on 15 May 2000
This is the only one of the Hammer Frankenstein films I've seen so far, and from what I've read about the others in the series I have a lot to look forward to.
In this film Dr Frankenstein merges the soul of a beheaded man with the body of his drowned girlfriend, who then goes on a killing streak of the 3 guys who got him hanged for a crime he didn't commit in the first place (the girlfriends father).
I just love these old horror movies, but they are quite expensive where I live, so I buy them from Amazon.uk instead.
on 12 May 2010
Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) uses his surgical skills to transform a disfigured woman into a beautiful Playboy Playmate (Susan Denberg). The problem is that he has also transferred the soul of her dead lover, Hans (Robert Morris), into her body and Hans was framed for murder and then executed so revenge is on the cards.
This is an entertaining entry in Hammer's "Frankenstein" series of films and it saw Terence Fisher return to the series as director. The story may be a bit daft in places and lacking in logic (since when has that mattered anyway in 1960s' horror movies?) but it moves along quite well and contains some interesting and original ideas.
Peter Cushing is excellent, yet again, as The Baron and Thorley Walters (who kind of cornered the market in playing doddery old sods) is good as The Baron's dotty assistant, Doctor Hertz. Look out for Derek Fowlds (from "Yes, Minister" and "Heartbeat") as an upper-class twit who gets what's coming to him.
At the end of the day, the combination of Hammer/Fisher/Cushing makes this movie a must-see for anyone who loves classic British horror.
Frankenstein Created Woman is much more fun than you'd expect. One of the better of Hammer's Frankenstein sequels, it's an efficient programmer that sees Cushing's Baron trapping the soul of his guillotined assistant and putting it in the body of his disfigured girlfriend, only for the wronged boy to use her to kill those who really done the crime he was executed for. There's more build-up than payoff, but its very sedateness (indeed, almost cosiness) is part of the pleasure, and it's hard not to warm to the Baron's arrogance and aloofness, whether it be reading in the witness box or casually answering a policeman's "Do you take us for fools?" with a simple "Yes." Still, it is remarkable just how well preserved that severed head is after six months...
As with so many Hammer titles, this received little love on home video in its home territory. While Anchor Bay's US DVD had trailers, TV spots and an episode of the World of Hammer compilation series, the UK DVDs come with no extras at all, while the UK Blu-ray release seems to be indefiniately cancelled. Millenium's Region A-locked US Bluray release offers a much better deal for those with multi-region Blu-ray players - audio commentary by Derek Fowlds, Robert Morris and Jonathan Rigby, two episodes of World of hammer (one on Peter Cushing the other on Frankenstein), the same 44-minute Hammer Glamour documentary found on the UK blu-ray of The Witches, a stills gallery, trailer and (at least in the first print run) five art cards from the film.
on 16 July 2007
A decade on from their groundbreaking The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and its excellent sequel The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958), Terence Fisher and Peter Cushing renewed their collaboration on Hammer's greatest horror franchise with the macabre Frankenstein Created Woman, a reasonable return to form for the series after the decidedly weaker Cushing / Freddie Francis effort The Evil of Frankenstein (1964). Now reduced to penury after his repeated hounding and exile in previous films, Baron Victor Frankenstein lives quietly in a little European village, arousing the suspicion of the locals, but curiously, not their persecution. When his young assistant is executed for a crime he didn't commit, the boy's crippled girlfriend drowns herself with grief, at which point Victor decides to transplant not the brain, but the soul of his assistant into the girl's reconstructed body...
