The Revenge of Frankenstein

We Dare You To See It! We Double-Dare You To Forget It!

Horror Science Fiction
90 min     6.7     1958     United Kingdom

Overview

Baron Frankenstein, working under the protective pseudonym Dr. Victor Stein, together with his assistant Dr. Kleve, transplants a dwarf's brain into another body and unleashes a deranged being.

Reviews

John Chard wrote:
Help me Frankenstein! The Revenge of Frankenstein is directed by Terence Fisher and written by Jimmy Sangster. it stars Peter Cushing, Francis Matthews, Eunice Grayson, Oscar Quitak, Michael Gwynn, John Welsh and Lionel Jeffries. Music is by Leonard Salzedo and cinematography by Jack Asher. Baron Victor Frankenstein (Cushing), sentenced to death, escapes execution by the guillotine and moves to the town of Carlsbruck. Under the alias of Dr. Stein, Frankenstein sets himself up as a successful physician, but still stung by his treatment from his so called peers, he has plans to still create medical history... The Curse of Frankenstein didn't need a sequel, it stands on its own as a wonderful reinvention of the Frankenstein legend and it was a big hit for Hammer Film Productions. But a sequel did come and how delightful it is to find that it not only pulses with everything that was great about Hammer when they were on form, but that it also didn't go for the easy cop out route and follow the same formula of its predecessor. The returning presence of Fisher, Sangster, Asher and Cushing is very reassuring, and there is nothing samey here, because Sangster comes up with a story that puts the man Frankenstein as the focus, his medical dalliance this time is to put the brain of a deformed man into a perfect body. This gives the Frankenstein legend a unique twist whilst offering up ponderings about vanity and scientific advancements, while there's also a deft observation of the class divide, with the good/bad doctor perched Jekyll and Hyde like on either side of the social structure. From the natural flow of the beginning that follows on from "Curse", to a quite brilliant twist at its end, it's a screenplay that pulses with care and intelligence and avoids all the pitfalls of many other Frankenstein movies. Filmed back-to-back with Dracula (1958), Hammer use many of the same sets but dress them accordingly, and they are sights for sore eyes. This really is a tip top production, the costuming to Salzedo's luscious musical score, and from Asher's piercingly beautiful Technicolor photography (some quarters have it incorrectly listed as Eastman Color) to the raft of great performances (Cushing and Matthews make for a very impressive thespian coupling), this showcases Hammer in their pomp. It's not all ideal for sure, there's a lack of scares since it's a very "human" sort of horror picture, the revenge hinted at in the title and Dr. Stein's attitude is a bit of a curved ball, while the set up for the creation to go "bad" is a bit weak, but small complaints and The Revenge of Frankenstein is one of the better sequels in the world of horror. 7.5/10
Wuchak wrote:
_**Thinking man’s Hammer horror**_ Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) is able to escape execution and set up shop in a new city under the pseudonym of Dr. Victor Stein. The Medical Council is jealous of his success and seeks to shut him down as Victor continues his macabre experiments with fresh new associate Dr. Hans Kleve (Francis Matthews). The Baron’s dwarf helper is given a new body, but things go awry, as usual. “The Revenge of Frankenstein” (1958) is the sequel to the original hit from the prior year, “The Curse of Frankenstein,” but without Christopher Lee as the monster (since he was annihilated in a vat of acid). Head-turning Eunice Gayson is a highlight on the feminine front (she went on the play the sorta-iconic Sylvia Trench in the first two Bond flicks from 1962-1963). This is a unique entry in the series as it surprisingly eschews formula in preference to focusing on Dr. Frankenstein’s genius and fascination in creating life from assembled body parts with concentration on brain transplanting. His positive and negative traits are emphasized: He’s brilliant and attracts success and envy, yes, but his obsession drives him to unethical practices. It’s similar to “The Curse of the Werewolf” (1961) in that there’s a broodingly flat hour-long set up before amping up the thrills in the last act. Moreover, the film’s hindered by ambiguity concerning the fragile results of the surgery and retrogression of the patient. The series would get increasingly better with the next three entries: “The Evil of Frankenstein” (1964), “Frankenstein Created Woman” (1967) and “Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed “(1969). The movie runs 1 hour, 30 minutes, and was shot at Bray Studios and nearby Down Place & Oakley Green, just west of London. GRADE: B-

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