The Horror of Frankenstein (1970)

Directed by Jimmy Sangster
Starring Ralph Bates, Veronica Carlson, Dennis Price, Kate O'Mara, Jon Finch, Dave Prowse, Bernard Archard, Graham James, James Hayter, Joan Rice, George Belbin

SYNOPSIS: Victor Frankenstein (Ralph Bates) grows up with a morbid interest in human anatomy, and as an adult kills off his father so that he can have the money and resources to experiment in creating human life. With the help of his friend, Wilhelm (Graham James), and a local grave robber (Dennis Price), he succeeds in creating a monster.

COMMENTS: As critic David Pirie notes, Hammer's Frankenstein series was already rich in irony and dark humour, so this attempt to turn the story into a black comedy-spoof missed the point. Lashings of sex (mainly care of the ample-bosomed Kate O'Mara), a new, younger Baron Frankenstein and a string of mostly unfunny gags are thrown into the mix as part of a vain attempt to woo a new generation of cinemagoers. The result has occasional charms - Dennis Price's grave robber probably being the best - but overall it's an unsatisfying mess, lacking in the required atmosphere and menace.

Muscle-man Dave Prowse makes the first of two appearances as the Frankenstein creature, the second being in Fisher's Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974). He went on to become most famous as Darth Vader in the first Star Wars trilogy.

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