Frankenstein must Be Destroyed is often cosidered the most compelling of the Hammer Films featuring the character, but I am afraid I must defer from popular opinion. The two main themes of the film, the tracing of a brain transplant from plot to completion ad the preservation of genius rather than the creation of life, are well executed, but not really knew within the series.
In a spectacularly odd sequence, Frankenstein defends his laboratory against a thief by fighting him off while wearing a grotesque mask. Weird, but highly effective. Frankenstein opts to move to a safer place for his experiments, so he moves into the cellar of Anna Spengler, your typical buxom blonde. Frankenstein learns her fiance, a doctor at the asylum, as been stealing drugs and selling them in order to support his future mother-in-law. He uses the knowledge to blackmail Dr. Karl Holst into serving as his assistant.
The brain transplant is successful. The monster is not a lumbering, misunderstood creature this time around, but an intelligent, yet tragic figure. Before his finale confrontation with Frankenstein, he tells off his wife for being the cold, heartless woman she was in his previous life. The monster is no less psychtic, in spite of Frankenstin’s best efforts. It sets the house o fire and gives Frankenstein a choice--fire or the police.
I am still less enthused with Frankenstein Must be Destroyed than the two previous films in the series. Peter Cushing is great in his third turn as Frankenstein, but I feel like the character was deeper and more interesting in the previous two. But there is nothing new. It is not a bad movie, but it taes the best elements of its predecessors and combines them Such may satisfy many fans, but I was let down.
Rating: *** (out of 5)