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The Horror of Frankenstein (1970) - Blu-ray Review

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Horror of Frankenstein (1970)

In which Frankenstein gives us the two fingered salute!  You’ll laugh!  You’ll cry!!  The Horror of Frankenstein and its bodybuilding monster will be why!  Scientific twaddle has never been so supercilious than here in this Hammer flick from 1970.  The humor is black and so, too, are some of the sight gags and, yes, this includes the treatment of Victor's BEAUTIFUL housekeeper.

"In which Frankenstein gives us the two fingered salute!  You’ll laugh!  You’ll cry!!  The Horror of Frankenstein and its bodybuilding monster will be why!"


Tongue in cheek and routinely horrendous in its acting and its pacing, The Horror of Frankenstein opens with Victor Frankenstein (Ralph Bates), as a snot-nosed young student, doodling over the drawing of a naked lady.  He’s drawing in dissection marks on her stomach, her arms, her neck, and, as he can’t keep it a secret for long, his is threatened with a thrashing from his teacher.  But Frankenstein turns the tables on his teacher and embarrasses him, causing the school master to fold instead of follow through with the beating. 

Frankenstein has a way with the ladies.  It gets him in a lot of trouble and rather quickly.  He loves the female body and, damn, if he just can’t help himself from experimenting with the human anatomy.  He steals body parts and experiments with them, bringing arms and hands back to life with special messages for his teachers.  He even gets a dead arm to flip off a dean . . . after impregnating his daughter and killing his own father.

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, right?  But how can dead things hurt anyone?  And, well, if Victor doesn’t get hurt, then it doesn’t matter.  He just wants to experiment on dead things and screw all the beautiful ladies in the land.  There’s no way he gets caught; there’s no he gets hurt. 

Frankenstein will find out that things have a way with catching up with him.  His curiosity is insatiable and so, too, is his lust.  With a pompous attitude about everything he does and touches, Frankenstein soon kills, decapitates, and steals his first victim.  And so it begins . . . again.  With Frankenstein and its mythos going as far as it could under Hammer Studios, it was time to reboot it and why not go dark and comedic with this version of the monster?  It doesn’t always work, but it is hilarious . . . and sometimes it quite weird ways.Horror of Frankenstein (1970) Produced and directed by Jimmy Sangster, The Horror of Frankenstein co-stars Kate O'Mara, Veronica Carlson and David Prowse (you know, Darth Vader) as the monster.  It’s often hilarious and often quite off-putting thanks to Bates’ interpretation and performance of Victor.  He’s cold, callous, and often psychopathic as he plows through all that stands in front of him achieving what he thinks is best in life.

“Frankenstein.  Are you paying attention?” 

“No, sir.  I am not.” 

Snarky and sometimes witty, The Horror of Frankenstein is now on blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory.  Waste your time with Hammer’s attempt at a reboot of Frankenstein and see just where the studio went wrong with their . . . gallows humor. 

2/5 beers

Horror of Frankenstein (1970)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- August 20, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The new transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack, is a beauty of color photography.  The grain level is perfect.  The details are crisp and there’s no flaw in the 1080p picture.  It. Is. Golden.  The film is shadow-heavy and the transfer holds thick lines in place.  Nothing bleeds.  It is surprisingly clean given the limits of this black comedy, without any over-processing lending the picture an artificial appearance.  The film is still allowed to breathe and retains a level of grain that ensures an authentic and credible appearance.  Even the darkest of scenes are rarely problematic, with the blacks proving extremely solid and lighter colors visually stunning.  The DTS-HD Master Audio track is clear and strong.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Fans get a new commentary by Film Historian Bruce G. Hallenbeck which is sometimes more interesting than the movie itself.

Special Features:

The film is presented in two aspect ratios (1.66:1 and 1.85:1) and features a NEW interviews with assistant director Nicholas Granby, Veronica Carlson, and Jimmy Sangster.  There is a new look at the movie with interviews from Hammer aficionados, an archival commentary, the theatrical trailer, and a still gallery.

  • Presented In Two Aspect Ratios – 1.66:1 And 1.85:1
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Film Historian Bruce G. Hallenbeck
  • NEW Interview With Assistant Director Nicholas Granby
  • NEW Veronica Carlson: A Portrait Of Hammer – An Interview With The Actress
  • NEW Jimmy Sangster: An Exclusive Interview – An Interview With The Producer/Director
  • Gallows Humor: Inside The Horror Of Frankenstein
  • Audio Commentary With Producer/Director Jimmy Sangster And Hammer Films Historian Marcus Hearn
  • Frankenstein, Dracula, And Me: A Conversation With Veronica Carlson
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 2/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 2/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

2.5/5 stars

Horror of Frankenstein (1970)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
95 mins
Director
: Jimmy Sangster
Writer:
Jeremy Burnham (screenplay), Jimmy Sangster
Cast:
Ralph Bates, Kate O'Mara, Veronica Carlson
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Horror of Frankenstein.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'm going to make a person!"
Theatrical Distributor:
American Continental Films Inc.
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 17, 1971
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 20, 2019
Synopsis: Young Victor Frankenstein returns from medical school with a depraved taste for beautiful women and fiendish experiments. When he runs out of fresh body parts for his research, he turns to murder to complete his gruesome creation. Now, his monster (David Prowse, the Star Wars films) has unleashed its own horrifying killing spree. The true horrors of Dr. Frankenstein have only just begun ...

Horror of Frankenstein (1970)

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