Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN

THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN (1964). Director: Freddie Francis.

"He has a brain and eyes. I can't tell you where I got them but they are excellent."

While this film follows The Revenge of Frankenstein, it does not seem to be a proper sequel and flashbacks to the baron's early career do not seem to come from the first film in the series, The Curse of Frankenstein. That being said, in this installment the baron (Peter Cushing) and Hans (a carryover from the previous film but now played by Sandor Eles) return to the former's castle and discover that the original Frankenstein monster (now played by Kiwi Kingston instead of Christopher Lee) was frozen in the ice below and can be revived. To control the creature they enlist the aid of a sinister mesmerist named Professor Zoltan (Peter Woodthorpe), but he makes the monster answerable only to himself. What to do? The baron isn't about to take that lying down. There is also a mute homeless woman (Katy Wild) who is befriended, for better or worse, by the ghoulish duo. Don Banks' musical score has to work too hard to drum up some excitement in the indifferently directed movie. John Hinds' [Anthony Elder] screenplay is mediocre, and the picture is not nearly as much fun as the old Universal Frankie movies. Cushing is a marvelous as ever, however, and the other actors are fine as well. Followed by Frankenstein Created Woman.

Verdict: A cut below the Universal sequels. **.

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