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

Thursday, June 2, 2016


FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED (1969). Director: Terence Fisher.

Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) is up to his old tricks, blackmailing Karl (Simon Ward of The Chosen), a staffer at an asylum, and his girlfriend, Anna (Veronica Carlson of Dracula Has Risen from the Grave), who owns a boarding house, into helping him in his endeavors. The object of his experimentation is his former associate in brain transference, Dr. Brandt (George Pravda), who is now insane, and whom Karl and the Baron help escape from confinement. Seeking Brandt's knowledge, Frankenstein transplants the doctor's brain into the body of Professor Richter (Freddie Jones) -- and it gets even more complicated after that! Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed has a weak, somewhat slow final quarter, but for most of its length it's quite absorbing and entertaining. Cushing [Cash on Demand] is as wonderful as ever, and the supporting roles, including Thorley Walters, as the foppish but astute Inspector Frisch, and Maxine Audley as Brandt's confused and tormented wife, are well-cast. The scene in which Frankenstein and Karl break Brandt out of the asylum is very suspenseful; there's an excellent prologue showing why the baron must hastily exit his latest HQ; and a good sequence when Brandt -- in another man's body -- goes to see his horrified wife. There's a lot of fussing about with skulls, brains and saws!

Verdict: Fun Franky flick. ***.


angelman66 said...

Agreed, very entertaining indeed, I have seen this several times and always enjoy it. Cushing is always marvelous. Love the sense of guignol fun in films of this era.

William said...

"sense of guignol fun" -- I may steal that! Cushing is a marvelous actor with the best enunciation of anyone since Basil Rathbone; both of them made excellent Sherlock Holmes.