Review The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)

Doctor Omega

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The Evil of Frankenstein is a 1964 British Hammer Film Productions film directed by Freddie Francis. It stars Peter Cushing and New Zealand wrestler Kiwi Kingston. The film's version of the Monster is noted for resembling the one in Universal Pictures' original Frankenstein series of the 1930s and 1940s, including the distinctive laboratory sets as well as the flat-headed look of Jack Pierce's monster make-up which had been designed for Boris Karloff.[1] Earlier Frankenstein films by Hammer had studiously avoided such similarities for copyright reasons. However, a new film distribution deal had been made between Hammer and Universal. As a result, Hammer had free rein to duplicate make-up and set elements


Cast
Additional American release cast

Continuity

The film breaks continuity from the preceding film, The Revenge of Frankenstein.[2] Denis Meikle described the break: "Any pretext of a connection to The Revenge of Frankensteinis dispensed with in a brazen display of contempt for continuity. A flashback creates a prior history that is wholly unrelated to the last Sangster script and is instead plundered from Universal's Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman."[3]

Additional Scenes

For the U.S. television release there were additional scenes featuring characters that didn't appear in the original film and have no interaction with the main characters. Patrick Horgan plays a reporter who questions a doctor (Steven Geray) about Baron Frankenstein. There are also scenes of the deaf-mute girl (Tracy Stratford) and her parents (Maria Palmer and William Phipps), none of whom ever appear in the film again.

Critical reception

Allmovie's review of the film was mixed to negative, calling it "dismal" and "the worst of Hammer Films' Frankenstein series".[4] Other reviews have been more merciful in their reception. The film currently holds a three star rating (6/10) on IMDb[5] and an average 50% on Rotten Tomatoes



 

Doctor Omega

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Evil Of Frankenstein TV inserts

Footage for US TV broadcast of Hammer Films "Evil Of Frankenstein"


Additional Scenes

For the U.S. television release there were additional scenes featuring characters that didn't appear in the original film and have no interaction with the main characters. Patrick Horgan plays a reporter who questions a doctor (Steven Geray) about Baron Frankenstein. There are also scenes of the deaf-mute girl (Tracy Stratford) and her parents (Maria Palmer and William Phipps), none of whom ever appear in the film again.


 

Doctor Omega

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One of the earlier Hammer Frankenstein's that I saw - and one of my favourites.

It was years before I realised that it says "F*** continuity!" and just does it's own thang, completely forgetting all the earlier films. And I knew nothing about the rights situation with Universal Films, which was sorted by this point - or something.

A unique "one off" entry in the series. But I like it.
 

Doctor Omega

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The Evil of Frankenstein stars Cushing but due to an agreement made with Universal to more closely pastiche their version of the Frankenstein story, it re-tells the Baron's history in flashbacks that bear no resemblance to earlier Hammer Frankenstein movies, and portrays the Baron with a very different personality, resulting in a film which permanently breaks the chronological continuation of the series. Each subsequent movie in the series contains elements that do not relate to (or flatly contradict) the events of the movie that went before, whilst the characteristics of Cushing’s Baron vary wildly from film to film, resulting in a series that does not progress as self-contained narrative cycle.
 

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