34 user 10 critic

Frankenstein 1970 (1958)

Unrated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 20 July 1958 (USA)
Needing money, the last of the Frankensteins leases his castle out to a film company as he tries to complete his ancestor's gruesome experiments at creating life.



(screenplay) (as Richard Landau), (story) | 2 more credits »


See all
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After hapless pianist and ex-con John Elman is framed for murder, he is resurrected by a scientist after his execution.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ricardo Cortez, Edmund Gwenn
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and ... See full summary »

Directors: Charles Brabin, Charles Vidor
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lewis Stone, Karen Morley
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Former CIA man, Bill Fenner, now a downbeat, loner journalist, is sent to Venice to investigate the shock suicide bombing by an American diplomat at a peace conference.

Director: Jerry Thorpe
Stars: Robert Vaughn, Elke Sommer, Felicia Farr
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Unjustly condemned to Devil's Island and condemned to death, Dr. Gaudet's like is spared when his surgical skills save the life of the commandant's daughter.

Director: William Clemens
Stars: Boris Karloff, Nedda Harrigan, James Stephenson
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When Ygor brings the monster to Dr. Ludwig Frankenstein for care, Ludwig gets the idea of replacing the monster's current criminal brain, with a normal brain.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Cedric Hardwicke, Lon Chaney Jr., Ralph Bellamy
Mystery | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An artist (Lon Chaney Jr) is blinded by a jealous assistant/model. His fiance's father generously offers his eyes for a sight restoring operation. there's only one hitch. Chaney has to wait... See full summary »

Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Acquanetta, Jean Parker
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A master swordsman and former soldier and his hunchbacked assistant hunt vampires.

Director: Brian Clemens
Stars: Horst Janson, John Carson, Shane Briant
Crime | Horror | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A scientist who is working on a cure for influenza is victimized by his unscrupulous boss, who releases the vaccine before it's ready, resulting in the death of the scientist's young son.

Director: John Hoffman
Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Brenda Joyce, J. Carrol Naish
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A Giant Octopus, whose feeding habits have been affected by radiation from H-Bomb tests, rises from the Mindanao Deep to terrorize the California Coast.

Director: Robert Gordon
Stars: Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Donald Curtis
The 27th Day (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Five individuals from five nations, including the "Superpowers," USA, USSR, and China, suddenly find themselves on an alien spacecraft. An alien gives each a container holding capsules. No ... See full summary »

Director: William Asher
Stars: Gene Barry, Valerie French, George Voskovec
Mystery | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An army private and his new bride are trying to honeymoon on an island occupied by the military and a murderer.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Boris Karloff, Marie Wilson, Eddie Craven
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Karloff is the Chinese warlord Fang, who holds a group of oilmen and missionaries hostage in a remote Chinese outpost.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Boris Karloff, Beverly Roberts, Ricardo Cortez


Cast overview:
Tom Duggan ...
Mike Shaw
Carolyn Hayes
Douglas Row (as Donald Barry)
Charlotte Austin ...
Judy Stevens
Irwin Berke ...
Inspector Raab
Rudolph Anders ...
Wilhelm Gottfried
Norbert Schiller ...
John Dennis ...
Morgan Haley
Mike Lane ...
Hans Himmler / The Monster


Baron Victor Von Frankenstein has fallen on hard times; he was tortured at the hands of the Nazis for not cooperating with them during World War II and he is now badly disfigured. As his family's wealth begins to run out, the Baron is forced to allow a TV crew shooting a documentary on his monster-making ancestors to film at his castle in Germany. However, the Baron has some ideas of his own: using the money from the crew's rent he buys an atomic reactor and uses it to create a hulking monster, transplanting his butler's brain into the thing and using it to kill off the crew for more spare parts. Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The One...The Only KING OF MONSTERS as the new demon of the atomic age!


Horror | Sci-Fi


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 July 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frankenstein 1960  »

Box Office


$110,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This project was proposed because of the success of the "Shock Theatre" package of Universal horror films released to television. The other contributing factors were the recent successes of the British-made The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and the low-budget American-International release I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957). This low-budget film had the advantage of being shot in CinemaScope. See more »


The degree of damage to Karloff's disfigured eye changes from scene to scene. See more »


Wilhelm Gottfried: [Pointedly to Dr. Frankenstein] What kind of deals do you have with the director of the morgue?
See more »


