Director: Terence Fisher
Writer: John Elder
Cast: Peter Cushing, Susan Denberg, Thorley Walters, Robert Morris, Duncan Lamont, Peter Blythe, Barry Warren, Derek Fowlds, Alan MacNaughtan, Peter Madden, Phillip Ray, Ivan Beavis, Colin Jeavons, Bartlett Mullins, and Alec Mango
Composer: James Bernard
Release Date: 3/15/1967
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
With the help of a colleague known as Doctor Hertz (Thorley Walters), Baron Frankenstein attempts to prove that the human soul remains active after death. Specifically, the Baron implants the soul of Hans (Robert Morris)—wrongly convicted of murder and sent to the guillotine—into the body of his girlfriend Christina (Susan Denberg), who seeks to punish those responsible for Hans’ execution.
Forgoing traditional horror elements in favor of revenge/murder themes, Frankenstein Created Woman suffers from a lack of atmosphere. Hammer enthusiasts may, however, appreciate this film for its tragic narrative, poignant acting, and haunting score from composer James Bernard.
Though hardly reminiscent of the classic Frankenstein monster, the Hans/Christina creature may resonate with those of a sensitive disposition. Notably, the tormented former lives of Christina—a crippled woman with severe deformities—and Hans, falsely accused of murder and beheaded as a result, elicit sympathy for the hybrid monster, whose acts of violence stem from a desire to rectify past injustices.
Astute viewers will take issue with this offering for its illogical plot aspects, especially concerning the behavior of Hans and Christina. While on trial, for example, Hans fails to name Christina as an alibi, choosing instead to accept the consequences for a murder committed by three hooligans. Similarly, Christina blames herself for the violent acts that she performs while possessed by Hans—bizarre actions that undermine the relatable nature of both protagonists.
Frankenstein Created Woman may also evoke criticism for its haphazard pacing, which, when coupled with a complete absence of tension and suspense, may deter modern audiences from investing in this film.
Exploring the metaphysical implications of bringing the deceased back to life, Frankenstein Created Woman distinguishes the essence of a man’s personality (or “soul”) from the material brain—an intriguing and previously unexplored, albeit scientifically dubious, concept for a Frankenstein story.
Frankenstein Created Woman benefits from a unique and original premise. Nevertheless, this film is marred by slow-moving sequences, baffling character moments, and light emphasis on Gothic horror tropes.
Overall Quality: 6/10
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