The Evil of Frankenstein – 1964. Dir. Freddie Francis. Starring Peter Cushing, Peter Woodthorpe, Duncan Lamont, and Sandor Elès.
How do you make a good sequel? You take what made the last one great and make it better? How do you make a bad sequel? You take what made the last one great, completely disregard all of it, add in weak plots and loads of exposition and apparently give it a director with an assonant name. Guess what type of sequel The Evil of Frankenstein is.
With a fresh new deal with Universal, Hammer Films completely forgot the excellent Curse of Frankenstein and the fair sequel Revenge of Frankenstein and instead rewrote the entire story. Now only loosely based on even the original subject matter (there’s a man named Frankenstein, he makes a monster), The Evil of Frankenstein looked at the Universal classic version and said “Yeah, lets just do that shit again”. At least with the original two they took great pains to avoid being TOO similar. The “Monster” was the “Creature”, Curse‘s creature looked NOTHING like the very recognizable Universal monster (while Revenge didn’t even have a monster, really), and the story was incredibly dark; Frankenstein was an evil obsessed bastard as opposed to just an extremely determined , yet somewhat still moral scientist. Then comes this one, the “Revenge of the Sith” of the Hammer Frankenstein franchise (I hope, I still have Frankenstein Created Woman…though I don’t hold much hope for it).
The story in this film is pretty basic. Frankenstein creates a being but can’t figure out a strong enough energy source to give it life. Oh look, a convenient lightening storm! Creature is “born”, won’t behave, kills farm animals, is thought killed by towns people and Frankenstein is exiled. So, a few years later Frankenstein is forced to return to his home town -with some random ass hat assistant.
Gone is Dr. Hans Kleve, the “Dr. Franck” angle, all of it. Instead, none of it ever happened. Apparently Terrence Fisher was the only thing holding the franchise together (he’d return for a few other Cushing “Frankenstein” films, so maybe there is hope for FCW). The creature is laughable. It’s clear that once they got the go ahead from Universal they decided to borrow heavily not only from set design but also the monster design. But the thing is, you can’t try to simply recreate such an original and well known character like that. Only bad can come from it.
The Evil of Frankenstein
Scare Factor: 1/5
“Why won’t they leave me alone?”: Good question Vic, good question