Featured in Atop the Fourth Wall: Target $20 Lamp Review (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Torch, Scorch, Unforch...."
12 November 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Horror icon Boris Karloff, during the mid-1950s, significantly slowed down his prodigious output of the '30s and '40s. After 1953, fans would have to wait a full four years before his next horror picture, "Voodoo Island," was released, and that one is generally acknowledged as one of Boris' few stinkers. The British actor seemed to rebound a bit in 1958, however, with the releases of "Frankenstein 1970"--a shlocky yet entertaining picture--and the very-well-done British film "Grip of the Strangler." "Frankenstein 1970" was the fifth Frankenstein film that Karloff had participated in, following the classic original in 1931, the eternal glory that is 1935's "Bride of Frankenstein," 1939's excellent "Son of Frankenstein" and 1944's "House of Frankenstein," but--no surprise--the film in question is any number of rungs down the scale, qualitywise, as compared to those great others.

Here, the 70-year-old Karloff plays Victor von Frankenstein, the final descendant of the infamous House. Needing additional funds to purchase the atomic reactor that will enable him to complete his experiments (and at this point, need it even be mentioned what those experiments consist of?), he rents out his ancestral castle near Frankfurt to an American TV production company that is making a movie to celebrate Frankenstein's 240th anniversary. (Never mind that that would make for a birth date of 1730, if the film actually does take place in 1970, and that Mary Shelley's original novel came out in 1818, although admittedly set in "17--." Also, never mind the fact that the film makes no attempt to look as if it's transpiring 12 years in its then future.) But when body parts, such as brains and eyes, are in short supply, what is the good Baron supposed to do, other than use parts from the retainers, film crew and nubile actresses on hand?

"Frankenstein 1970" is a film that I never got to see as a little kid, despite its ubiquitous presence on television back then. When I mentioned to my Psychotronic Guru, Rob, that I had just acquired the DVD to watch, he enthused about the film's opening scene, which he said he'd found terrifying when he saw it in a theater over 50 years ago. Film historian Tom Weaver says the same thing on the DVD's commentary regarding this sequence, in which a claw-taloned maniac pursues a screaming, hysterical blonde through a fog-shrouded landscape and into a swamp, and in truth, that scene IS the best and scariest moment in the film; the only scary moment, as it turns out. For the rest of it, the picture is a tad slow moving, occasionally dull, with many scenes of the Baron puttering around with his creation in his lab, dictating his progress into a running tape recorder. The resultant monster is one of the most ridiculous looking in any Frankenstein film; indeed, swaddled in mummylike wrappings as he is, we never even get a good look at the pathetic thing, until the picture's admittedly startling final moment. A lumbering bundle of bandages, with a head that looks like a giant cardboard box residing under the wrappings, the monster here is an object of laughter, not fright. Eyeball-less as it is, the monster seems to get around just fine, leading the viewer to wonder just why the Baron is so obsessed with procuring orbs for his creation. Besides the monster, the film's laboratory equipment and creation sequence FX pale mightily in comparison to those earlier four Frankenstein films, which all featured stunning-looking lab sets and amazing creation sequences (particularly "Bride"). Still, it must be said that director Howard W. Koch (later, the producer of such classic films as "The Manchurian Candidate," "The President's Analyst," "The Odd Couple" and "Plaza Suite") makes nice use of his CinemaScope frame, that the score by Paul Dunlap is occasionally gripping, and that cinematographer Carl E. Guthrie has provided some moody B&W visuals. The film also offers fans of grisly horror some very mild gross-outs, such as a jar of spilled eyeballs, the massaging of a human heart, Boris' tale of the tongueless commandant, and a corpse-grinding machine (an inspiration for Ted V. Mikels, perhaps?). Basically, however, the film is of interest mainly because of Uncle Boris, who gets to overact deliciously and impress his many fans, once again, with that wonderfully mellifluous voice. As in the 1934 classic "The Black Cat," Boris also gets to play some chilling music on his home organ, always a dismal thrill! Bottom line: Filmed as it was in only eight days (!) in January '58, "Frankenstein 1970," cheezy as it is, remains a surprisingly decent, oddball entertainment. After 1958, fans would have to wait another five years before Karloff's next horror pictures, which he made under director Roger Corman. So this film, and "Grip of the Strangler," had to hold them for a while (in addition to TV's "Thriller," of course, which Boris hosted from 1960-'62). And really, where else can you find a line like "Torch, scorch, unforch"?

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How about a DVD release for it's 50th anniversary??? phasedin
Perhaps I am wrong brand78
YES!!! DVD Release!!!! phasedin
Discuss Frankenstein 1970 (1958) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: