard Vernon as Dracula, and was soon followed up, with the same cast, by the equally bizarre Maldición de Frankenstein (1972).
More European exploitation followed - La Figlia di Frankenstein (1971), re-edited and released in the USA as Lady Frankenstein (1971) saw the Baron, played by Joseph Cotton, killed by his creation who then goes on the run - to solve the problem, his daughter (Rosalba Neri) sets out to create another monster who can kill the first. Filled with sex and violence, it is typical of the European exploitation horror era and shows how restrained and out-dated the Hammer films were at the time. Going one step further still was Flesh for Frankenstein (1973) - featuring cult movie stars Udo Kier as the Baron, and Joe Dallesandro as a rebellious handyman, it was shot alongside the equally twisted Blood for Dracula (1974), both directed by Paul Morrissey - a member of Andy Warhol's avant-garde art group. Originally filmed in 3D, Flesh for Frankenstein is absurdly gory and filled with incredibly dark humour as well as incest, necrophilia and some really creepy kids. The increasing appeal of euro-exploitation cinema meant that by 1974 Hammer were on their last legs, and Terence Fisher and Peter Cushing would be re-united for the last time to shoot Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974) - set in an asylum it contains some of Hammer's goriest sequences and is a surprisingly dark and effective film, but it was not enough to save the floundering company who shot their last horror movie just two years later.

Meanwhile, as European cult cinema took Frankenstein to strange new places, there was a counter movement that tried to bring an authentic version of the story to the screen. In America, the television production Dan Curtis Frankenstein (1973), presented the most accurate re-telling of the story attempted to date, followed by a lesser known Irish production Victor Frankenstein (1977) with similar intentions. Another American television production, filmed in England, Frankenstein: The True Story (1973) took a completely different twist on the tale, imagining that the creature's creation had been sucessful... for a while. However, the best known Frankenstein film of the 1970s is undoubtedly Young Frankenstein (1974). Created by Mel Brooks, it is part spoof, part loving tribute to the Universal Horror series and plays out as a direct parody of Son of Frankenstein (1939) with elements from the first two films as well. Shot in black and white, with Gene Wilder playing Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, and strong performances all round, the film is consistently funny - especially to fans of the original films. In complete contrast, but also inspired by the Universal Frankenstein films, was the curious Spanish production Spirit of the Beehive (1973) - set in 1940s Spain, it tells of the impact that a screening of Frankenstein (1931) has on two young girls, who go in search of the tragic creature. Very slow paced and dreamlike, it stands in strong contrast to the majority of Spanish horror-themed productions from the era and makes for interesting viewing.

By the 1980s, gothic cinema declined, as zombie and slasher films became increasingly popular, and Frankenstein was largely out of favour. A British television adaptation in 1984 is best remembered for starring Carrie Fisher, of Star Wars fame, as the doomed Elizabeth, while the French film Frankenstein '90 (1984) is a curious, semi-comic updating of the story. Popular musician Sting played Frankenstein in The Bride (1985), an interesting re-telling of the story of Frankenstein's female creation - however it eschewed horror in favour of a gothic romance and proved unpopular with audiences. The same year saw the far more popular Re-Animator (1985), a gory/comic horror film based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft that was itself originally intended as a parody of Shelley's work, and puts an interesting new twist on the obsessed scientist themes. Its sucess soon lead to a sequel Bride of Re-Animator (1990), and later, as the films found cult following on video, a third film Beyond Re-Animator (2003).

The idea of the Frankenstein monster as kid-friendly had begun in the 1960s - a generation of children brought up on television screenings of the once horrific, but now rather mild Universal classics were entertained by a family of monsters in The Munsters (1964-66) with the 'father', Herman Munster being based on the iconic Frankenstein (1931) make-up. Various television series and cartoon shows followed, with the monster being portrayed as both good and evil - this culminated in the popular kid's film The Monster Squad (1987) where a group of young boys discover that a collection of evil creatures, including Dracula and the Wolf Man, are trying to take over the world, and with help from Frankenstein's monster, try and stop them.

The beginning of the 1990s saw some very odd twists to the Frankenstein mythos - legendary B-movie producer Roger Corman was brought back from retirement to shoot Frankenstein Unbound (1990); based on a novel by Brian Aldiss it tells of a scientist blasted back in time to 1817 where he encounters Dr. Frankenstein and his creation while Frankenhooker (1990) is a daft, unique re-telling of the story, with a mad scientist trying to re-build his dead girlfriend from parts of prostitutes. An American television adaptation, known as Dr. Frankenstein (1992) starred Patrick Bergin as the creator, and Randy Quaid as his creation and is generally well regarded, it was followed by the first big budget cinematic version of the film for several decades: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994), starring and directed by Kenneth Branagh, with Robert De Niro as the creation, it appears relatively faithful to the novel, but changes (and destroys) some key themes, and is absurdly over acted and directed.

