Frankenstein 1970 (1958)

The scene: a dark night in the forest. A buxom blonde is chased by a hunched fiend. She flees into the swamp, and as it appears she is to be drowned - cut! It's a wrap!

It's also the 130th anniversary of the novel Frankenstein, and a television film crew led by playboy director Douglas Rowe (Donald Barry) has gained permission to film on the grounds and in the castle owned by Baron Victor von Frankenstein (Boris Karloff), the last in the line of the same name. Although he is annoyed by the constant presence of the crew, he has fallen on hard times and has been promised an atomic power generator in exchange for allowing them to film.

This Frankenstein is himself hunched and lame, scarred by the years of the war when he was forced to perform experiments for the Nazis. He never gave them what they wanted, but it still allowed him to continue his grandfather's work. In fact, the creature's body is down in his lab, and simply needs one more ingredient - a head - to live again.

This entry in the Frankenstein movies was spurred largely by the success of Hammer's reboot of the old series and the b-movie I Was a Teenage Frankenstein. Despite a few liberties with the story it is largely supposed to be a sequel to the classic Universal series. It is well-filmed and has some great set design for the budget, but suffers from being much too slow. There are a few interesting scenes, but largely nothing happens during most of the movie, even after the creature comes to life again. This would be almost unwatchable without Karloff hamming it up throughout.

Frankenstein 1970 (1958)

Duration: 83 minutes

Starring: Boris Karloff, Jana Lund, Donald Barry

Director: Howard W. Koch


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