Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to In The Balcony. We hope you enjoy your visit.

You're currently viewing our forum as a guest. This means you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use. If you join our community, you'll be able to access member-only sections, and use many member-only features such as customizing your profile, sending personal messages, and voting in polls. Registration is simple, fast, and completely free. Plus, you'll be eligible for the monthly $1 million prize. (Not really.)

Join our community!

If you're already a member please log in to your account to access all of our features:

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)
Topic Started: Aug 5 2012, 07:36 AM (621 Views)
Laughing Gravy
Member Avatar
Look for In The Balcony on Facebook!
[ *  *  * ]
Posted Image

The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) Dir. Terence Fisher
Hammer Films / Released in the U.S. by Columbia Pictures
89 min. / Colour / 1.66:
On Blu-ray from Mill Creek Entertainment

ITB Shock Theatre #209

Baron Frankenstein escapes the guillotine with the help of a misshapen accomplice, and – brilliantly changing his name to Dr. Stein and disguising his appearance by putting on a clean shirt – he sets up his practice in another city, where, as the head of a hospital ward for the poor, he can help himself to a nice smorgasbord of body parts (amputating the arm of a pickpocket, for example, because he admires the guy’s light fingers). Y’see, the good Baron has built another body and has promised to put the accomplice’s not-so-special brain into it. He does, but the guy reverts back to his more primitive form, and develops an unhealthy habit of murdering women, it seems.

Silly story, probably better than the fairly dreadful Curse of Frankenstein, but so what? I like Cushing, but his Frankenstein is so evil and rotten it’s hard to like him in these movies. This was produced probably 10 minutes after Dracula wrapped; the same sets are used, only hastily redressed for the most part, if at all (having actually watched this back-to-back with the earlier film, I’m kinda surprised Jonathan Harker wasn’t at the Frankenstein execution). One good sequence where a grave robber spots the Baron alive and well, has a heart attack, and keels over into the grave himself. As for the rest of the film… Usually, Hammer gives us at least a lot of mammaries to look at, but – in a continuing battle with the censor that resulted in the studio trading away the sex for more stuff like a pair of eyes floating in a tank – not so much here. As usual, the censor was horrified, admitted that in light of the success of Curse of Frankenstein a sequel was inevitable, and vowed that rather just one, a litany of censors would have to approve the script before it got filmed. Two portions written ended up being sliced out: the Monster turning cannibal, and the monster disintegrating at the end “as if he had mange.”

Baron Frankenstein is pretty good at surgery (not much aesthetics-wise, of course) but seems really lousy at simple scientific observation; you would’ve thought once the chimpanzee he’d performed the test brain experiment on turned violent and developed a taste for raw meat, he might’ve noted that in his li’l experiment journal, no? In fact, this is a whole lot less gory (and this tamer and not so interesting if you're looking for that sort of thing) than the first one.

In America, typically, the censor approved the script but cautioned against any suggestion of sex(!).

Million-dollar Dialog:
Creepy Hospital Assistant: "There's a woman askin' for ya, doctor. She's a real lady. She's got scent on."

Hammer next flew into a “prestige” project, a joint-production with United Artists called The Phoenix, directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Jeff Chandler and Jack Palance (well, that’s KIND of a prestige project). Eventually, Hammer was squeezed out of the production, which was filmed in Berlin. Hammer also co-produced (with Screen Gems) the pilot for a Frankenstein TV show starring Anton Diffring, filmed in America. The pilot of Tales of Frankenstein, called “The Face in the Tombstone Mirror”, didn’t sell and the remaining scripts were cannibalized (you should excuse the expression) for future theatrical films. Hammer busied themselves with a comedy sequel, Further Up the Creek, and an adaptation of a hit TV series called The Army Game entitled I Only Arsked, while arguing with the censors and considering future monster movies.

The Revenge of Frankenstein was released in the fall of 1958. It made a lot of money. And as for the recent Blu-ray (which pairs it with Curse of the Mummy's Tomb), it's pretty nice to look at and listen to. No special features, but the darn thing's dirt cheap. So there.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
« Previous Topic · Shock Theatre · Next Topic »
Add Reply