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Frankenstein Must be Destroyed

UK 1969
produced by
Anthony Nelson Keys for Hammer
directed by Terence Fisher
starring Peter Cushing, Veronica Carlson, Freddie Jones, Simon Ward, Thorley Walters, Maxine Audley, George Pravda, Geoffrey Bayldon, Colette O'Neil, Frank Middlemass, George Belbin, Norman Shelley, Michael Gover, Peter Copley, Jim Collier, Allan Surtees, Windsor Davies, Elizabeth Morgan, Dorothy Smith
story by Bert Batt, Anthony Nelson Keys, screenplay by Bert Batt, based on characters created by Mary W. Shelley, music by James Bernard, music supervisor: Philip Martell

Frankenstein, Hammer's Frankenstein, Frankenstein (Peter Cushing)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Teh film begins with Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) having to leave another town in a hurry after his experiments are discovered. But there are still enough villages around he has not yet terrorized, aren't there, and in one such, he settles down in Anna's (Veronica Carlson) boarding house - not without an ulterior motive though, because you see, Anna's boyfriend Karl (Simon Ward) is a young doctor dealing cocaine on the side to take care of Anna's mother's medical bills. This makes him a perfect victim for Frankenstein's blackmailing of course, and Frankenstein needs Karl's assistance, since Karl works at the asylum Frankenstein's now mad colleague and dear friend Doctor Brandt (George Pravda) is held, and Frankenstein wants him out of the asylum (and cured from his madness) to learn the secret about freezing brains. Breaking out Doc Brandt is the easy part, but upon the escape, Brandt is somehow killed, and thus, Frankenstein transplants his brain into that of a certain Doctor Richter (Freddie Jones) - the head of the asylum incidently. This of course means trouble brewing, as now the whole case has turned from an escaped madman into murder - but the transplantation is a success, and it even heals Brandt of his madness (don't ask how) ... but then Brandt's wife (Maxine Audley) finds out about the whole affair, and Frankenstein has to leave with Karl, Anna (who he has raped in the meantime for no apparent reason) and of course Brandt in Richter's body. Brandt is not very fond of his new body though, which is why he soon makes a getaway and returns to his wife, with Frankenstein hot on his trail ... and for some reason, in the finale, Brandt burns down his own house, but takes Frankenstein into the burning building with him.

 

An elegant and at the same time very mean entry into Hammer's Frankenstein-series - which is a good thing, right?

Wrong, this is possibly the worst Frankenstein-movie of the studio, and the main reason for this is its script ... it simply doesn't make sense, not any sense: If Frankenstein's so good at brain transplanting, what on earth does he need Brandt for? Why isn't Brandt a single bit grateful for Frankenstein healing him from madness and giving him a new lease of life? Why on earth does Frankenstein rape Anna (in a scene allegedly cut from the American prints of the film)? How come Frankenstein is able to make Karl a killer without even trying? And so on and so forth ...

It's a pity the film is quite as badly written, as it is very decently directed by Terence Fisher, and Peter Cushing is once again great in his signature role even if the character lacks proper motivation this time around. If you're a Hammer-fan, you might still like this one for the same reason you like all the classic Hammer-films, but there is pretty much no additional value in this one.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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