20 April 2014

Frankenstein 1970 (1958)
83 min.
Directed by Howard W. Koch.
With Boris Karloff, Don Barry, Jana Lund, Tom Duggan, Charlotte Austin, Norbert Schiller, Rudolph Anders, Irwin Berke, John Dennis.
A descendant of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, a modern-day Baron Frankenstein (Karloff) carries on his ancestor's gruesome research in organ transplants and body reanimation.

But now the Baron is sorely in need of some cash in order to fund his experiments.

So, he leases Castle Frankenstein out to a visiting Hollywood film crew who are shooting a horror movie.

(Hell, the Baron even agrees to make a cameo in the flick, and ham it up a little for them.)

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the deranged doc is putting together a new man-creature, piece by piece, bit by bit...Using a newfound source of atomic energy, he brings the monster to life. But has the Baron only breathed life into an unspeakable new evil?

"Karloff is back!" screamed the trailers for Frankenstein 1970.

Unfortunately, Boris alone can't keep this one afloat. The opening scene is really well done; but after that, the chills are few and far between, and Boris is hamstrung by an especially bland supporting cast.

To make matters worse, the 1970 setting seems indiscriminately chosen, and the ending makes no sense. On the plus side, however, it's Boris you've come to see, and it's Boris you'll get! Leering, grinning, grimacing, limping and scowling, Karloff is determined to keep this from going down as too much of a dud. To his inestimable credit, he *almost* succeeds.

Also known as Frankenstein 1975.

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