The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

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Movie Info

He may be calling himself "Dr. Stein," but the audience isn't fooled: that popular general practitioner (Peter Cushing) in the mittel-European village of Carlsbruck is none other than our old friend, Victor Frankenstein. No one seems unduly concerned when the patients in a charity clinic begin losing their arms and legs during Dr. Stein's emergency operations -- no one except his young rival, Dr. Kleve (Kerwin Mathews). Threatening to expose Dr. Stein as the fugitive from justice he really is, … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Classics, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Jimmy Sangster
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 13, 2002
Runtime:
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Cast


as Dr. Victor Stein

as Dr. Hans Kleve

as Margaret

as Karl Dwarf

as Inspector

as Bergman
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Revenge of Frankenstein

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3)

This is a high grade horror film.

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

In one of his best performances, Cushing plays on the ambiguity of the central character, so that the Baron becomes a kind of Wildean martyr, alternating between noble defiance and detached cruelty.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Expertly executed example of a golden time in British cinema - one to savour.

Full Review… | September 4, 2013
Empire Magazine

Cushing's cool demeanour and grace were ideally suited to his role as the quietly manic Baron and he gives a chillingly subtle performance.

Full Review… | September 4, 2013
Film4

Surpassed in its shocking effects perhaps only by Warhol's version.

Full Review… | September 4, 2013
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for The Revenge of Frankenstein

the second and one of the best of the frankenstein series. it's a shame cushing is mostly remembered in the states for playing grand moff tarkin of star wars after all the wonderful work he did for hammer. the monster here is truly heartbreaking

rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

The Revenge Of Frankenstein is the second instalment in Hammer studio's Frankenstein series. The first film, The Curse Of Frankenstein, was the company's debut horror feature and a commercial success. It paved the way for a plethora of horror films and made 'stars' of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Lee is absent from Revenge. but Cushing returns in the titular role along with director Terence Fisher and writer Jimmy Sangster.

Having narrowly escaped the guillotine, Dr./Baron Frankenstein retreats to a new town to pledge his trade. Adopting the 'cunning' pseudonym 'Dr. Stein', he opens two medical practices. One serves the wealthy, financing the second which treats the poor and needy. This humanitarian/philanthropist set-up masks the fact that both practices support, in terms of money and body parts respectively, the good doctor's true interests. He has a secret laboratory in a disused wine cellar where he continues his infamous experiments. After three years in the new town his practice is such a success that the local medical council is becoming redundant. The members hold an emergency meeting to discuss the problem of Dr. Stein.

Terence Fisher's Frankenstein series concentrates on the doctor (and in turn science) as the source of 'evil'. Frankenstein's blind ambition and lack of moral code is the real source of horror. This premise is strikingly different from earlier Frankenstein stories. In the Mary Shelley original, both the doctor and the 'monster' are portrayed as victims of science. In James Whale's celebrated duet the doctor is the misguided hero. In both cases the doctor is misled by scientific ambition but retains a strong moral code throughout. The sinister Dr. Pretorius in Bride Of Frankenstein could be seen as a better prototype for Fisher's doctor.

In Revenge. rather than retreading the familiar experiment of the previous film(s), a spin has been put on events. Here Frankenstein's construction of the 'monster' has reached its zenith and is given short shrift. Instead the problem and focus of the film is that of the brain. A living brain is required so transplants are in order. Cue a bloodied brain slopping into a specimen jar. Loopy proceedings include a priceless hand-eye co-ordination experiment (every lab should have one) and a cannibalistic chimp with the brain of an orang-utan. The brain transplantation theme is taken the logical step further in Frankenstein Created Woman, which involves the transfer of the soul.

Although it evokes some viewer sympathy, the 'monster' is not as innocent as the creations in earlier films and in a way deserves its fate. Its appearance is not that impressive either, when it goes on the rampage the facial expression and make-up reminded me of Michael Palin. The fact that the 'monster' starts to regress back to his half paralytic state suggests that the condition stemmed from the brain, Frankenstein's diagnosis was wrong.

This is the only error Frankenstein makes. His assistant, Dr. Kleve, and workers (the cleaner is an 'expert' on zoology) make them for him. Thus the experiment ends in disaster. If Dr Kleve had not helped Frankenstein with the final transplantation, he could be considered to have been a 'plant' from the medical council. The final creation is of course ludicrous. How could the body be a perfect likeness? Still, it paved the way for further sequels.

cancercapricorn2002
David Ladd

Super Reviewer

½

A fun Hammer horror outing.

threefolddado
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

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