The Curse of Frankenstein Reviews

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cosmo313
Super Reviewer
½ October 15, 2013
This was the breakthrough film for now legendary British film studio Hammer. This was their first color film, and the first of their films that rebooted classic Universal horror franchises, starting with this slick retelling of Frankenstein.

Set up as a flashback driven frame story we follow Baron Victor Frankenstein, an overly ambitious and truly mad scientist who takes it upon himself to play god. His experiments with bringing the dead back to life spiral out of control when his first reanimated human goes on a rampage.

Hammer was practically forced (by threat of lawsuit) to make this as different as they could from Universal's Frankenstein. So they did it by shooting it in color, giving it some supremely awesome gothic touches, having a different looking creature, and favoring some more gruesome aesthetics, even though by today's standards they're pretty tame. Peter Cushing's portrayal of Frankenstein is also a lot more callous, cold-blooded, and evil...and it's a strong, memorable turn as well. Christopher Lee isn't quite as iconic as Karloff as the Creature, but, along with CUshing, this film nevertheless cemented them as Hammer's go-to actors for their various horror films.

Director Terence Fisher does a really good job here, and I love the stylish gothic touches that he uses to enhance the mood and atmosphere. This film is admittedly a bit on the slower side, and is sometimes uneventful, but the build ups do lead to some nice payoffs, so it's not that big of a deal.

Overall this is a fun and creative reboot, and it kicked off it's own lengthy series, so, if you want to see how the Brits brought their own unique touch to a classic, then give this a watch.
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2013
Karloff may have delivered the seminal performance as Frankenstein's monster, but the Hammer horror films were always delectable revisionist versions of the Universal classics. Rather than a titular character with an obsessive tenacity for his experimentation, Cushing portrays Frankenstein as a deranged scientist who is so amoral he is willing to murder oblivious victims to gratify his perverse God complex . After a strong buildup where it is incontrovertible that Frankenstein won't heed his mentor Paul's advice about a "revolt of nature", the reveal of Lee as the malformed monster is extraordinarily spine-tingling. The explanation behind the grisly, cobbled amalgamation of the monster is pretty ingenious with the main framework being a hung man whose face has been savaged by crows (and therefore Frankenstein discards of the heinous visage). The gothic atmosphere looms over the film like an ominous cloud and with the advent of film colorization, the disjointed limbs and body accessories are truly galvanizing to behold in their visceral glory. 'The Curse of Frankenstein' is an intelligent, rococo and grandiloquent rendition of the Mary Shelley novel and it expertly psychoanalyzes the ceaseless inquisitiveness of scientists ("The problems with us scientists is we quickly tire of our discoveries.").
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2012
This film produced by Hammer Studio's is just a little different then most of the Frankenstein stories. Hammer Studio seem to always create a great cast of actors and actresses, this film is no exception. Frankenstein's monster wasn't only created once but twice in this movie. And the good doctor doesn't burn in this movie but goes to prison for kill his lover / maid. 3 1/2 stars.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
Another Frankenstein movie, but with the great Hammer Horror cast, with Cushing and Lee as the stars. It's pretty good, but the original Frankenstein is better.
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2009
While I certainly used to hold this in higher regard than I do now, it's still a really good movie and focuses on the actual humanity of Dr. Frankenstein. Peter Cushing does a great job at being the most cold and calculated human being, that is where the horror is present in the movie. The Monster isn't really featured all that much, which was a brave move considering audience expectations. Where this really just doesn't cut it anymore is the lacking of true storytelling. There's some nicely written dialogue, but it never reaches you on an emotional level. This is a fun movie without a doubt and very watchable, the positives definitely outweigh the negative aspects.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
½ October 30, 2009
hammer's version of the familiar story with the always awesome peter cushing as the baron. i have to say i much prefer karloff's monster to christopher lee tho
cancercapricorn2002
Super Reviewer
½ July 4, 2007
Like most of the classic tales, Frankenstein has had a twist put on it by the fantastic Hammer studios. It has actually been done by Hammer many times, but this film is the one that sticks closest to the original source material. That's not to say that it sticks to it entirely, not by a long shot; as Terence Fisher has still found than enough room for changes to the classic tale, thus making this film a fresh take on the classic tale. Peter Cushing stars as Baron Frankenstein; a role which may well be his finest of all time. Cushing's Frankenstein is more malevolent than the character usually is, giving this film a different twist on the tale from the start. In the Universal classic, Frankenstein was a mad scientist that realised his mistake, and thus the audience was able to forgive him after he repented his sins. Here, we have no such luck; the Frankenstein in this film is a completely morally bankrupt character that seeks no redemption for his sins.

We follow Frankenstein from being a boy and taking control of the Frankenstein estate. It is then that he meets his tutor and later collaborator on his experiments, Paul Krempe. We then follow the two as they conduct experiments in an attempt to bring the living back to life, a la the classic story. It's also a bonus to see Frankenstein in color as most, if not all, of the Frankenstein films before this one were in black and white. Naturally, the inclusion of Peter Cushing in the lead role does this film no end of favors and despite his character being so awful, we are still able like him just because it's Peter Cushing. Cushing's co-star is Robert Urquhart, who plays his tutor. Urquhart does well with the role and it's a shame that the actor never made more notable films because he's not bad at all. The cast is topped off by Cushing's long time collaborator and a man that would go on to become one of Hammer's biggest stars - the excellent Christopher Lee, who does a grand job in a campy turn as the monster itself.

