#FRANKENSTEINFRIDAY: Hammer films first step into their Frankenstein franchise was The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957. This was quickly followed, after it's huge commercial success by The Revenge of Frankenstein the following year. As with Curse, it's success is no small part because of Cushing's stellar return and performance, as the Baron who cheated death. But for me, there has always been more than one act of cheating in this particular return. . . .
FRANCIS MATTHEWS is terrific and believable as the good doctor's assistant, Hans. Eunice Gayson as Margret, struggles but does well with what she has been given by scriptwriter Jimmy Sangster, who had an annoying habit of giving his female characters a one dimensional, very shallow filed to plough, when it came to any of his written women. And the supporting cast were top too. I love Michael Gwynn's work, but not in this one. This is not because he was weak, like with Gayson's lot. No, Gwynn was working with a very weak concept...a man who turns Cannibal! Sangster went on record as saying, he did struggle with coming up with an angle, a 'thing' ..part of what that latest Frankenstein abomination did, that was above murder and creating chaos. This creation should repulse and make audiences shriek with terror once again. He thought long and hard, and eventually came up with, cannibalism. Well, I don't buy it. I never have, never will.
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THE WHOLE PREMISE that supports the reason why poor ol Karl has the human munchies, in the framework of this Gothic horror, sticks out as desperate, ill conceived, heavy handed and over the top. I would have been quite happy with another round of, just murder, unhappy monster and leave it at that. The Hammer Frankenstein's were most entertaining when they focused on 'The Baron'.. how bad, how manipulative, cruel and relentless HE could be. It's interesting that the most popular and financially successful films of the series, Curse and Destroyed, had Baron Frankenstein at the center of the story. On the whole, I think the Frankenstein audience went to see Peter Cushing, and were quite informed about how they liked their Gothic horror menu served up...intelligent, imaginative and with some class and taste. To me, if you throw cannibalism into the recipe, it's just too rich, one spice too many. Cannibalism...In other words, just doesn't taste that good... 😉 What do you think? Agree? disagree? - Marcus
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