The Good Place
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The series comes full circle with Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell and Cushing's swansong performance as the single-minded and amoral baron and doctor. Perhaps taken inspiration from the events of the last film, Frankenstein is working as the doctor in residence at an asylum for the criminally insane. Having faked his death (again) he is operating as Doctor Karl Victor perfecting his work on a neolithic man(!), once again returning an actual monster to the series. The addition of the Simon character to the cast allows Cushing to deliver a performance that echoes his original in Curse as both characters are as in sync as Victor and Paul were in the original film, only this time with the roles reversed. With the mute Sarah added to the cast, the film sports a bizarre 'family' that again mirrors the first film's cast. Frankenstein even has an opportunity to laugh, the first time in the series since the first film. The production value is excellent and being one of the later Hammer films, does benefit from not looking like its rehashing the old Bray Studio sets that one can point out so easily in early Hammer films. The monster on the other hand does disappoint, looking a bit like they overreached what they thought they could accomplish. In fact none of the films ever matched Curse with the make-up job they had on Christopher Lee and it stands as the only critical deficiency of these films. Ironically this last film is the only one to end without a cliffhanger but ends on a strange casual note, with a promise of starting again. Of course this was not to be. This ending does lend the film a haunting finality to Cushing's Frankenstein; forever defeated in his scientific ambition but always ready to begin again. Its somehow comforting that the last we see of him is not trapped in flames or on his way to the guillotine, but sweeping the floors of his lab, planning some mad new scheme. Worth noting is Patrick Troughton, The 2nd Doctor himself appearing in the film's opening. Sadly he shares no scenes with Cushing, thus far the only big-screen Doctor to date. Also the original 'M', Bernard Lee in one of his last roles; its odd to see him playing such a bit part so late in his career.