*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Horror Of Frankenstein is out of Hammer Studios and directed by Jimmy Sangster. Based around the famous characters created by Mary Shelley, the screenplay is co-written by Sangster with Jeremy Burnham. It stars Ralph Bates, Kate O'Mara, Veronica Carlson, Dennis Price, Graham James & David Prowse.
After a dastardly deed sees him inherit the family estate, Victor Frankenstein continues with his anatomy experiments......
Originally released as part of a double bill with Scars Of Dracula, The Horror Of Frankenstein saw Hammer Studios take a different approach with the titular monster. Gone was Peter Cushing, who in a publicity shoot was seen "handing over the reins" to the next generation, and in came a more comedic and talky take that takes in the permissive society and the British Welfare State! Sangster's movie should be viewed as a comedy with horror elements, it's clear from the outset that the makers here have tongue firmly in cheek. What else can you derive from a film that has a dismembered hand flicking the V's? Or a casual observation that Kate O'Mara has gained weight in the breast department? I kid you not, and it is damn funny.
The most interesting thing about the film is the young Frankenstein himself, perfectly essayed as being a dandy egotist by Bates. He is in fact the villain of the piece. Here is a man who kills innocents with single minded glee, just so he can create life; deliciously bonkers really. The sexiness comes from O'Mara and Carlson who seem to have entered a "who has got the biggest cleavage contest", while Dennis Price of Ealing fame is wonderfully colourful as a grave robber happy to let his wife dig the graves! Yes it's a wacky movie alright. Even the monster, played by future Darth Vader David Prowse, seems to be in on the joke. Throw him a doggy chew and he'll do anything for you. I think the creature was more irked about having to wear a diaper more than anything else.
Sets and costuming are still of a high standard, but this is a different Hammer Frankenstein. Fun and even a little devilish in its writing, it's not, however, one for the scare purists. 6/10