07/28/2014  
Cuban Fury on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 29Draft Day on Digital HD Aug 19, VOD Aug 29, Blu-ray Combo Sep 2Prom Night on Blu-ray and DVD Sep 9Ghostbusters & Ghostbusters II in Theaters Aug 29 & Blu-ray Sep 16Toy Story of Terror! On Blu-ray + Digital Copy, DVD, and More Aug 19The Railway Man on Early Digital Aug 1 on DVD/Blu-ray Aug 12Gangster on DVD & VOD Jul 22

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Cuban Fury on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 29...
Box Office Charts From Box Office Mojo Jul 24 - 26...
Draft Day on Digital HD Aug 19, VOD Aug 29, Blu-ray Com...
Prom Night on Blu-ray and DVD Sep 9...
Nick Jonas Releases 'Chains' Single ...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

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

comedy, box office, movies, drama, horror, music, nick jonas, jonas brothers, jason evigan, r&b, chains, television, donna dixon, bosom buddies, dan aykroyd, james brown biopic, get on up, saturday night live, doctor detroit, fx, fargo, martin freeman, billy bob thornton, allison tolman, animation, tca awards, breaking bad, true detective, matther mcconaughey, hbo, itunes festival 2014, september, pharrell williams, kylie minogue, maroon 5, david guetta, sam smith, blondie, beck, kasabian, movie, philip seymour hoffman, february death, cooper, tallulah, willa, mimi odonnell, james cahill jr., david friedman, action, app, james garner, maverick, the rockford files, devine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood, 8 simple rules, the children's hour, doris day, reality, marvel comics, thor, femail, god of thunder, mjolmir, super hero, johnny winter, blues guitar player, zurich switzerland, johnny winter album, willie dixon, walter horton, sex tape, the purge: anarchy, planes: fire & rescue, dawn of the planet of the apes, documentary, soccer, world cup, germany, argentina, mario goetze

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too
Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact