Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The key image of this film occurs early on, as a hideous monster removes its face, only to reveal itself as Baron Frankenstein in a mask. Hammer's fifth installment in the series sees the transformation of doctor into monster complete. Peter Cushing's portrayal of the Baron here is all insanity and hatred, rather than the misunderstood (if unethical) genius of previous entries. Frankenstein transplants the brain of an insane doctor into Freddie Jones' body, creating a pathetic, misshapen beast, while using blackmail and rape to control the people around him. This was director Terence Fisher's favorite film, and his pacing and composition have rarely been better. Jones (the nasty showman in The Elephant Man) is great at communicating the disorientation and helpless agony of his condition, and while Cushing's character is more one-dimensional than usual, he does his normal excellent job as the Baron. Hammer's next installment was the silly Horror of Frankenstein before Fisher returned to end the series with Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell.
PG-13 (for violence and horror images)
Classics , Drama , Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros. Pictures

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Peter Cushing
as Baron Frankenstein
Simon Ward
as Karl
Freddie Jones
as Prof. Richter
Thorley Walters
as Inspector Frisch
Maxine Audley
as Ella Brandt
George Pravda
as Dr. Brandt
Geoffrey Bayldon
as Police Doctor
Colette O'Neil
as Madwoman
Harold Goodwin
as Burglar
Peter Copley
as Principal
Jim Collier
as Dr. Heidecke
Alan Surtees
as Police Sergeant
Collette O'Neal
as Madwoman
Windsor Davies
as Police Sergeant
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Critic Reviews for Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

All Critics (6)

This 1969 effort might be the worst picture in the entire Hammer Frankenstein cycle, losing sight of the character of the obsessed scientist in an effort to score some cheap thrills.

Full Review… | October 10, 2015
Creative Loafing

For those of us who love Hammer horror, this is an unmarred example of all the reasons why.

Full Review… | November 3, 2010
Antagony & Ecstasy

Hammer's fifth of seven Frankenstein films might be the best one in the series.

Full Review… | November 1, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Perhaps the most deadly dull in a series that had run out of steam.

May 23, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

One of the finest of the seven entries in Hammer's Frankenstein cycle.

Full Review… | April 28, 2004
Slant Magazine

Quote not available.

August 1, 2005

Audience Reviews for Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed


Cushing's Baron is completely unsympathetic in this film. He's lost whatever humanity he might have once had. His further descent into debauchery and madness is the selling point though. We don't need much of a monster in this one; Frankenstein himself is the monster this time.

Ryan Voss
Ryan Voss

Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed is a close second for my favorite Hammer Frankenstein movie (Curse of Frankenstein being my favorite.) Peter Cushing strips any and all sympathy you may ever have had for Baron Frankenstein and his scientific quest while Hammer kind of reinvents the Frankenstein legend. The last half hour of this movie and what they do with the monster is pure genius and all but forgives the plot holes (like a rape scene with the sole purpose of seeing Veronica Carlson in a nightgown that seems all but forgotten) of the first hour. Not to mention the total vacuousness of Carlson and Simon Ward's characters. But that opening that establishes Frankenstein in the run and the scene with him berating the other boarders? Magnificent...!

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer


one of the best hammers i've seen. peter cushing is brilliant as the diabolical baron. however there's a rape scene in this which just feels gratuitous to me so i'm dropping it half star for that. how did it advance the plot in any way and why is it never mentioned again?

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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