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Customer Review

on 7 March 2009
Produced in 1963, when Hammer were concentrating just as much on contemporary thrillers and children's adventure films as they were on their more noted gothic horror output, Freddie Francis' The Evil of Frankenstein is one of the company's most problematic movies, and also one of their least popular horror films. A wrong-headed attempt to repeat the box office success of their first two Frankenstein pics, this effort displays none of their inventiveness, brashness, or jet-black humour. With both original director Terence Fisher and screenwriter Jimmy Sangster absent, the film's script totally ignores both the plots of Hammer's two earlier Frankenstein movies, and the previous characterisation of the title character by Peter Cushing. Francis' flick has far more in common with the Universal Frankensteins of the 1930s and 40s (note the huge laboratory set, lumbering monster, and het up villagers as three examples), and as a result, the movie remains by far the least impressive and least enjoyable of Cushing's six appearances in the role of Baron Victor Frankenstein, who is here a whining, exhausted-looking bore, and nothing at all like the cold, calculating anti-hero of Fisher's films. With such names as Jack Asher (Director of Photography), Bernard Robinson (Production Designer) and James Bernard (Composer) also missing from the credits, it is safe to say that this dull, stale film was certainly the work of Hammer's `B-team', and it shows.
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