Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hammer time again!!

The Evil of Frankenstein 1964
Director: Freddie Francis
Writer: Anthony Hinds
Starring Peter Cushing, Peter Woodthorpe, Duncan Lamonte, Sandor Eles, Katy Wild and Kiwi Kingston

I am back on my Hammer kick and I am going through the Frankenstein films right now. After the Dracula series they are my favorite, and that is in no small part to the great acting by Peter Cushing. He is really the personification of Victor Frankenstein to me. With his films it's never about the evil of the monster it's about the evil of the creator. A man who thinks he is above god, and laws do not amount to anything in his eye. Though in this film he is not the villain, you actually root for Frankenstein. You really want to see him succeed, but in the end you know he will fail. That is what is always in the cards for him. Close to success but then like a house of cards it all comes crashing down.
The plot basics are this, Frankenstein (Cushing) and his assistant Hanz (Eles) have just absconded with a body and they pull out it's heart and are preparing to get all the necessary parts ready to build another creature. But, the resident preacher finds him and accosts him and destroys his lab so they have to leave and Frankenstein decides to go to his hometown, where he has been absent for 10 years since his first creation. He plans to get some of his valuables from his castle but sees to find they have all been taken and discovers the Burgomeister has stolen all his prized collections. He accosts him but has to leave and him and Hans follow a mute girl (Wild) up through the mountains and finds his first creature preserved there and works to rejuvenate him and the body comes to life but the brain is dormant. So, he finds a hypnotist Professor Zoltan (Woodthorpe) to reactivate his brain. But Zoltan has his own agenda and is controlling the monster. It is finally up to Frankenstein to stop the monster and his master.
This is another great addition to the Frankenstein series. The direction by Francis is well done, it really preserves the gothic feel of the series and he makes the film fly by. The script By Hinds is great as all his Hammer scripts are with some great humorous touches added with Cushing's lines. The acting is great, Cushing is phenomenal as always, with his portrayal of the obsessive Baron. I also liked Woodthorpe as the maniacal and perverted Zoltan and Wild as the mute girl was very cute and sexy. It has some great bloody effects which you always expect in a Hammer film. Finally the music is the finishing touch, with a great gothic score which permeates through every scene. Another great Hammer film that is not to be missed.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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