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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't understand...it's one of the best!, 9 July 2010
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This review is from: The Evil Of Frankenstein [1964] [DVD] (DVD)
I too really do not understand just why this film has so much critiscm thrown at it as it is one of the very best Hammer Frankenstein films to come out of the studio! The film begins with the kidnapping of a fresh corpse! Has some excellent experiments in the laboratory scenes - complete with atmospheric thunderstorm trimmings, and the usual meddling of Frankenstein's work by hypocritical clerics and town officials - who hound him silly! Add to that, an untrustfully dodgey and slimy 'hypnotist' who leads the monster to kill and attempt to murder his 'creator', and the film is a real treat. Okay, it has a couple of flaws, the part of the mute girl is obscure (although she helps the Baron find his frozen monster), and the performance of the monster is not as good as Christopher Lee's in the original ('Curse of Frankenstein'). His make-up is not that bad as you get used to it after a couple of viewings. There's enough sex appeal in it (although very brief) with regards to the busty burgomaster's woman on the bed, and the performance of Peter Cushing is, as always, top notch! The sets are atmospheric and the lighting is great in many scenes. The chemistry between the Baron and Hans (his assisstant) is fine and the music is excellent. The only problem that I can see that other fans of the genre may have with it is that the character of the Baron seems to be 'weaker' and not as 'dark' as in the rest of the series, but how would you feel after being hounded, double-crossed, blackmailed, robbed, ruined, and have your house looted and your 'work' meddled with constantly? It's pprobably this consistant 'hounding' and 'repeated frustration' that turns him into a 'nastier' character in the following films (particularly in the last two, 'Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed' - where he is a murderer, rapist, and blackmailer, - and 'Frankenstein & The Monster From Hell' - where he is totally insane). The other thing is that it is not clear as to where in the series this film comes (with regards to timeline sequence). Is it a completely seperate story? Or a direct sequel to 'Revenge of Frankenstein'? This may 'confuse' some fans to dislike it. The truth is that all the Hammer Frankenstein films are actually 'loose' sequels (and include brief 'prequel' explanations as well) so nothing is crystal clear. The 'Dracula' films are exactly the same. With the 'Evil of Frankenstein' it is not clear as to when his monster fell into a glacier as we have never seen that happened in the previous two films, but are the opening events taking place in England, before he returns to Switzerland (or Germany) to find his house looted? This would fit the ending of the previous film that had the Baron and his assisstant Hans moving to London after Hans helped restore the Baron from his mauling. The ending of this film (The Evil of Frankenstein')has the Baron supposedly burnt in a fire, so does he survive but with burnt hands - which is picked up on in the following film 'Frankenstein Created Woman' - where he is unable to do certain things because he has burnt hands). The 'Evil of Frankenstein' is a brilliant film. It was the film that made me personally seek out the rest in the series on DVD (I had seen all the classic Hammers on TV in the seventies) - so it can't be all that bad. This is an essential part of the series and not just for Cushing completists as suggested. It is a classic film that 'bridges' the early 'gothic horror classics' with the later ones. But of course, each to his own tastes so see it and make your own mind up.
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3.9 out of 5 stars (41 customer reviews)
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