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Cahuenga1712

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08 Jan 2013, 7:43pm

A few curmudgeonly critics have dismissed 'The Evil of Frankenstein' as the bastard stepchild of the Hammer Frankenstein series. As with "Horror of Frankenstein," it is a one-off, revisionist effort with a narrative and back story completely unrelated to the other films in the series. Some critics also have disparaged the obvious Universal influences, which they say seem anachronistic out of place in a Hammer film. Considering that the film was distributed stateside by Universal, Hammer's intent seems to have been to create the first authentic color sequel to the original Universal films of the 30s and 40s. Had Universal permitted Hammer to use the original Jack Pierce-style makeup design, and had Hammer created a more complex creature similar to Boris Karloff in "The Bride of Frankenstein," this might have been a fairly spectacular film. The pairing of the best Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) with a more sympathetic creature out of the Karloff mold--sans the crude, troweled-on Kiwi Kingston makeup--might've made this the best film of the entire series. It's not, of course, but I still like it. In fact, it's one of my favorite of the lot. Frankenstein's character is much more sympathetic and swashbuckling than in any of the other films--here, he's more of the dashing, wronged hero--and the film also has some moments of genuine humor. My favorite scene is when Frankenstein storms into the bedchambers of the Burgomaster to confront him over the theft of his belongings and ends up having to escape out the window with a knotted sheet, but not before saying a friendly "good night" to the Burgomaster's astonished wife. The laboratory set is by far the best in any of the Frankenstein films, and some of Cushing's stunt work is fairly impressive, such as when he swings into the fiery lab on a chain, a la Basil Rathbone in "Son of Frankenstein." A moment later, Cushing is on the floor of the lab, completely surrounded by blazing fires. One can tell that it's actual

Related to: The Evil Of Frankenstein (1964)

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