Wednesday, May 9, 2012

FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL - Terrence Fisher's Last Film (1974) - Music By James Bernard

"Frankenstein and The Monster From Hell" is not exactly my favourite Frankenstein film, and as a matter of fact, it's not even close, but then, when you don't get out much, you don't get much!!

Shane Briant is Simon Helder! Dude looks innocent enough, just shows to go you Willie Dixon was right, you can't judge a book by looking at the cover! Simon's got some different notions about science and creation! His hero is Baron Victor Frankenstein! Shane is still working today, and currently has works in production!!

Maybe it's that Simon was deprived of toys as a kid, so he likes to play with body parts instead! He thinks of himself as a forward thinker, everybody else thinks he's a freak!!

Judged by a man who has his hair knitted, you know this isn't going to work out very well for Simon! Do not pass Go, do not collect two hundred dollars!!

It's just damn hard to beat a good painted backdrop!

Just in case you wondered what happened to Lonesome George after he left office!! Wonder no more!!

The head of the insane asylum where they have sent Simon was played by John Stratton, a guy who has more problems that a lot of the inmates combined! John was a staple of British TV, enjoying a long career as characters like Mr. Bott, Shockeye, and Uncle Pumblechook!! His main concern as director of the asylum is his penis!

Peter Cushing as always, puts in another fine performance as former patient Baron Victor Frankenstein, who was supposedly killed off, but returns as the resident in-house Doctor, Carl Victor! Nobody knows but the director of the asylum, and Baron Doctor Victor has enough dirt on him that he'll never tell anybody!

So why is this poor bastard in here? He's a mathematical genius!! Charles Lloyd Park, not to be confused with brilliant jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd, was in quite a few other Hammer flicks, and was The Vicar in "Bedazzled!"

After it looks like he commits suicide, it becomes very evident that Doctor Victor was waiting for access to a good brain! He just didn't feel like waiting any longer!

Well, we knew the kid had a penchant for eyes. This was the last in the Hammer series of Frankenstein flicks, and they spend a lot of time doing stuff like removing brains, enough so to get an 'R' rating! This was also director Terrence Fisher's last film!!

The monster as played by Hammerhead David Prowse is a combination of former denizens of the instituion, so he's got the strength of a muscleman, the hands of a crafty artisan, and the brain of a genius! David had a fair amount of success in his career! He also played the Frankenstein monster in "The Horror Of Frankenstein" before landing the small time role of Darth Vader in "The Empire Strikes Back," and "Return Of The Jedi!"

This is Sarah, the Angel, the one light at the end of an ever darkening tunnel! Of course, she's not really crazy or a deaf mute like she pretends to be! The well endowed Madeline Smith will always be remembered as Miss Caruso in "Live And Let Die!" She was also in some films like "Vampire Lovers" and "Theatre Of Blood!" The Angel is in the asylum because her Father, the director of the joint, raped her when she was a young girl! Until Simon came along, she did all the needlework for Dr. Victor!!

Here's less than two minutes of some very serious music by Hammer workhorse James Bernard to set the mood! It's always a bummer when there's no clubs, bars, inns, or pubs! Too bad all the lunatics never had a party!!

On a cold and stormy night, Frankie decides to go for a walk!

There's probably not a concept much scarier than looking into a coffin, and seeing your own dead body!

Muscleman body, hands of a craftsman, and the brain of a genius, you'd of thought they could have found a neck somewhere! Since this film was set in a time after the discovery of gunpowder, this creature is a lot easier to dispose of than Mary Shelly's original creation! Bang!! You're dead!!!


Douglas McEwan said...

David Proswse, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting, also played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars: A New Hope as well as the two you cited, so it was his second outing of being teamed with Peter Cushing.

The last time I watched this movie (which was only just last month) happened to be right after watching the original TV serial version of Quatermass and the Pit from 1959 with Andre Morell. John Stratton was in it, 13 years younger, playing, believe it or not, a handsome young army officer. It was hard to believe it was the same actor, but it was, and his voice was unchanged.

I've always liked how this Frankenstein Monster looked, a total departure from traditional Frankenstein monsters, yet one Mary Shelly might well have recognized.

I have a friend who knows Shane Briant, and says he's delightful, charming, highly intelligent, and very talented.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

They really should re-release the whole Hammer catalogue into theatres today! These movies are timeless, and no bit of CGI BS would enhance the quality! Unfortunately, the kids don't know what they're missing!

Greg Goodsell said...

Hammer movies are back in theaters -- THE WOMAN IN BLACK, THE WICKER TREE and LET ME IN were the products of that esteemed company.

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