The Curse of Frankenstein is one of Hammer's best production, this stands tall as a solid entry in their oeuvre and is recommended to horror fans
Super Reviewer
½ October 21, 2007
First of the Gothic Hammers and the first of their seven 'Frankenstein' films, all but two of which ("The Evil of..." and "The Horror of...") were directed by Terence Fisher. Christopher Lee did not return to the role of The Monster for subsequent outings. Cushing appeared in all of the sequels except "The Horror of...", which starred Ralph Bates. Though better known for their 'Dracula' series, the Frankenstein films were generally superior.
Super Reviewer
June 21, 2007
Christopher Lee looks odd as the monster because Universal had copyright over the traditional ''bolts through the neck'' makeup. Some say the improvisation is better but you can't help feeling that it would have been nicer to have had the Karloff monster in it.
brandonklaus2
Super Reviewer
½ January 18, 2010
The monster looked worse than it did in the 30's.
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2012
The film that made Hammer a global contender and decided their genre from then onwards 'The Curse of Frankenstein' is still one of their best and the first to star both Cushing and Lee. Cushing gives one of his greatest performances here as Victor and although he would repise the role many times this film probably allowed him the greatest range and arc of the whole series. Lee is the mute monster and although he doesn't possess the make-up design of the Universal classics (due to them being copy-righted) his monster is ultimately more terrifying as it actually looks like it has been cobbled together from different bodies. The film still looks great and the focus on the doctor rather than the monster means it sticks pretty closely to the essence of Shelley's original. Hammer would often try to repeat this material with Cushing with mixed results but this should still rank as one of the greats of the British film industry.
Super Reviewer
November 9, 2010
Enjoyable Hammer version on the Frankenstein story. Great relationship between Cushing (Baron Frankenstein) Urquhart(his mentor and partner Paul). Cushing is obsessive, not mad in this which makes it more realistic and the story concentrates on the tearing apart of a partnership more than the monster itself. Christoper Lee is sad and creepy as the tortured monster. The studio had to come up with it's own version of the monster because of Universal's copyright of the Karloff monster and it looks like a decomposing version of Michael Myers, which is effective in bright 50's color. If you like Hammer films this is a must.
Dracula787
Super Reviewer
May 22, 2009
My exploration of Hammer horror doesn?t get much rosier with this film, although it is a marked improvement over The Brides of Dracula. The main problem is that, again, this takes forever to get started. The movie wastes a good hour waiting for Frankenstein to finally make his monster, contrast this to the Universal version which wisely has the monster coming alive well before the twenty minute mark. I was hoping this would at least have some good technical elements like the way they killed Dracula in The Horror of Dracula, but that wasn?t to be. The monster here looks like it was a dude in a slightly above average Halloween costume, its particularly lame when seen in daylight. The film has none of the atmosphere that James Whale was able to evoke in the 1931 production. It?s also got a really dumb and pointless framing story.
iLeo
Super Reviewer
½ January 12, 2008
Great!
½ May 9, 2012
Hammer Studio's made its first foray into the horror genre, a genre it has long been associated with, in "The Curse of Frankenstein." It is a solid adaptation, with a great performance from Peter Cushing as Baron Victor von Frankenstein, and Christopher Lee as the Creature. What is great as that this isn't just a rehash of what Universal had done 20 years prior, this focuses less on the creature and more on the Baron, and it feature a little more gore. The gore outraged some when it came out, but it is pretty tame by today's ridiculous "Saw" standards. This is a pretty great classic horror film, definitely recommended.
March 3, 2012
Christopher Lee as the monster in a peacoat for some reason. Some very iconic Hammer moments which ended up as book covers and stills in just about every book written after 1960 about Frankenstein. Honestly, tho, this one is a tad plodding and never really gets the horrible monster cooking along. I suppose it does kill a few people, but ending leaves the whole story up to interpretation - maybe the baron is just a looney tune and there was no monster! Did I give it away? Well too bad, you had 55 years to see it already!
June 17, 2011
I'd forgotten how actually good this is.Like Mary Shelly's Frankenstein with De Niro, it shows Baron Victor Von Frankenstein's(Peter Cusching/Melvin Hayes as the young Victor) background in learning as a young man in Switzerland, & how & why he became the Scientist who played God & tried to re-create the perfect man, it was to benefit mankind.The Times Historically in Science were very experimental, he was carrying on work started by others.The "Creature" was played sympathetically by Christopher Lee, more sad, than Scary.More enjoyable than I had rememered
March 18, 2010
what the heck the name fools us all (horror fans) the curse of frankenstein is a hoax first of all do you even see the monster no not very long either worse frankenstein adaption ever made stick with the original frankenstein (1931) and frankenstein (1994) with robert de niro
½ April 17, 2010
A nicely paced little Hammer Horror flick, with Peter Cushing as the mad doctor himself, hell-bent on creating life no matter who gets in the way. I'm still not too sure about Christopher Lee as the creature, but he does cut a disturbing figure as the scarred up monster in the last half of the film.

Well worth a rental.
September 21, 2009
This film starts in a jail cell with the captive confessing his story to a priest. The story starts in his childhood, telling of how his fathered died and he was bequeathed a large sum of money and a title. Bored of school, he hires his own tutor and soon the pair are exploring the sciences together. His obsession for knowledge transforms itself into madness as he searchers for a way to create life. Once he creates his monster he learns that it is psychotic, and uses it to solve some problems he is having, though (as we all expect), it becomes too much to handle. Christopher Lee played the monster, which was a great departure from Karloff's portrayal.
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