Writer – Anthony Hinds
Starring – Peter Cushing, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith, Bernard Lee, David Prowse, John Stratton, Philip Voss, Clifford Mollison, Patrick Troughton, Patrick Allen, Norman Atkyns, Sydney Bromley, Christopher Cunningham,
Review by The_Void
Fantastic finale to Hammer’s fantastic Frankenstein series!
The sixth and final film in Hammer’s Frankenstein series is yet another treat from the studio! The Frankenstein series is massively better than Hammer’s more popular Dracula series, and easily deserves the much higher praise that the latter receives. Sporting the ultra-camp title, ‘Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell’, this film is important for reasons other than the fact that it’s a lovely slice of camp horror, as it also marks Terence Fisher’s last film for the great Hammer studios. In spite of that, Hammer’s favourite director still directs with all the competency that he instilled on his earlier pictures and manages to do something that Hammer films of the seventies so often failed to do – namely, capture the innocence that earlier Hammer films wore so proudly.
As we entered the seventies, Hammer films tended to lean more towards the gritty euro-style that made a success of other horror films, and it was a huge shame as the colour scheme and the way that the films carry on regardless of how silly the plot lines were was one of the things that made Hammer so wonderful in the late fifties and sixties. It was maybe even the change in style that caused Hammer’s downfall – but at least this film didn’t suffer from it.
This time round we find everyone’s favourite Baron in a mental hospital, after being arrested for sorcery. However, you cant keep a good mad scientist down, and before long Frankenstein has found himself a new apprentice and is on his way to creating an all new monster! Peter Cushing returns to the role that he so obviously loves playing, and once again epitomises the character of Baron Frankenstein to a standard that most actors could only dream of. It’s amazing how well Cushing becomes the character, so amazing that it’s hard to believe that Cushing isn’t like this man in real life. The vigour and cold heartedness on display really is scintillating, and Cushing’s performance makes the film a pleasure to view, just as it did in the previous films.
The monster this time round isn’t as ingeniously pronounced as it was in the earlier ‘Frankenstein Created Woman’ and ‘Frankenstein Must be Destroyed’, but it still represents a great central fiend. The monster suit is hokey, no doubt about it, but the monster almost succeeds in being frightening because of this and I would even go as far as to say that it’s ridiculous looks helps the film! …it certainly shows that Fisher isn’t afraid to do camp horror in a time when more serious films were the order of the day anyway.