This blog is a place for Me to review classic British films (in particular horror films) by Hammer, Amicus and the like. But I will occasionally branch out and review international films as these are the international counterpart to the British films, some of which will include works by American International Pictures, Mario Bava et al. I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The Revenge of Frankenstein

SPOILER ALERT This review contains spoilers SPOILER ALERT

The film picks up where the first one left off, with Frankenstein heading for the guillotine. He escapes his execution thanks to his faithful assistant Karl, who has made a deal with the baron to save him from the guillotine in return for a new body, as karl has a fine brain but his body is deformed. Frankenstein relocates to Carlsbruck, where he poses as Dr Stein, a voluntary doctor helping the poor. After one of the Medical board doctors recognises him and wants to work alongside him, Frankenstein accepts and they begin work on his new project. Using the amputated limbs of the patients at his clinic, he builds a new body for Karl's brain. Previous experiments into transplanting brains into other bodies have gone wrong, one such experiment was that of a monkey who after the operation ate another monkey. But Frankenstein is confident this won't happen to Karl. All appears to be going well, Karl just needs time to adjust to his new body but when he learns of Frankenstein's plans for him; to be exhibited to scientists from all around the world, to be constantly stared at which he already has been his whole life for being different, he then escapes and Frankenstein's plans begin to fall apart.

The Revenge of Frankenstein is a 1958 Hammer Production and is the sequel to 1957's The Curse of Frankenstein. It stars Peter Cushing, Francis Matthews, Eunice Gayson and Michael Gwynn. It was directed by Terence Fisher.

What I felt was a nice touch in this film was the idea that he is operating using living organs, as opposed to using dead people's body parts which in itself is nasty, I liked how Frankenstein had moved up a notch and was amputating patients' limbs for his own end. This I thought was pretty dark and really effective for a Hammer film.

I love the fact that Frankenstein is this genius of a scientist but when it comes to creating aliases he's not very good. He moves to Carlsbruck and calls himself Dr Stein, later in the film he relocates to London and calls himself Dr Franck. As Dr Stein he doesn't even wear a disguise, he looks exactly the same at least as Dr Franck he does actually try, he has a moustache and a monocle. But the names aren't even unrecognisable, what's next? Dr Frank Victor? Dr Frank Stein? Dr Franklin Stein? Hell why not just call himself Dr Frank N. Stein? Very imaginative. His imagination aside, people do actually fall for it. Literally everyone believes he is this new doctor and in no way could be Dr Victor Frankenstein, only one guy recognises him as Frankenstein, and even he is a fan of his and wants to work with him.

I really enjoyed the ending, I think it must be one of very few Hammer films that doesn't end abruptly, usually right after the baddie is killed then the credits roll. Instead this has the whole monster ordeal then there is the operation to save Frankenstein's life by putting his brain into a new body. Then the film cuts to London, where we see Dr Franck's clinic and we see that Frankenstein is still alive and presumably HE'S AT IT AGAIN. Which I have to say I really like this kind of ending, now the abrupt ones work with Hammer films as it leaves it open for a direct continuation of the story, but I like this ending, its a novelty and it really effectively works. A similar sort of ending, the whole HE'S AT IT AGAIN ending, also features in The Quatermass Xperiment which I also really liked.

On the whole I liked The Revenge of Frankenstein. This is a good sequel, a good Hammer and a good Frankenstein film. I all round enjoyed it. I found the violence was a bit tame for Hammer mind, it was actually more bloody in the previous Frankenstein film. But that didn't matter much, the story was still good and the film was still enjoyable.

The Revenge of Frankenstein 4/5

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