23 November 2014

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
83 min.
Directed by Terence Fisher.
With Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Hazel Court, Robert Urquhart, Valerie Gaunt, Melvyn Hayes, Paul Hardtmuth.
Curse of Frankenstein is certainly one of Hammer Film's crown jewels.

Baron Victor Frankenstein (Cushing) is a progressive scientist fascinated by what gives the body its very "essence of life." He begins by successfully achieving the reanimation of dead organisms. Soon, he decides he'll build a man from scratch. But when the brain to be used for the creation is damaged by Frankenstein's disgruntled former assistant (Urquhart), the results are less than satisfying.

Based on Mary Shelley's novel published in 1818, Hammer's retelling of the classic tale was an instant hit, revitalized the gothic thriller genre, and positioned the studio to be a forerunner in horror cinema for the next two decades.

Cushing delivers one of his absolute best performances as the hubristic - yet strangely sympathetic - doctor, while Christopher Lee is lookin' good as the confused, tortured Creature.

There's excellent pacing from genius director Fisher, and some nice, cold-blooded touches of gore. Indeed, Curse proved so successful, it created a franchise that gave birth to no less than six Frankenstein sequels.

First up would be The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958).

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