After the impact of Branagh's film, it was several years before Frankenstein returned to the big and small screens. Stephen Sommer's much derided Van Helsing (2004), was conceived as a tribute to the Universal monster series (that he had more successfully referenced in The Mummy (1999)). Although featuring Frankenstein's creation as an interestingly thoughtful and tragic creature, any attempt at a message is lost in the film's frenetic pacing and ludicrously over-the-top action scenes. Confusingly, 2004 also saw two television adaptations of the story, baring the same name. ABC's Frankenstein (2004) was originally planned as a pilot episode for a TV series, based on a concept by modern horror writer Dean Koontz, who later turned the theme into a series of books. It tells of the investigations by a New Orleans police team into a series of violent murders, and the discovery of a creature called Deucalion who reveals himself to be the first creation of Victor Helios, a mad scientist who is still alive and experimenting, with disastrous effects - the pilot received poor ratings and the planned series was abandoned. In contrast Hallmark's Frankenstein (2004) is a very interesting television movie, boasting a big budget and highly accurate two-part re-telling of the Mary Shelley novel - with a good cast and impressive production values, it ranks as the most accurate Frankenstein production to date and seems unlikely to be bettered.

Considered to be one of the most influential books ever written, Frankenstein has inspired literally hundreds of films from close re-tellings of the story, to some of the wildest and strangest productions ever to hit the screens - only Sherlock Holmes and Dracula can beat Frankenstein for sheer numbers of screen appearances. As expected, the classic tale continues to inspire, and the recent productions Perfect Woman (2006), and Subject Two (2006) put modern spins on the scientist's tale, while more adaptations of the original story are certain to be forthcoming before the end of the decade...

  Frankenstein: The Movies - DVD Reviews

Chapter 1: Frankenstein - The Original Tale
Films that try, however sucessfully, to keep close to Mary Shelley's original book and its themes.

Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
UK Warner Brothers Region 2 DVD
Hammer's first horror film with impressive production and a fantastic leading duo - a liberal take on the original story.
Highly recommended.
Frankenstein (2004)
UK Contender Region 2 DVD
Probably the best Frankenstein film made thus far and certainly the most faithful to Shelley.
Highly recommended to fans of the book.
Frankenstein: The True Story (1973)
US Universal Region 1 DVD
A big budget television adaptation, this well written film takes the Frankenstein story to interesting new places.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)
UK Columbia Region 2 DVD
Kenneth Branagh's overblown adaptation makes some unnecessary and damaging changes to the original story.
Partly recommended.

Chapter 2: Frankenstein with a twist...
Frankenstein might be in these, but Mary Shelley would probably be surprised what her characters are up to!

Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)
US Image Region 1 DVD
Paul Morrissey directs this absurd and gory take on Frankenstein, the ultimate exploitation film.
Recommended to euro-cult fans.
Frankenstein Unbound (1990)
USA 20th Century Fox Region 1 DVD
Roger Corman's gory take on Frankenstein contains some interesting ideas, but is terribly rushed and underdeveloped.
Not recommended except to Frankenstein or Corman fans.
Lady Frankenstein (1971)
US St. Clair Vision Region 0 Public Domain DVD
A simple yet effective piece of exploitation cinema with a good cast and production.
Partly recommended to euro-horror fans.

Chapter 3: The Hammer Series

Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
UK Warner Brothers Region 2 DVD
Hammer's first horror film with impressive production and a fantastic leading duo. A very important film.
Highly recommended.
Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)
UK Columbia Region 2 DVD
Solid direction and acting combine with a story that takes a new branch to the traditional story.
Recommended to Hammer fans.
Evil of Frankenstein (1964)
US Universal Region 1 DVD (Hammer Horror Series Boxset)
Suffers from a bad looking monster, and relatively average performances - however the plot is acceptable.
Watchable but not recommended.
Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
UK Warner Brothers Region 2 DVD
Terence Fisher returns to the franchise - an interesting concept, but an unexciting film.
Partially recommended to Hammer fans.
Frankenstein Must be Destroyed (1969)
UK Warner Brothers Region 2 DVD
A strong, near-perfect script combine with top notch performances and great production.
Highly recommended to all.
Horror of Frankenstein (1970)
UK Optimum Region 2 DVD (Ultimate Hammer Collection Boxset)
A one-off Frankenstein comic film from Hammer studios without Peter Cushing in the lead role - an abysmal failure.
Not recommended.
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)
German E-M-S Region 2 DVD
A a very good film with a great script, a wonderfully dark, atmospheric setting, and good performances by all.
A recommended film to all Hammer fans.

Chapter 4: Also of interest...
Not quite Frankenstein, but with some similar themes.

Frankenstein's Bloody Terror (1968)
Media Blasters Region 1 DVD
Frankenstein isn't even in this Wolfman film, which marked the debut lead role of euro-cult star Paul Naschy.
Recommended to all Naschy and Euro-cult fans.
Four Sided Triangle (1954)
UK DD-Video Region 2 DVD
With a smart sci-fi script, but a poor ending, this film benefits from strong Fisher direction and heralds the Frankenstein films. Of interest to Hammer fans.
The Head (1959)
US Alpha Region 0 DVD
A rare lead role for German actor Horst Frank as a scientist performing body transplants in this rather unoriginal film.
Partly recommended to fans of 1950s sci-fi.

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