The Horror Honeys: Saturday Creature Feature with Suzanne!

Saturday Creature Feature with Suzanne!

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

I have a confession to make. A confession which will most likely result in a lot of virtual throat punches from some. Here goes… *deep breath*

While I appreciate the beauty and subtlety of the Universal monster movies, I have always preferred the Hammer versions of these stories. It’s possible this love comes from seeing them long before ever watching the Universal series of films. It could also be my young mind fell in love with the color, the beautiful costumes, handsome men and sexy ladies, not to mention the blood, that gorgeous Hammer blood.

The story is a familiar one, the young Victor Frankenstein, a genius of medical science with unlimited means, becomes obsessed with reanimation. He creates a creature from the parts of dead men. The results are hideous and deadly.

Well, he does not look even a little friendly!
Where Universal’s Frankenstein focuses primarily on the monster, Hammer creates a character piece about the doctor. We see Victor, from a young age, lose his parents and seek a mentor in Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart). As he becomes an adult, now played by the incomparable Peter Cushing, he and Paul are research colleagues. The student becomes the teacher as Victor successfully reanimates a dead dog. When Victor wants to expand his experiments to a human subject, Paul decides it’s time to stop. Victor begins to build a superior, perfect human being out of the parts of dead men; hands from a sculptor and the brain of genius, which Victor procures by nefarious means.
In the meantime, Victor’s cousin, Elizabeth (Hazel Court), arrives with the announcement they are to marry. Paul decides to stick around to protect her. 

Elizabeth, you in danger gurl!

Where's Whoopi when you need her?
Naturally, things don’t go as planned and the brain to be used is damaged (Abby-normal). When the creature is awakened, he is revealed to be hideous and scarred, not to mention, violent. This creature bears no resemblance to the soft spoken, inquisitive monster most are accustomed to. He is basically walking rot, but walking rot played by Christopher Lee! 

Hey, new friend? Your hugs are a little too tight. New friend? Hey?
This monster only has murder on the mind. You feel no sympathy for him whatsoever. Lee is covered in makeup and says nothing, but he really doesn’t need to. He acts the crap out of that role. I’m not sure I can say anything I haven’t already said about the dashing Peter Cushing. He plays a villain as equally brilliant as a hero. Did I mention how utterly handsome he is? 

This film has it all: horror, action, wonderfully choreographed fight scenes, murder, a love triangle, and fire!

If you haven’t watched the Hammer versions of the classic monster movies, I can’t recommend them enough. This particular film may not be one of the more popular ones, but I love it. Hammer put out 5 sequels to this film, most of which are horrible, except The Revenge of Frankenstein, which was released the following year. In all honesty, I like Revenge a little better, but the monster isn’t as good.

Fun Fact – Even though Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee appeared in two films together prior to The Curse of Frankenstein, this is where they first met and forged a friendship that would endure until Cushing’s death in 1994.

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