francis matthews, Frankenstein, hammer films, Hammer Horror, jack asher, jimmy sangster, michael gwynne, oscar quitak, peter cushing, terence fisher
Hot off the tails of Hammer’s iconic release of Dracula aka Horror of Dracula, the British Film production company would look to follow up on the success of their other Gothic feature, The Curse of Frankenstein. That film as noted at the time had the titular Baron played by Peter Cushing (returning once more here) heading for the guillotine. His resurrection would be a simple enough with Frankenstein paying off his executioner and escaping to form an alternate identity as Dr. Victor Stein set up his own successful practice in Carlsbruck. His alias is soon uncovered however by fellow doctor and admirer of Frankenstein’s work, Hans Kleve (Francis Matthews). Hans teams up with Frankenstein, eager to learn his methods and the two set work in picking up where he last left off, with the creation of life.
As part of these scientific methods, Frankenstein is accompanied by a hunchback, Karl (Oscar Quitak) who volunteers his brain in the promise of a new body (Michael Gwynne). It wouldn’t be a Hammer film without its share of drama and conflict which comes at the hand of Karl being beaten by a janitor damaging his brain and transforming his personality into a cannibalistic, decaying frame. From here, Frankenstein’s demise is on the cards and the town will awaken to his dark deeds.
Despite having a rushed script, the final cut would do well for Hammer, pulling in enough income at the box office and would be commended for a well handled screenplay ably supported by Jack Asher’s cinematography along with Terence Fisher’s directing. This is Cushing’s film though and his poise and acidic portrayal is one that lifts The Revenge of Frankenstein marking a successful franchise return and arguably one that is seen by some as better than its predecessor.
– Saul Muerte