The story of Frankenstein is a classic tale that is still relevant today. In the film, Dr. Frankenstein creates a monster in an attempt to bring his dead wife back to life. However, he ends up creating a creature that turns on him and kills him.
The the evil of frankenstein full movie is a 1964 horror film directed by James Whale. It was produced by Universal Pictures and stars Boris Karloff in the title role, alongside Yvonne De Carlo, Ernest Thesiger, Barbara Steele, and Christopher Lee.
I made it a point to acquire all of Peter Cushing’s appearances as Frankenstein (on blu-ray) in my collection after buying up Frankenstein Created Woman and discovering how much I love seeing him portray the role. So when the chance to read The Evil of Frankenstein arose, I jumped at it.
Unlike Frankenstein Created Woman, I had never seen this film before, but the storyline fits what I’ve come to anticipate from similar stories: a Frankenstein invention goes awry, mayhem ensues, and everything culminates in a huge dramatic finale.
Only in this instance, between the beginning and the conclusion, the narrative takes a few unexpected turns. The narrative begins with Frankenstein already in the middle of a fresh series of experiments, only to be driven out of town (yet again), causing him to return to his hometown in quest of money, as in many of these flicks. When he finds his original Monster, he discovers it to be unconscious and unresponsive. Frankenstein coerces a traveling hypnotist into resurrecting his invention, but as Frankenstein soon discovers, this causes more difficulties than it solves.
The problem with The Evil of Frankenstein is this: Although I understand that Hammer produced this (and the other Frankenstein films in their series) as a distinct entity from the previous Universal pictures, I swear THIS film is a near-perfect mix of Son of Frankenstein (1939) and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943). What do you mean by that? To begin with, Baron Frankenstein finds his initial creation, but it is now unresponsive, which is a key narrative element in The Evil of Frankenstein.
That’s hauntingly similar to Wolf von Frankenstein (the eponymous “son of Frankenstein”) discovering his father’s monster in a vegetative condition in Son of Frankenstein. However, once Frankenstein’s monster is resurrected, it only listens to the orders of the hypnotist who revived it, EXACTLY as the Monster only reacts to Ygor’s commands in Son of Frankenstein. There are just too many parallels to be coincidences, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the authors of The Evil of Frankenstein were inspired by Son of Frankenstein, even if they weren’t meant to.
The parallels between this picture and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man are less obvious, but they are nonetheless intriguing. The Monster is recovered frozen alive in ice in both films, and he is again found frozen alive in ice in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.
I’m also impressed by how similar the climaxes of the two films are, or at least how similar they seem to me. When the laboratory is destroyed in both films, Frankenstein’s monster is washed away and believed dead (blown up in one film and swept away by floodwaters in the other). Again, one resemblance is too many for it to be just coincidental (though having read that this film was distributed by Universal, maybe Hammer really did just copy past film elements after all).
Aside from those fascinating facts, I have a major beef with whomever created the monster make-up in The Evil of Frankenstein. One of the reasons I like the original Frankenstein make-up from the 1930s is that it is almost undetectable. However, it is painfully apparent in THIS film that this is an actor in make-up, and not even very excellent make-up. This is my least favorite aspect of the movie, and it made it difficult to take certain situations seriously.
As usual, Peter Cushing is a joy to see. For years, I was only familiar with him because of his role in Star Wars, and I’m happy I’m now getting around to seeing more of his work. The same element that I observed in Frankenstein Created Woman was present in this film: Baron Frankenstein is much too clinical for his own good. That is to say, he is so engrossed with his monster as an experiment that the bigger picture doesn’t dawn on him until it’s too late.
The same as in this film: he’s happy to employ the hypnotist, but it doesn’t occur to him until after the harm has been done that the hypnotist could USE the monster for his own personal gain. Despite its flaws, I like The Evil of Frankenstein in the end. It’s a good picture; Peter Cushing is convincing as an obsessive Baron Frankenstein, and although the plot is predictable, it’s nevertheless entertaining to watch.
Leave your thoughts on The Evil of Frankenstein in the comments section below, and have a wonderful day!
- My Thoughts on the Woman Created by Frankenstein (1967)
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- It was directed by James Whale and written by Christopher Lee.