Newest Reviews
Extreme Ops
Outrageous Fortune
Neighbour, The
Boy, The
ReZort, The
Julie Darling
Astro-Zombies, The
Monsieur Hulot's Holiday
Notes on Blindness
Black Widow
Wizard, The
Odds Against Tomorrow
End of the Tour, The
Greasy Strangler, The
Electric Horseman, The
White Palace
Pool of London
13 Hours
Two Women
Soft for Digging
Man and a Woman, A
Keeping Room, The
Whale of a Tale, A
Atomic Submarine, The
Starry, Starry Night
Ghosthunters: On Icy Trails
Oil City Confidential
Newest Articles
Queens of Women: Five Cult Stars, Five Cult Films
Abstract Strategies: The Brothers Quay on Blu-ray
Born to be Cad: George Sanders and Psychomania
Speed Kills: The History of Fast Zombies
Skeleton Crew: The Blind Dead Movies
The Stars Are Out Tonight: Hollywood Celebrity Casts in the 70s
Super-Irreverent: Deadpool and his Amazing Friends
Made in Britain: Alan Clarke at the BBC
Manor On Movies: Saucy Sexy Spicy Space Sirens
Whicker Ask It: Whicker's World on DVD
  Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell You Can't Get The Parts These DaysBuy this film here.
Year: 1973
Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith, David Prowse, John Stratton, Charles Lloyd Pack, Bernard Lee, Patrick Troughton, Philip Voss, Chris Cunningham
Genre: Horror, Historical
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Dr Simon Helder (Shane Briant) is arrested after performing experiments on recently dead bodies stolen from the local graveyard, and is sent to an asylum for the criminally insane for five years. When he gets there, he discovers that the place is being run in secret by Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) who has been believed dead but is in fact continuing his experiments on the inmates...

After the failed comedy style of Horror of Frankenstein, this instalment looked like a reunion of the old Hammer team. Written by Anthony Hinds under his John Elder pseudonym, Hammer coaxed Terence Fisher out of retirement, and Peter Cushing returned in the role that made him famous. However, the nostalgia behind the scenes didn't translate to the screen, and the end result, the last Hammer Frankenstein, was a grey, drab and forlorn effort.

Although chiefly a retread of past glories, the film isn't a dead loss. Cushing's Baron is as icily villainous as ever, with his clipped diction, matter of fact references to "homicidal tendencies" and the like, and drive for scientific breakthroughs at any cost and with no sense of morality. As the film progresses, Helder changes from being his willing disciple to a sickened bystander, thoroughly repulsed by what he had earlier embraced as pioneering. By the end, Frankenstein has become a hopeless case and the asylum is the best place for him.

There are plenty of pathetic souls in the institution; one nice aspect of the production is that every inmate has their own quirks, even the extras. As the prison doctor, the Baron first conveys a sensitivity towards the unfortunates, but it's not long before he's betraying them by exploiting their bodies for his experiments. A lumbering brute who attempts suicide becomes the vessel for artistic hands and the brain of a genius - in Frankenstein's world, talent and skill reside in body parts and God is an irrelevance.

Naturally, it all goes wrong, with the Baron's vile plans for breeding his monster with a mute servant girl (Madeline Smith) amounting to nothing when the creature goes on a rampage. This predictability does nothing to help the film, but the odd item of black humour, such as the Baron accidentally stepping on a discarded brain, helps offset the grottiness of the gore scenes and piteous characters. Not the the best way to end a horror icon's career, but even the film agrees that Frankenstein's time, in this incarnation at least, had passed. Music by James Bernard (of course).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 4691 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme music?
Superman: The Movie
The Dark Knight
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three ('74)
Star Wars
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Great Escape
The Ipcress File
The Magnificent Seven
Back to the Future

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Don Emmott
Andrew Pragasam
David Dent
  Arvinder Seehra
  John Kelly
  Karl Weston


Last Updated: