Friday, October 15, 2010

The Revenge of Frankenstein

There will be a bit of change of plans for the horror movie theme throughout October. I was just released from the hospital after a lengthy stay, so I have not had the opportunity to view, muc less review, the movies I have lined up. I am still going to do them, but the horror movie theme is going to spill into November rather than end on Halloween. Not a big deal, ut it is not as neat as originally planned. Such is the way things go.

The Revenge of Frankenstein is Hammer films second turn with peter Cushig as Baron Victor Frankenstein. Once again, the emphasis is on Frankenstein rather than his monstrous creation. The opening scenes set the tone, as Frankenstein is headed for the guillotine as he was at the end of The Curse of Frankenstein. Someone is executed, though we do not know who. The next scene is of two thieves I a tavern. One dares the other to rob the grave of a recently deceased baron. When they open the grave, they find a priest, not the expected Frankenstein.

Three years pass. Frankenstein, living under an assumed name, has two thriing medical practices. One is for the wealthy, who get the utmost care. The other is for the poor, who wind up having limbs amputated at an alarming rate. Nevertheless, e is the most popular doctor I town. The local association of doctors is not thrilled, so they visit to either force him to join, or shut down his practice.

The meeting is not productive for them, but one doctor stays behind. He knows who Frankenstein really is and blackmails to become his assistant. Frankenstein shows him the experients he is working on. Most involve severed limbs, of course. The masterpiece plan is to place the brai of a brilliant, but crippled colleague into a new body.

The operation appears to be success, util the poor guy is attacked by the janitor one night and kills him in self-defense. Looking at the corpse, he has a complication to eat it. Cannibalism is one heck of a side effect to brain transplant surgery, no? He lumers off to find Frankenstein to ask for help. Unfortunately, he blows Frankenstein’s true idetty in the process.

The Revenge of Frankenstein is an interesting film because it develops the character of Frankenstein. He changes from the first film. He is much more demented here than in The Curse of Frankenstein. Why should he not be? He escaped death only to become a hero to future patients, and made a scientific breakthrough only to have it blow up in his face at the most inopportune time. His journey into madness is very well done for a low budget Hammer Film.

In many ways, I like The Revenge of Frankenstein better than The Curse of Frankenstein even though the original monster, whom I am usually the most intrigued by, is no where to be seen. It is a fine character study of Frankenstein well worth seeing. The cannibalism bit comes from out of left field, but there was a gore quota to be filled, I suppose.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment