Follow us on:






Of all the Hammer Frankenstein movies, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN ($30) could be the one with the most intriguing premise. In this particular outing, Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) focuses his life and death experiments on his own vision of immortality, which involve capturing the soul of one person and transferring it to another body. Now, although his hands have been ruined and he is no longer able to perform surgery, Frankenstein has managed to set up shop once again in a small village with the aid of Dr. Hertz, a physician who has crawled into one too many bottles of alcohol. When his young assistant Hans Werner (Robert Morris) is executed for a murder he did not commit, Frankenstein finds the conditions ideal to carry out his experiment on Hansí grief stricken girlfriend, Christina Kleve (Susan Denberg), who commits suicide in face of her loverís death.

Although Christina was disfigured, Frankenstein is able to guide Dr. Hertz through the surgical procedures required to transform the girl into a genuine beauty. With the body repaired, Frankenstein transplants Hansí soul into Christinaís newly revived body. At first Christina is like a blank slate, not knowing who she is or where she came from. Eventually, Hansí soul begins to exert its will on Christina- directing the girl to take bloody revenge on the murderers who perpetrated the crime for which Hans was executed. Under Terence Fisherís assured direction, FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN proves to be a haunting and unusual horror movie. The film also succeeds because of its character driven story and because "the creature" is Baron Frankensteinís most beautiful creation. In the filmís creepiest, yet most inspired moments, Christina manages to carry on a conversation with her loverís severed head- that alone is worth the price of admission. As always, Peter Cushing is on top of his game, delivering another first rate performance as the arrogant Baron. The cast of FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN also includes Peter Blythe, Barry Warren, Derek Fowlds, Alan MacNaughtan, Peter Madden, John Maxim, Philip Ray, Kevin Flood and Duncan Lamont.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has done a terrific job transcribing another Hammer title to DVD. FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN has been framed fairly close to 1.66:1 and the wide screen presentation has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. The image on the DVD is quite sharp and offers an impressive level of detail. Colors are very strong and seem far more vibrant than they have ever appeared during television screenings of the film. Chroma noise and bleeding are absent from this fine presentation. Blacks are accurately rendered; contrast is good and shadow detail is quite respectable on this 1967 film release. Digital compression artifacts are not a problem on this nicely authored DVD.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack does exhibit some frequency limitations, but is otherwise very good. Dialogue reproduction is precise and James Bernardís musical score sounds a bit more full bodied than I thought it would.

The interactive menus contain a bit of animation and sound, but are otherwise fairly basic. Through the menus, one has access to the scene selection feature, as well as a few extras. A theatrical trailer, plus a combo trailer that includes THE MUMMYíS SHROUD have been included, as have two combo TV spots. Filling out the supplements is a World Of Hammer episode entitled THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



Add to My Yahoo!  Add to Google  RSS Feed & Share Links