Sunday, October 28, 2007

Curse of Frankenstein

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Directed by: Terence Fisher
Written by: Jimmy Sangster, based on the novel Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus by Mary W. Shelley
Starring: Peter Cushing, Hazel Court, Robert Urquhart, Christopher Lee, Valerie Gaunt, Paul Hardtmuth, Fred Johnson, Claude Kingston, Alex Gallier

The first in the Hammer Frankenstein series (part of their shiny box set), followed by Revenge of Frankenstein, Evil of Frankenstein (the only other one I've actually seen), Frankenstein Created Woman (yeah right), Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, The Horror of Frankenstein, and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell.

What's truly terrifying is that I know those off the top of my head... and the Nerds still wont let me play d20 Modern with them...

Okay, this movie has the infamous Baron Frankenstein (who may or may not be stark raving mad) in prison facing execution, trying to explain to a Priest that his sexy French housekeeper was murdered by a monster made out of body parts who, you know, disappeared after that. Naturally, everybody thinks he's totally fucking barmy.

And who knows, maybe he is. So this is basically an update of the 1931 Frankenstein, in vicious technicolour. Like most of the Hammer updates (Horror of Dracula, The Mummy et cetera) it's full of very pretty period sets, chicks with big knockers, and lots of blood (for the time - by todays standards it's kind of sad), which are, of course, the key elements of all good movies.

Well, maybe not. The movie probably counts as retarded, but I find it strangely endearing, along with many other people, I gather. It's just so... British. And I really do like Christopher Lee as the Monster. He kind of looks like a zombie more than anything, a sort of precursor of, like, Bub from Day of the Dead. Mind you, the Creature in this wasn't nearly as sympathetic and lovable as the one in the '31 version - he really seems to like killing people...

Still, it's kind of cute, you know? I get the same kick out of this stuff as other people do looking at pictures of baby crocodiles and shit (no, wait, that's me too... I'm sorry, I like reptiles. They're so cold and smooth).

Anyway, there were a few camera techniques which seemed fairly... modern to me - you don't see them too much in other horror pics of the period, big bug movies from the States and that (okay, this is a little later, but not much).

So... yeah. Yay movie. It wasn't as chilling as the Karloff version though... for me, anyway... oh well.


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