Frankenstein Created Woman is now regarded by many critics as one of the best Hammer films, though in all honesty it has always left me rather cold. Presumably supposed to follow on from the previous Francis-directed entry in terms of continuity, it has Cushing's Baron on more confident and sardonic form than it that film, a complex, cold-hearted, yet curiously sympathetic outcast; however, he is still considerably more flaky and detached than he was in Fisher's first two movies (and a far cry from the bad-to-the-bone bastard he'd become in 1969's Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed). Though fresh ideas (soul rather than brain transplants, and obviously the female 'creation') help to shake up the by-now-familiar plot, the film is curiously devoid of action, save the three climactic murders, and it leaves the viewer feeling as though the potential in its premise has largely gone to waste. It is also obviously one of Hammer's more modestly-budgeted chillers, with the settings mainly limited to just Frankenstein's workshop, a solitary inn, and a handful of exteriors, though the movie is aided by its performances; Cushing is typically fine, whilst Thorley Walters gives a more serious and muted turn than usual, and the gorgeous Susan Denberg, despite being dubbed, makes a strong female lead (a rarity for a Hammer film from this period). Once again though, it seems that Hammer films are suffering in the struggle for release as respectable DVDs; not only is this latest Studio Canal release just as free of extras as the previous Warner effort, it seems those who designed the sleeve can't even get the name of the film right; it's Frankenstein Created WOMAN, not WOMEN.
on 23 January 2006
One of the stranger Hammer entries sees Peter Cushing revived from a heart stopping freezer experiment to inject the soul of his assistant into a disfigured girl's body. The added dimension here is that the soul in question belongs to the boyfriend of the girl! Frankenstein restores beauty to the girl but all is not well as she begins to go on a murder spree killing the men responsible for her boyfriend's execution.
The script calls for Cushing to play the creator as an almost Godlike figure and although he is not a the centre of the action he dominates those scenes he appears in. Worth a watch if you like these old films. Look out for a future star of Yes Minister! Enjoy
Peter Cushing effortlessly dominates this very good Hammer film, which would prove to be the best of their late Frankenstein movies. What makes this film a cut above the average Hammer film is the fine script by Anthony Hinds, which gives the film the feel of a classic Victorian horror story. You could believe this was based on a book by Mary Shelley or Bram Stoker.
Cushing portrays Baron Frankenstein as a driven man, intent at all costs to prove that the soul lives on after death, and that the soul can be returned to the body if the body is brought back to life... You can see where this is going. Cushing plays the role with his usual authority and even has the opportunity to show the Barons superiority in a court room, which is a lovely scene. Even if you don't spot him in the credits you can't miss Derek Fowlds (Bernard in Yes Minister) as one of the three upper-class louts.
As a general rule of thumb Hammer films directed by Terence Fisher tend to be the better ones. Guess who this is directed by - yes Terence Fisher. Keeping my feet firmly on the ground I realise this film isn't up there with 'Citizen Kane' or 'The Godfather'. However, Martin Scorcese did pick this film to be shown in a season of his favourites at the NFT in London 1987 and is quoted as saying "If I single this one out it's because here they actually isolate the soul. The implied metaphysics are close to something sublime".
So this isn't Fellini, or even Scorcese, but its much better than the title might suggest and well worth adding to your collection.
on 9 April 2016
I absolutely adore this film on so many levels but on two in particular. I've watched it so many times since my first viewing as a teenager but it never fails to entertain me - there are so many memorable moments. It's perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon - it's what my husband describes as entertaining nonsense although It has a serious tale to tell about a miscarriage of justice and the seeking of revenge - and the ultimate futility of that revenge. In fact the only negative part of the film for me is the final 10 minutes because there is too much dying going on. The rest of the time the film is an absolute treat, and that includes seeing the evil ringleader of the murderous gang Anton (Peter Blythe) get his deserved comeuppance, but by the time Christina and the impressionable Johann (Derek Fowlds) - no longer under Anton's influence - are in the carriage I don't want either of them to die. So I find the ending a bit depressing.
Peter Cushing is magnificent as Baron Frankenstein, particularly when he appears in the witness box (flicking through that bible) and although he is chilly and remote at times, particularly towards Christina the girl he has rebuilt (so to speak) his character here is much nicer than the evil Baron of the following Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. Thorley Walters is great as his bumbling assistant, the doctor who likes a drink. All the main actors give a good performance in fact, including Susan Denberg who is particularly effective as the "original" crippled and scarred Christina, although she is usually best remembered as the blonde bombshell who seeks revenge for the death of her lover Hans, She doesn't ever appear in the film in a bikini though. All those publicity photos were a bit misleading!
