By the time the British studio Hammer got round to making this, their first gothic horror, they had already made three sci-fi/ horror films. Made in black and white these were mostly typical 50’s B movies but they had a hint of something special, something different to the others. James Carreras (the big boss of Hammer) decided that perhaps horror was the way to go, this and in fact all the Hammer films made after The Curse of Frankenstein were the results.
You see COF was Hammer’s first gothic horror, for which they became famous for and it creates the template for the others to follow. Despite using the usual plot, scientist creates monster and monster goes on rampage, COF had some unusual twists and was groundbreaking in its day. For a start most people were familiar with the Universal series in which the monster was the star and the baron seemed to be a kind of misguided hero. In this however it’s obvious that the baron is not a hero and not misguided. He is obsessed and even commits murder just because he needs a part of his victim’s body. There is not regret in this Frankenstein except when an experiment goes horribly wrong.
Baron Victor Frankenstein is of course one of Peter Cushing’s most famous roles if not his most famous role. He played the part six times and also many knock offs of the character (Robert Knox from The Flesh And The Fiends 1959 for example) and it really is a pleasure watching him in any Frankenstein movie. This being the first of his Frankenstein movies, Mr Cushing portrays the character slightly differently to how he would in the sequels. This is not a mistake on the actor’s part but shows how much he thought about the plots and the character. In this for example the Baron is more of rebellious young man obsessed with his idea but he can also be weak and shows this several times (when Paul drops the brain or denies the fact that the monster was real). In the next movie, The Revenge of Frankenstein the Baron is a lot stronger and more grown up than he is in this one. He has set himself a goal and is determined to complete it.
One of course cannot rave on about a Frankenstein movie without mentioning the stories most famous point: The Monster. In this film the Monster is portrayed by a young Christopher lee who manages to make him both pathetic yet terrifying. In what is arguably Jack Pierces best make up work for hammer, Mr lee looks horrific and it’s hard to believe that this came before the completely rubbish monster make up in The Evil Of Frankenstein (1963).
Now if you know anything about this movie you probably know about its reputation with the British Censors. If you’re expecting a gory thrill ride however you may be disappointed. By today’s standards COF is rather tame and some may find it just the slightest bit boring (the monster doesn’t appear until the 45 minute mark). As I believe I already mentioned however the greatest reason to watch this movie (and indeed I don’t think it would have worked without him) is Peter Cushing. He is the reason this movie is great and it’s one Horror Classic every fan has to see.
GORE: A bit of blood and shots of an eyeball but remember this is a 12 rated movie
NUDITY: Sex is implied but never shown
OVERALL RATING: 8/10 a cracker
Welcome one and all- Please leave sanity at the door
A Teenage boy with a passion for all things nerdy! Expect a lot of Doctor Who, Cult/Horror Movies, Literature and Novels, History, Comic Books and random thoughts. Posts published weekly on a Friday evening. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the items reviewed on this site and i also do not own of the pictures (unless stated so). If you own one of the photos and wish for it to be removed contact me at this adress: Super.firstname.lastname@example.org. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.