FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN (1967)
Article #1710 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-19-2005
Posting Date: 4-18-2006
Directed by Terence Fisher
Featuring Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters
Dr. Frankenstein takes the dead body of a deformed woman, cures the deformities and brings it back to life, instilling it with the soul of her former lover who had been wrongly executed for murder. She seeks vengeance on those who were really responsible for the murder.
I’m afraid that this entry in Hammer’s Frankenstein series doesn’t to a lot for me. Part of the problem is that the script seems obvious and weak. I find it hard to really enjoy a movie which tries this hard to push certain emotional buttons; the three drunk nobleman are such total rotters that they never emerge as real characters at all, and the attempts to gain sympathy for the deformed woman are so blatant and repetitive that they get truly annoying; if a movie is going to play on your emotions, it should do so subtly and convincingly. Still, the main problem is that the movie spends so much time concentrating on these one-dimensional characters rather than on Dr. Frankenstein himself, who, as played by Peter Cushing, is far and away the most interesting character in the movie. The more I see of Cushing, the more I marvel at his work; his ability to flesh out characters by using subtle quirks and interesting details is breathtaking, and he gives his characters an air of mystery that leaves you wondering what they’re thinking about at every moment. I like the movie when Cushing is on the screen, less so when he isn’t.
Still, I have to admit that I’ve developed a fondness for one other aspect of the Hammer Frankenstein series, and that is the lab equipment they use. There is something convincingly period about it all, and I like the fact that it all looks a little dingy and used rather than clean and spotless. In some ways, this style of lab equipment is as much a signature of these movies as the Strickfadden equipment was for the Universal series.