Thursday, April 23, 2015

Frankenstein created Playboy

I've skipped a couple of the Hammer Frankensteins to get to Frankenstein Created Woman from 1967 with Terence Fisher back on board as director.

Baron Frankenstein is in a new town and quietly carrying on with his experiments. Meanwhile a trio of nasty toffs frame a young man for murder, and his execution leads his disfigured girlfriend to commit suicide. With two bodies on his hands Frankenstein creates the perfect woman and transplants her boyfriend's soul into her beautiful form. As soon as the bandages are off she becomes the ideal vehicle of revenge, luring each of the villains in turn to a bloody death.

The Playboy model Susan Denberg is surprisingly good as both incarnations of the tragic Christina, and Peter Cushing is as charismatic as ever. Out of the rest of the cast a young Derek Fowlds stands out as one of the bad guys, years before he would go on to Yes,Minister or Heartbeat, or even his stint as Basil Brush's straight guy.

It's a surprisingly bloodless Hammer film. There's no grisly surgical detail and the killings are mostly off camera. At least Denberg provides the heaving bosom to distract the bad guys from the sharp implements in her hands. Cushing does some athletic leaping about rooftops but for the rest of the movie he's fairly quiet and restrained and Hammer seemed to be hoping that Denberg's charms would win the audience over. A fairly enjoyable romp but not a classic, three out of five guillotine blades and onwards.

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