Still surviving guys! The horror madness continues at my blog while I still I’m on my trip to Valdivia, the movies have been good and the weather a bit rainy. Let’s see what horrors await us in this new Hammer Frankenstein film, ‘The Evil of Frankenstein’ (1964). You can see James Rolfe’s video review of the film here, and my review can be read immediatly below.
I just have to say one major thing about this movie: OH MY GOD, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOUR FACE. Really, I mean, the makeup for the Frankenstein’s monster is maybe one of the ugliest things that I’ve seen portrayed on film done by a group of professionals. Did they think it would be creepy or intelligent to see the material from which it was all made? It looks cheap as fuck, and I could forgive it in a movie as bad as ‘Los monstruos del terror’ (1970), where the low budget was the perfect excuse for the laughable quality of the makeup presented there, but here? They have lavish sets and some inspired art direction! Why did they think that since they had the permission of Universal to imitate any element of the Universal Frankenstein films (all of them reviewed in an earlier installment of this Horror Madness in my earlier blog) and do a truly bad impersonation of Jack Pierce’s makeup for Boris Karloff (and the actors who replaced him afterwards). Seriously, I want to know what happened, here we have a misstep, and maybe the makeup is the first clue that will tell us about the quality of the overall film.
The movie instead of following the antics of Frankenstein in a new location with a new name, just kind of remakes the Universal films in a way that makes the whole experience boring and just not worthy of the previous two great movies directed by Terence Fisher. Here there was also a change of director, and it shows, not because of the story, but because of how less visually occupied it feels, as if it was mostly devoid of actual life, the sets were crowded in a very simple fashion, with no depth or sense that this was nothing more than huge sets, built to make this movie. The imitation of certain elements of the Universal Frankenstein films just brings down what was an amazingly complex character, here they just turn him into someone who has no real reason to do what he does except to just do it because he can and he wants to demonstrate that he is still young and strong to make the stupidities that he wants to make. The film opens with a priest bashing Baron Frankenstein’s experiment (the anti catholic stand of most of these Hammer films is worthy of an study) as he tries to run away. He comes across his old town and this is where things get strange and sadly a bit dissapointing.
Frankenstein tells the story about his first creature. But no, it’s not the one of that almost perfect film ‘The Curse of Frankenstein’ (1957), it’s just a copycat of the Universal Frankenstein monster, revived by actual lightning, using the same elements and with an appeareance… that, yeah, maybe it was inspired by it, but who really knows, it’s like watching a mound of mashed potatoes given some shape in a hurry to apease the director that was worried about the amount of flasks in a laboratory shot. Besides everything I’ve said, the film isn’t a horrible piece of crap, it’s just dissapointing to see how many of the interesting things that were set up were just thrown out in views of an ability to imitate and reference those films of yesterday. It was their damning in this film, and I hope that it doesn’t happen ever again. The film does have a nice cinematography, and some of the events are interesting to watch (anything before the creature is discovered). Sorry guys, this time, you should’ve kept yourself busy and do a script that was worthy of the stature of the always great Peter Cushing.