The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Haughty young Victor

Haughty young Victor

Seeing as how Dr. Frankenstein and his monster may very well be two of the most commonly recurring characters in cinematic history, it’s no surprise they’re already making their fifth appearance on Schlock Wave. This time, Hammer gets to tell the tale, with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee leading the way.

The tale starts off with a young Victor Frankenstein, a real entitled dandy if there ever was one. With both parents passed away and an entire estate to handle, what’s a boy to do but fool a brilliant teacher named Paul Krempe into coming to his estate to

Old-timey science!

Old-timey science!

be his tutor? Paul can’t resist Victor’s charms (?) and stays for years teaching the boy everything he knows about medicine.

Of course, as time passes, Victor becomes obsessed with the idea of reanimating flesh and becoming one of the most famous men in the world. Paul wants nothing of it and threatens to leave, but when Victor’s cousin/fiancée Elizabeth comes to live at the estate, Paul feels he has to protect her from the egomaniacal man Victor has become. As you are undoubtedly aware, the movie continues

The beautiful results of science and technology: Frankenstein's monster.

The beautiful results of science and technology: Frankenstein’s monster.

on to follow Victor piecing together various corpses to create a true abomination, played by Christopher Lee.

So, what makes this Frankenstein different than others? Well, keep in mind, this is a Hammer movie, so instead of some serious psychological examination or  meditation on the dangers of science + ego, it is more concerned with murder, brains, body parts and a gnarly-looking monster. And that’s totally okay. The real problem is that it moves a little too slowly and kind of stops dead at parts. I blame this mostly on the fact that this movie was made in 1957; Q and I both agree if Hammer had made this a decade later there’d be fewer boring parts and more boobs!

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