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Tales of Frankenstein - The Face in the Tombstone Mirror

UK/USA 1958
produced by
Michael Carreras for Hammer/Columbia (Screen Gems)
directed by Curt Siodmak
starring Anton Diffring, Helen Westcott, Don Megowan, Richard Bull
written by Henry Kuttner, based on characters created by Mary W. Shelley

tv-pilot
Frankenstein, Hammer's Frankenstein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Sculptor Richard Bull is terminately ill (from what is never explained), so he & his wife Helen Westcott decide to visit Baron Frankenstein (Anton Diffring), who happens to be creating artificial life in his pastime. He tells them he can't help, though, & so, a short time later, Bull dies. Frankenstein, needing a fresh, sane brain though, digs up Bull's body & does transplant his brain into the head of his monster (Don Megowan). The monster does of course escape, does the usual lurking through the woods & menaces Frankenstein in the end, until Westcott pleads to his love for her. The monster leaps into the grave he (well, the brain anyways) came from & Frankenstein is arrested for graverobbing.

 

According to all accounts (& especially a Michael Carreras interview, & he would know) Hammer was only nominally producing the film - & when you look at the finished product you might tend to agree - because Columbia wanted the brand name for this half hour pilot for a series that was (fortunately) never realized. In style, Tales of Frankenstein has surprisingly little in common with the Hammer Gothics of this period but everything  with Universal's 30's & 40's horror-cycle (for which director Curt Siodmak was at least partly responsible, having scripted The Wolf Man & Frankenstein meets the Wolf Man as well as having written the original story for House of Frankenstein & Son of Dracula), even the monster resembles the Universal- rather than the Hammer-version. Unfortunately, on a quality level, this half hour story is nowhere near the Universal- nor the Hammer-chillers, lacking surprisingly of chills, suspense or any kind of fast pace. The nicest thing about it is maybe Anton Diffring's rather ham performance as the Baron, making it at least partly watchable.

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD