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.pig@live.co.uk. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

Last month I reviewed Hammers first gothic horror and also the first in their Frankenstein series. That movie was The Curse of Frankenstein made in 1957 (review here: http://youngbloodclassichorror.blogspot.com/2010/11/curse-of-frankenstein-1957.html) and the series is easily one of my favourite horror franchises of all time. The reason? Why it has to be the Baron of course. There has been mad scientists throughout the history of horror from its very beginning to some released this very year. Peter Cushing’s Frankenstein however has to be one of the most memorable. When there are countdowns of the top 10 or so mad scientists he almost always shows up either representing all the Frankenstein’s or on there as himself. In fact I remember reading a Doctor Who magazine some years ago with an article on that series Frankenstein rip-off The Brain of Morbius. In that article it showed connections between the Frankenstein Films and that serial. One of the Largest pictures on that page was a shot of Mr Cushing in his lab from Frankenstein Must be Destroyed (1969). Why is he such a memorable character? My favourite part of his character throughout the entire series though is how he becomes more and more insane throughout each one before he finally looses it. Now any horror fan with a knowledge of these films will tell you that they are not the best for continuity but even with the loose connection you can still see that as you get later on into the series the Baron begins to loose it more and more.

Anyway back to the film I’ll be reviewing today. The Revenge of Frankenstein from 1958 was the first sequel to The Curse of Frankenstein and in my opinion the best as it even tops the original for me. A fantastic script helps a lot creating a new and unusual atmosphere that differentiates this one from its predecessor but keeps it in tone so that the two would make a fantastic double bill. The script also helps a lot with the general plot of the series changing the story from Frankenstein making a creature from scratch to brain transplants. It seems a bit pointless the way its described in the film as we gather that Frankenstein wants to begin again but he states that the “brain must be a living one”, maybe its just because he is making use of his deal with Karl? If the script had spent just a tinsy bit longer on the Baron saying things like “he’s still my creation” and going down that road it would have improved this very small plot hole.

Anyway the story is this: Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) is about be guillotined for the murders his monster committed but a quick deal with a hunchback called Karl (Oscar Quitak) helps to save his life and instead a priest gets the chop. The deal involves Frankenstein creating a new body for Karl which helps him a great deal as he states he needs a living brain anyway. Getting help from a young Dr. Hans Kleeve (Francis Mathews) Frankenstein goes further with his experiments than he ever has before. It is a dangerous path however and one that will lead to possibly the best ending in a Hammer film ever.

That really is not an understatement if you’ve never seen this film then one of the reasons you owe it you yourself to view it is for the pure shock that ending will give you. It’s not frightening or jumpy but it is a haunting end that will you pondering it long after the film has finished.

In fact like the previous entry this is not a frightening film but unlike that particular movie it seems to be a lot more disturbing. Watching the film is interesting as you are watching the downfall of the Baron. He has become a lot more obsessed with his work since the last film and seems a lot more big headed than before. The latter does eventually turn the tables on the Baron and if he had listended to Hans when he had a chance the story may not have ended the way it did. However you can’t help but wonder whether the Baron wanted what happended to happen, just to see if his plan worked...

Another thing I loved about this movie was the increased element of black comedy. It’s not laugh out loud comedy and no doubt some of it will seem dated but it helps create the films unique atmosphere and presents us with some wonder full characters. Speaking of characters none are two dimentional and all are birght or memorable in at least one way or another.

Once again however Mr Cushing steals the show in what is defiantly one of his best performances of all time. As I already mentioned the Baron is a lot more obsessed in this film and Cushing plays the part with relish. Including a fantastic scene where Hans breaks into the Barons rooms and Hans manages to turn the tables on him with some incredibly witty language. Although dear old PC is without doubt the star I cannot possibly give praise to any actor’s performance in this movie without at least mentioning Oscar Quitaks heart wrenching performance as Karl. The scene where he meets the films Heroine for the first time has a poetic beauty to it that is without doubt one of Hammers most touching scenes.

GORE: Although the same rating as the previous film it’s actually got less violence but there are some scenes of Brains removed from bodies and the story is a lot darker

NUDITY: none

OVERALL RATING: A fantastic captivating movie, 10/10

No comments:

Post a Comment