The Revenge of Frankenstein (UK)

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The Revenge of Frankenstein (UK)

Post  BoG on Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:03 pm


2nd Hammer Frankenstein film, a sequel to The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), has Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) escaping the guillotine with the help of a confederate, a hunchback (referred to as "the Dwarf" in the credits) who also has paralysis on his right side. Frankenstein has promised him a new body. Normally, such a promise would be ridiculous, but this is Frankenstein - he determines that the way to improve on his previous efforts is to transplant a living brain into a newly-prepared body (Michael Gwynne), as opposed to inserting the brain of someone deceased.
Frankenstein also acquires a new assistant, Hans (Francis Matthews), a young doctor who wants to learn from the master. Frankenstein has transplanted himself to a new locale and uses the name Dr. Stein. There is a local medical council which regards the new doctor with some hostility but overall things are going well for the doc. The problems begin soon after the key brain transplant surgery; the surgery itself went fine - but then enter the female character (Eunice Gayson), a young woman from a rich family who donates her time as a nurse. She unfastens the new man's restraints and, for whatever reason, he decides to go off the deep end. His body also starts to deteriorate into a version of his old body. Evidently, Frankenstein's techniques still need to be perfected.
This film, as would all subsequent films in the series, plays up Dr. Frankenstein's arrogance, building on the character template established by the writers and actor Cushing in the first film. He obviously feels that he is the smartest man in the room in any situation, even when it involves other professionals. This ultimately proves to be his undoing in  the coda: he considers himself invulnerable to a large extent and ignores the possibility that others are capable of doing him harm.  However, since he is Frankenstein, the ending also reveals that he is capable of bouncing back from an otherwise fatal situation. The film also presented the supposed creature of the story as more of an ideal man - an Adam - which then degenerates. This premise was also used in the TV Frankenstein-the True Story in 1973. BoG's Score: 7 out of 10

Frank Trivia: it would be several years until the next Hammer Frankenstein film - The Evil of Frankenstein in 1964
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