The Revenge Of Frankenstein (1958)
The Revenge Of Frankenstein was made by Hammer immediately after they discovered they had hit a winning formula with Curse Of Frankenstein, yet shows what a bunch of smart arses they were at Hammer by being a brilliant film in it's own right, and not some kind of poor-relation sequel. Plus, once again, it takes the basic Frankenstein ingredients and (due to copyright problems with Universal) makes up something completely new.
Old Victor, who was sentenced to death at the end of the first film, manages to avoid the chop (the poor vicar getting it instead) and makes his way to another German town where everyone speaks with a Cockney accent, there to continue his nefarious activities.
Calling himself Doctor Stein (crafty, eh?) the Baron is a hit with the ladies, but not with every other Doctor in the town, mainly due to his insistence on curing sick people and working long hours (the bastard). So far, so not very evil. Has he turned over a new leaf? What do you think?
Yup, whilst curing the poor, he's also lopping off their limbs and stitching them together to produce a perfect body. Why he can't just use a whole body is anyone's guess. Still, I suppose it just goes to prove some old adage or other...
Another Doctor, fresh from Victor's old town, sees through his cunning disguise and asks to join him in his experiments. The pair create a body, and then bung in the brain of the Baron's disfigured manservant. Of course, things don't go quite to plan and the "monster", initially a reasonably good looking bloke, degenerates into a hideous cannibal fiend.
Like I said, this is a really good reworking of the old story, and a cracking follow up to Curse. Of particular note is Cushing's performance as Frankenstein (when has he ever failed?) and the ultimate degeneration of the monster from society plaything to hideous animal, done with very little make-up and a lot of anguish from actor Michael Gwynn.
But one note of caution. If you've already had to make a hasty escape from flaming torch-wielding yokels as Doctor Frankenstein and Doctor Stein, don't you think it's taking the piss a little to set up another practice under the pseudonym "Doctor Frank"?
Last updated: February 26, 2010
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