The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Article #518 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 8-15-2002
Posting date: 1-8-2003

Frankenstein constructs a creature and brings it to life, but has trouble keeping it under control.

This was the movie that kicked off Hammer’s new style of horror, with more blood and sex and in color. It established the horror careers of all involved, including Terence Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Christopher Lee. Despite it’s reputation as a classic, I never quite feel satisfied with it; I always feel like I’ve been served what looks like a sumptuous feast but ends up leaving me hungry for something, and I’m never quite sure what is missing. I think it might be that I never emerge from having watched the movie with a sense that it had anything really interesting to say other than that they’ve added color, blood and sex to the mix. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but I would like to be able to quote at least one memorable bit of dialogue from the movie; as it is, the thing that I remember most, other than the great moment when Christopher Lee removes his bandages, is how annoyed I am with the Robert Urquhart character; he seems to only exist to make perpetual pronouncements on how evil Frankenstein’s work is, and a number of times he appears in a scene for no other reason than so he can make those pronouncements; he is a truly tiresome and repetitive character, and practically ruins the movie for me. It’s not so much a problem with his performance; he does the best that he can with it, as do Cushing and Lee in their roles, but I really wish more work had been put into the dialogue.

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