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IAN WATSON'S REVIEWS

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Directed by:
Terence Fisher

Starring:
Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters

Not Rated
Genre: Horror
Format Used: Netflix DVD
Contains: Mild Language, Graphic Violence
Country: England

Also Known As:
Frankenstein Made Woman

THE PLOT:

Since Mary Shelley originally created the character in 1817, there have been many adaptations and additions to the story on paper, stage and celluloid. The most famous movie versions were the Universal series in the thirties and the Hammer series from the fifties onward. This movie is from the Hammer series and is the first to take a totally new slant on the story.

In "Frankenstein Created Woman" we encounter Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) and his assisstant Dr.Hertz (Thorley Walters) attempting to capture the souls of the dead in order to transfer them into other bodies. Forget your run-of-the-mill bringing the dead back to life with bolts of electricity concept, this was 1967,a time of conscious heightening through the mass usage of lysergic acid (L.S.D.) and Hammer wanted to get with the times. When their servant, Hans, is wrongly accused of murdering his girlfriend Christina's father and executed, Frankenstein takes his body and traps his soul in his laboratory. Christina (Susan Denberg) meanwhile is consumed with grief over the death of Hans and commits suicide.

Frankenstein revives Christina and transfers Hans' soul ino her body. The experiment appears to be a success. That is until Christina starts wandering around town sexually enticing men and luring them to their deaths..........

IAN'S OPINION:

This film could not fail. It features the return of Terence Fisher, the man more responsible than anyone else for the look and the style of the Hammer series and the excellent Peter Cushing, who plays the Baron
to perfection. He translates beautifully Frankensteins' absolutist passionate obsession with creating life and unquenchable thirst for knowledge of life after death. The movie is notable as it is poetic, moody and less reliant on typical blood and gore horror of the type that Hammer tended to normally produce. It is a remarkably multi-layered movie and one of Hammers' finest achievements. It positions the Baron as a more sympathetic character than we are used to seeing. This is signaled by his interest in the more spiritual aspects of human existence at the expense of his usual domain of the psychical. It is also the first time that we see Frankenstein totally emasculated: Are his constantly covered hands a symbol of impotence or meant to elude to the barrier between man and the "ultimate adventure"?
I love the interesting concept of the monster as a hermaphrodite: A beautiful blonde woman with the soul of a male who uses the body to trap its victims but instead of sex delivers death. Former Playboy Playmate Susan Denberg is absolutely excellent here. When we first see her she is disfigured and after the transformation we get the appearance of a totally different person but with the same wounded soul. And this is the true beauty of the movie, the paradox: In Frankenstein movies the body of the corpse is normally turned into a deformed monstrosity. Here we see a disfigured and disabled girl turned into a beautiful woman. Genius. (TEN STARS)

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ON THE POSITIVE SIDE (+ HITS):

+ BEST FRANKENSTEIN EVER (Not only is this, in my opinion, one of the best movies in the Frankenstein Hammer series, it has also aged far better than some of it's contemporaries, perhaps aided by the fact that it was set in the 19th Century.)
+ PERIOD SETTING (Compare it to some of the Dracula movies that were set in the seventies for instance and you will see what I mean).
+ THREADS (Also I feel that there are so many interesting threads that are explored here, it is possible to watch and rewatch the movie many times and get something new at each occasion.)
+ DIFFERENT THEN ANY OTHER OF IT'S KIND (It is totally different to the majority of Frankenstein movies rather than a simple dull retelling of the tired 1817 novel.The acting, dialogue and beautiful camera work help give this film the classic status that it surely deserves.)

...AND FINALLY...

ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE (- MISSES):

- NOTHING (There isn't one.)

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