Frankenstein Created Woman
For a film with such an exploitative title, Frankenstein Created
Woman is a dull affair. You don't even get to see anything remotely
approaching the pre-publicity photos (Cushing carrying a bikini-clad babe
around his laboratory). It's also quite lacklustre in the blood-and-guts
department - because the Baron is only concerned with transplanting the
"life force" from one body to another, there isn't even any
skull sawing or limb stitching going on. Plus it's got Thorley "frankly
just annoying" Walters in it as Frankenstein's aid.
There are some good points - the idea of putting a wrongly executed man's
mind into the body of his recently suicided(?) girlfriend is a bizarre
one which is not really explored to its full extent (and is also possibly
the worst mistake the Baron ever made - not to mention the most ethically
wrong). But at the end of the day, no woman is created. Yes, his work
could be considered a "Curse",
he's had his "Revenge", he's
"Evil", created a "Monster From Hell" and "Must
Be Destroyed", but come on Hammer - "Created Woman"?
I think not. The only thing he creates is a vengeful blonde psycho hose-beast,
and there are already plenty of those around (am I right, lads?). The
only Hammer Frankenstein with a more misleading title is Horror
Of Frankenstein, and that's only because it's shit.
Created Woman begins with Hans' dad being carted off to the guillotine,
and the young lad witnessing his father's death. Years later (shown by
the guillotine getting all rusty) Hans has grown into a typically Hammer
bowl-cutted berk who is working for Dr Hurst (Walters) a bumbling fool
who Baron Frankenstein (for some reason) has entrusted his unfreezing
to. Yes, this time the Baron is experimenting with cryogenic suspension,
and using his own body as the guinea pig. What this means is that this
time it's the Baron himself who's brought back to life with electricity
(nice touch), Hurst commenting: "Yes! He lives!"
The Baron's soon up and about: "For one hour my body had died - and
yet my soul remained. But how? Could I trap it myself?"
Who cares? Not Hans, who's off to see his girlfriend Christina, the disfigured
daughter of the pub landlord (an even more than usually miserable git
- how did any of the pubs in Hammer films making a profit with that bunch
of sourpusses running them?). She hides her dodgy face behind a mass of
dark hair, but still gets hassled by three other customers in the pub,
a trio of top-hatted chinless wonders who proceed to cause her to spill
a drink and then slap her about. Luckily Hans is on hand to weigh in and
give a good account of himself, finishing off by slashing the leader's
face with a knife. Hans is dragged off by the extremely speedy police
and the trio decide to finish off their evening's entertainment by singing
a special song outside Christina's bedroom window. What they don't realise
is that a furious Hans is there too, post shag.
Back at the lab, the Baron and the Doctor have been experimenting on rocks
and appear to have created an indestructible wine glass. As Hurst says:
"I'm a broken down, drunken old muddle head and you have to spell
it out to me..."
Us too, Thorley. What they've actually created is an impenetrable force
field (that'll come in handy for Cushing's Death Star in 1977, then) which
they will use to trap a soul as it leaves a body. So far, so confusing.
The trio of arses have been even busier during this, and have bumped off
Christina's dad, a crime that Hans gets arrested and tried for. Despite
a spirited defence of the lad by Frankenstein (who otherwise is wonderfully
disinterested in the court proceedings), Hans is found guilty, has his
head lopped off (just like dad), and a distraught Christina flings herself
into the nearest river.
Of course, at this point the Baron seizes his chance, telling Hurst: "Right?
What's right got to do with it? Bodies are easy to come by - souls
are not." Using a spot of blackmail about STDs and abortions, he
gets hold of both bodies and after a spot of soul swapping (and plastic
surgery), Christina is born again - blonde and beautiful. Hans' soul is
in her body - but "not all the time".
Of course, it's not long before Hans' presence makes itself felt with
a number of violent killings, the villagers think the Baron's been up
to no good (he has) and lay seige to his laboratory, and the police ask
him "Do you take us for fools?" (His answer is a wonderfully
The ending is bleak - possibly the bleakest of all the Hammers, as the
Baron realises that his one and only attempt at (misguided) philanthropy
has failed, his creation telling him: "I know who I am, and what
I have to do. Forgive me."
By the time he surfaces again, he'll be back to his old tricks as a cold
hearted killer. And we all know what that means - yes, Frankenstein
Must Be Destroyed!
Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
Director: Terence Fisher Writer(s): Anthony Hinds
Cast: Peter Cushing - Baron Frankenstein, Susan Denberg - Christina,
Thorley Walters - Doctor Hertz, Robert Morris - Hans, Duncan Lamont - The Prisoner,
Peter Blythe - Anton, Barry Warren - Karl, Derek Fowlds - Johann, Alan MacNaughtan
- Kleve, Peter Madden - Chief of Police, Philip Ray - Mayor, Ivan Beavis - Landlord,
Colin Jeavons - Priest, Bartlett Mullins - Bystander, Mark McMullins - Villager
with Body, Alec Mango - Spokesman, Patrick Carter - Guard, Kevin Flood - Chief
Gaoler, Lizbeth Kent - First Woman, Howard Lang - Guard, John Maxim - Sergeant,
Stuart Middleton - Young Hans, Antony Viccars - Second Spokesman