31 Days of Halloween-Day 13: Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

You would think that after 16 years and 6 films, good old Baron Frankenstein would have perfected his skills of creating life. After all, he helped restore beauty to the horribly scarred and disfigured Christina in Frankenstein Created Woman. However, the creature in 1974’s Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell is perhaps the most hideous yet. Peter Cushing is back on the Baron for a sixth and final time in what is a return to form. Hammer had abandoned Cushing in favor of a younger Ralph Bates in The Horror of Frankenstein (1970), a misfire that was far from successful. For this final outing, the Baron is living at an insane asylum where he is continuing his life’s work of creating a man. Simon Helder (Shane Briant) is the young apprentice who hopes to learn from the Baron. Continuity has never been a strong point in these films but the Baron’s hands are burned, which seem to follow the events in Cushing’s last film Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. After collecting the usual body parts from an endless supply of inmates, Frankenstein’s new creature comes alive. Unfortunately, he looks more like a cross between Ygor and a caveman who is intent on revenge. After the creature is killed by a mob of inmates, the Baron already begins looking ahead to his next creation. Unfortunately, Cushing never got a chance to redeem himself after this disappointing entry in the series. I’ll admit that this is my least favorite of the Cushing Frankenstein films. He wears a horrible wig that just seems like something you’d only see in a gothic 1970s horror movie. Cushing was 59 years when this was filmed in 1972 and he was beginning to look too old for the part. David Prowse (the man behind Darth Vader in Star Wars) is back for his second appearance as the monster after playing one in The Horror of Frankenstein. Doctor Who fans will appreciate seeing Patrick Troughton (the second doctor) as a bodysnatcher. This was Terrence Fisher’s final film as a director and signaled the end of the once mighty Hammer Films. I can’t recommend this one unless you, like me, are a completest. However, do yourself a favor and save this one for last. It is currently out-of-print on DVD and is selling for about $30, although shopping around may get you a better price. It is available for digital purchase or rental through Amazon and iTunes.

2 thoughts on “31 Days of Halloween-Day 13: Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

  1. Pingback: 6 famous RPG designers and the monsters they look like

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