Friday, 31 May 2019

REVIEW FEATURE: SCREAM FACTORY OVER HAULS HAMMER FILMS FRANKENSTEIN CREATION ON 2K SCAN BLU RAY


HAMMER FILMS, 1967 'FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN' GETS A NEW 2K Scan 'Using The Original Film Elements' in impressive BLU RAY release FROM SCREAM FACTORY!



'FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN' : HAMMER FILMS 1967
Director: Terence Fisher, Screenplay: John Elder [Anthony Hinds], Producer:  Anthony Nelson Keys, Photography: Arthur Grant, Music: James Bernard, Music Supervisor: Philip Martell, Special Effects: Les Bowie, Production Design: Bernard Robinson. Production Company: Hammer/Seven Arts


Synopsis
'She's a vision of loveliness ... with a murderous mission from beyond the grave!'

IN THIS MOST conceptually wild and out-rightly science-fictional of the Hammer Frankenstein films" (Moria Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review), Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) and Dr. Hertz (Thorley Walters) are embarking upon an experiment to capture the souls of the dead and impose them into other bodies. When their assistant, Hans (Robert Morris), is unjustly accused of murdering his girlfriend Christina's father and is himself put to death, the two men claim his body and trap his soul in their laboratory. Meanwhile, Christina (Susan Denberg) is consumed with grief over the death of her beloved Hans and commits suicide. Frankenstein and Dr. Hertz are able to transfer Hans' soul into Christina's healed body, which results in a vision of beauty. Their experiment appears successful until Frankenstein discovers that Christina's seductive appetites are being driven by the spirit of Hans and his passion for revenge ...


IF CRITICS AT THE TIME are time were to be believed, that hammer films were like the distant cousins of the Shepperton studios, 'Carry On films', 'made for the working classes, nothing too cerebral or intellectually demanding and with flashes of titillation to meet the demands of the lowest common denominator', then director Terence Fisher and script writer, Anthony Hinds over-stepped their remit and burnt out the brains of many an audience. 'CREATED WOMAN' follows a story track that leaves the concept of the Baron just rejuvenating sown and souring corpses, way behind. It soon becomes a quite interesting theoretical  essay and endeavor on the journey and existence of the soul! Judging by the box office, the 'classes' LOVED it! The whole thing is quite crazy, but it works. 



THE ARRIVAL OF HANS as a total gender swap, is interesting especially as her existence is all about REVENGE on men who abused and tormented her. Topical today or what? The relationship on screen between Thorley Walters and Peter Cushing is wonderful. Walters did the bumbling aged roles very well. The young snipes are cast well and our creation in, Susan Denberg, ticks all the boxes, for those who wanted more than the expected stitches and scars. The stitches here are broken, snapped and groaning under the weight of something that is certainly 'all women'  and reveal a creation, that would keep fans dribbling for many decades after the films release. The scar sadly, was something waiting in the wings for Denberg that would car crash her career and make her life something certainty more, than any nightmare, Hammer films could devise, for sure.



THE BLU RAY:
IF WE LOOK AT our blu ray shelf, it seems that Scream Factory has released Frankenstein Created Woman as the next part of their Hammer films Collector’s Edition series. This is a NEW 2k scan of the original film elements. A previously released blu ray from Millennium, thankfully quickly went out of reach for orders, and can now rest in the dust as THIS release leaves that memory fast fading, like it's visual quality at the time. Scream Factory has released the print that should have been delivered back then. SCREAM'S new transfer is visually superior, it's  vibrant, exposes those rich Hammer film colours and vibes, we know and look for, so well. There are no muddy, foggy textures here. The vision is much brighter, while not losing the density of shadows and the margins between black and grey.  The focus detail and depth of field in the focus can been seen through out and is not flat, as can often be the case in blu ray transfers. There are a few spots of damage to the print, but these are not distracting and were only spotted on the second viewing. The grain is in keeping with the film stock that Hammer used at this time. 


SCREAM FACTORY also presents this release in the film’s original 1.66:1 aspect ratio.  Frankenstein Created Woman is a very good film on a lot of levels, and visually the film has never looked this good in home cinema presentation. It's a great achievement that many fans of the film, I am sure will appreciate. The audio on this release is a DTS-HD MA mono track and both Anthony Hinds entertaining dialogue and the majestic film score sound is classic Hammer films! Terrific.


EXTRAS AND BONUS MATERIAL: 
  • NEW 2K Scan From The Original Film Elements
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman And Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr
  • NEW Interview With Actor Robert Morris
  • NEW Interview With Camera Assistant/Clapper Loader Eddie Collins And 2nd Assistant Director Joe Marks
  • Audio Commentary By Actors Derek Fowlds, Robert Morris, And Film Historian Jonathan Rigby
  • World Of Hammer Episode The Curse Of Frankenstein
  • World Of Hammer Episode Hammer Stars: Peter Cushing
  • Hammer Glamour Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Radio Spots
  • Still Galleries – Movie Stills, Posters, And Lobby Cards


SO TO WRAP UP, what we have with this much welcomed released of one of Hammer and Cushing more interesting, Frankenstein films, is a vast improvement on what has gone before, you have the best of BOTH worlds, with EXTRAS and BONUS menu consisting of a number of features both very interesting and new, plus the best bits of previously seen material. It's a MUST for fans of the Hammer series and Peter Cushing! BUY IT and PRE ORDER HERE!
 

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