05/25/2015  
Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26HeForShe Campaign Features Star-Studded Cannes ConversationDespite The Gods on DVD May 19The Gunman on Digital HD Jun 16 & Blu-ray Combo Jun 30So Bright Is the View on DVD May 26Bar Rescue: Toughest Rescues on DVD May 19

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Anne Meara Dies: Actress, Ben StillerŐs Mother and Jerr...
'The Voice' Winner Tessanne Chin sings 'I Will Always L...
Infected on DVD & Digital Video Jun 2...
See You in Valhalla on DVD May 26...
First look: Bill Murray in Netflix's "A Very Murray Chr...
'Late Show' Set Dismantled A Day After David Letterman ...
'Dancing With the Stars' Finale: Who Took Home the Gold...
Jane Fonda Admits She's 'Not Proud' of Plastic Surgery...
Everyone is missing the most important part of Louis C....
HeForShe Campaign Features Star-Studded Cannes Conversa...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Paramount Studios presents
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)

Helder: You are Baron Frankenstein, aren't you?
Frankenstein: Yes, I am.

- Shane Briant, Peter Cushing

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: December 17, 2003

Stars: Peter Cushing, Shane Briant
Other Stars: David Prowse, Madeline Smith, Bernard Lee, John Stratton
Director: Terence Fisher

MPAA Rating: R for gore
Run Time: 01h:33m:03s
Release Date: October 21, 2003
UPC: 097360848540
Genre: horror


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C CB-B B

DVD Review

This rather slow-moving 1974 Hammer entry in the Frankenstein mythos is most affectionately remembered as a title that marked the end of an era, with this Terence Fisher-directed film serving as the last of six films the studio produced about the monster-building Baron, here again played magnificently by the legendary Peter Cushing. Cushing was the kind of hip and commanding actor who could elevate a mundane genre film to an entirely new level, and even though the Anthony Hinds script (here writing under his Hammer alter ego, John Elder) doesn't offer him much to do, Cushing could always make any film he is in worth a look.

In the opening sequences, a handsome young doctor named Simon Helder (Shane Briant) is busy emulating the works of his idol, the late Baron Victor Frankenstein, including the demand for fresh corpses for experimentation. After he is arrested and convicted of "practicing sorcery", he is sent to an isolated asylum for the criminally insane, in fact the very same one where Baron Frankenstein served a sentence and died. But considering this is a Hammer film, it should come as no surprise that Victor Frankenstein (Cushing) is very much alive, having blackmailed the asylum director into a position as the hospital doctor, under the name Dr. Carl Victor. The aging Baron takes young Helder under his wing, and the pair begin radical and secret experiments on a savage creature (played by Darth Vader actor David Prowse) who is in desperate need of a brain.

Fisher, the talented director responsible for the wonderful Hammer classics The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed (1969), all of which starred Cushing, is left simply going through the motions this time around. The screenplay takes a frustratingly long time to establish itself, and Prowse's furry creature never seems as menacing as all of the characters consider him to be. The few stabs at traditional genre moments, like the obligatory brain transplant, the jars of errant eyeballs, or the standard issue Hammer babe (this time the lovely Madeline Smith), are plopped in between long passages of dialogue that vaguely hint at what could have been, but somehow was never given the structure needed to fully develop.

A sad irony to Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell is the film's lamely open-ended conclusion, one that will likely leave a poor taste in the mouth of most Hammer fans. It is bad enough that the creature is sorely underused as anything but a medical experiment, but after a string of great performances as Baron Frankenstein, Cushing is denied a proper sendoff, as Fisher and screenwriter Hinds (who borrows liberally from The Revenge of Frankenstein) laid the groundwork for a potential sequel that never materialized. Instead, he is left to spout a tired "we'll get it right next time" speech that in hindsight makes him appear more dottering than dastardly.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Paramount has issued Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell in a more than tolerable 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The print does have a patina of soft grain throughout, though colors are reproduced nicely; fleshtones look accurate, and black levels are decent for an early 1970s film. A few small white nicks are evident during the film, as well.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: A fine Dolby Digital mono track is provided, and it is hiss and distortion free. Dialogue is clear, and the beauty of Hammer vet James Bernard's score is never compromised.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Feature/Episode commentary by David Prowse, Madeline Smith, Jonathan Sothcott
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Cast members David Prowse (The Creature) and Madeline Smith (Sarah), along with genre historian Jonathan Sothcott offer up a commentary track that delves nicely into an oral Hammer history, and as such should appeal greatly to fans of the studio. Prowse and Smith have plenty of interesting recollections about the Hammer heyday (more interesting than this film), and Sothcott keeps things on track.

In fact, I suggest you bypass the film, but rent this one just to check out the commentary track.

The disc is cut into 12 chapters, and includes subtitles in English.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

This uneventful entry in the Hammer library features not just Peter Cushing, but Darth Vader himself, David Prowse, as the hairy monster with a smart guy's brain. Cushing is undeniably cool as usual, and the set dressings ooze Hammer's classic gothic vibe, but as a horror film this is remarkably dull.

The informative Hammer history commentary by cast members Prowse and Madeline Smith, led by genre historian Jonathan Sothcott, is the real treat here.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

celebrity, comedian, anne meara, jerry stiller, ben stiller, sex in the city, law & order: special victims, television, music, memorial day concert, tessanne chin, nick fradiani, sci-fi, drama, a very murray christmas, bill murray, netflix, sophia coppola, george clooney, amy poehler, chris rock, paul shaffer, rashida jones, miley cyrus, the late show, david letterman, ed sullivan theater, taco bell, dancing with the stars, abc, rumer willis, riker lynch, noah galloway, val chmerkovskiy, jane fonda, mile high club, plastic surgery, grace and frankie, saturday night live, louis c.k., racism, israel-palestine, movies, cannes, documentary, movie, jackie, jackie kennedy, darren aronofsky, pablo larrain, pitch perfect 2, rebel wilson, super fun night, derek hough, nastia liukin, american idol, fox, jennifer lopez, harry connick jr., keith urban, ryan seacrest, gary newman, daytime soap, general hospital, anthony geary, genie francis, frank valenti, mad max: fury road, mel gibson, george miller, tom hardy, hugh keays-byrne, charlize theron, the cw, arrow, the vampire diaries, supernatural, the originals, jane the virgin, the flash, the 100, izombie, reign, beauty and the beast, action, afc football championship game, jim mcnally, john jastremski, tom brady, bill belichick, prince, baltimore, rally 4 peace, freddie gray, 3rdeyegirl, metropolitan museum of art gala, kim kardashian, chloe sevigny, john paul gaultier, georgia may jagger, sarah jessica parker, rihanna, comedy, scifi, joss whedon, the avengers, chris evans, cris hemsworth, samuel l. jackson, scarlett johansson, jerem renner, revenge, manhattan love story, selfie, the mccarthys, the millers, gracepoint, mulaney, red band society, utopia, bad judge, dallas, 10th birthday party, kelly monaco, maks chmerkovskiy, meryl davis

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store