One reason this film is special for me is because it was the very first Hammer film I watched properly as an adult and really got introduced to the Hammer genre that I've come to love.so much - especially films featuring the wonderful Peter Cushing. My favourite Hammer films feature Peter Cushing playing Frankenstein with the exception of The Devil Ship Pirates and The Kiss Of The Vampire, but they both feature another amazing actor who also appears in Frankenstein Created Woman and is the other reason this film is so special to me. In a production where Susan Denberg understandably gets the most attention in the eye candy sense, for me it's all about one gorgeous man - Barry Warren, who plays Karl, (the one in Anton's gang who isn't Derek Fowlds!) The moment he walks into the kitchen and looks across the room for the hiding Christina is the exact moment I fell in love all those years ago when I first saw this film and I've been smitten ever since!!! In a movie where the femme fatale is the centre of attention, it's good to give a shout out for him here.
Although you might think from the title that "Frankenstein Created Woman" is Hammer films version of "The Bride of Frankenstein," it is really a strong return to the studio's original Frankenstein series after the dreadful mistake of "The Evil of Frankenstein." Baron Victor Frankenstein, played by Peter Cushing of course, has become bored with stitching together corpses and is now interested in transplanting souls by occult methods (with a little help, believe it or not, from a small atomic pile). This new direction is due in some small part to the fact his hands were damaged in the fiery conclusion of the previous film. Dr. Hertz (Thorley Walters), the local doctor in the village where the Baron now lives, willingly serves as Victor's hands. Meanwhile, a pair of young lovers named Hans (Robert Morris) and Christina (Susan Denberg), meet tragic fates. He is mistakenly executed for murdering her father, and the heartbroken girl drowns herself. Victor acquires the bodies and transfers Han's soul into Christina's body. When a visit to the guillotine awakens Han's memories of what happened, he uses his new body to claim vengeance for what happened to them both.
Ironically, not only do we not have the traditional monster in "Frankenstein Created Woman," the mad doctor is also pretty much a secondary figure in the film, although the new twists on the character makes him much more sympathetic than he had previously been. Indeed, Victor is the film's "hero." This is arguably the best script in the series by Anthony Hinds (writing again as "John Elder") and the return of director Terence Fisher to the series is quite welcomed. The casting of former Playmate of the Month Susan Denberg as the, ah, creature did require her role to be dubbed because of her Austrian accent, a final irony since Hammer's Frankenstein films are always set in that lovely part of Central Europe that looks like Austria/Germany while everyone speaks with English/Cockney accents. "Frankenstein Created Woman" is probably the second best film in the series.
on 5 February 2011
Hammer probably laboured the point a touch in their Dracula and Frankenstein series', especially by the 70s. However, this particular outing for the crazy surgeon did at least present a new twist for the British film company. Of course, Universal had already explored the concept of the creation of a Ms Monster some four decades previously, but with ideas in short supply, it was time to revisit the theme. This is ably done, and with Peter Cushing back at the mad creator helm, you can be sure of an entertaining ride.
on 22 May 2013
In order to keep the Frankenstein franchise fresh, Hammer needed to keep adding different takes on the theme, and they have continued this well with their 4th Frankenstein venture- Frankenstein Created Woman.
Expertly directed by Terence Fisher- there is one scene with a man drinking alone in a cafe and spilling his drink which is simply an incredible shot, Woman confirms itself as a solid horror sequel.
Peter Cushing is again of course the Baron, although it is noticeable that as the film goes on he is in less of it. He is aided by a decent enough support cast which includes Thorley Waters. You'll also notice the ramping up of gore and sexual suggestion- timid by todays standards but still a huge leap in the Frankenstein universe. This trend would continue with the superior sequel Frankenstein Must be Destroyed.
All in all Hammer's Frankenstein franchise was a huge success. Six films and of course the spoof Horror of Frankenstein- all very good achievements, that as aforementioned had a different take as to make each sequel memorable and fresh.