Alternate titles : None

Tagline : "No one who saw it, lived to describe it!"

Curse of FrankensteinThis adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic novel from the now legendary Hammer films starts off in a squalid prison cell, where Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) is awaiting execution for a crime he says he did not commit. Recounting his tale to the local priest, the film then goes into a series of flashbacks, as we see how the young Baron Frankenstein (played by a very young Melvyn Hayes) developed his interest in biology from his science tutor Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart).

As Victor gets older, the two become friends and through their experiments, discover a means of bringing dead animals back to life. Victor becomes convinced that they could actually create new life from dead body parts, so they take the body of an executed criminal and get additional parts by bribing the local morticians. But the more they go on, the less Paul becomes convinced they are doing the right thing. But Victor just seems to be more and more determined to finish the experiment.

With Victor clearly showing signs of megalomania and psychopathic tendencies, particularly when a distinguished professor has an unfortunate "accident" in Victors house, and Paul finds him plundering the tomb afterwards, so he can get his hands on the brain, Paul decides he's had enough and tries to convince Victor's new love interest Elizabeth (Hazel Court) to leave with him.

But when Victor's new creation (played by Christopher Lee) turns out to be a bit of a monster, which subsequently escapes the castle and goes on the rampage. Paul finds himself having to help Victor try to recapture it, as its goes around murdering the villagers and we see the events that lead up to Victors current predicament that sees him facing execution for a murder that he says he did not do.

Directed by Terence Fisher, who went on to have a very long and distinguished career with Hammer Studios, this version is notably different to other adaptations (presumably to try and distance itself from the Universal pictures version), but still contains most of the core elements of the original tale and is essential viewing for all fans of classic horror. Which not only launched Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee's film careers, but established Hammer films as an international production company.

This was actually one of the films, along with their adaptation of "Dracula", that got me into horror films in the first place when I was a kid, so holds a very dear place in my heart. So if you haven't seen this yet, then you should definitely add this to your collection.

Overall Marks : 8/10.

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Buy the UK BD/DVD combo  [Amazon UK]

 

Buy the US DVD  [Amazon US]

 

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