Baron Frankenstein is once again working with illegal medical experiments. Together with a young doctor, Karl and his fiancée Anna, they kidnap the mentally sick Dr. Brandt, to perform the ... See full summary »
Three middle-aged distinguished gentlemen are searching for some excitement in their boring bourgeois lives and get in contact with one of Count Dracula's servants, Lord Courtley. In a ... See full summary »
In the 1890s a team of British archaeologists discover the untouched tomb of Princess Ananka but accidentally bring the mummified body of her High Priest back to life. Three years later ... See full summary »
Count Dracula journeys to a remote Chinese village in the guise of a warlord to support six vampires who are dispirited after the loss of a seventh member of their cult. At the same time, ... See full summary »
In London in the 1970s, Scotland Yard police investigators think they have uncovered a case of vampirism. They call in an expert vampire researcher named Van Helsing (a descendant of the ... See full summary »
A dead and frozen Baron Frankenstein is re-animated by his colleague Dr. Hertz proving to him that the soul does not leave the body on the instant of death. His lab assistant, young Hans, ... See full summary »
In 1920 an archaeological expedition discovers the tomb of an ancient Egyptian child prince. Returning home with their discovery, the expedition members soon find themselves being killed ... See full summary »
In Spain, Leon is born on Christmas day to a mute servant girl who was raped by a beggar. His mother dies giving birth and he is looked after by Don Alfredo. As a child Leon becomes a ... See full summary »
Baron Frankenstein is once again working with illegal medical experiments. Together with a young doctor, Karl and his fiancée Anna, they kidnap the mentally sick Dr. Brandt, to perform the first brain transplantation ever. Written by
The characters of Insp. Frisch (Thorley Walters) and the Police Doctor were added to the script at a late stage. See more »
The flowers in Frankenstein's buttonhole change both color and shape between shots when he first invites Mrs Brant into Anna's house. They start as three yellow and purple tulips, change to a purple and orange spray during his conversation with Mrs Brant in the living room, and change back as he guides her down the laboratory stairs. See more »
I have become the victim of everything that Frankenstein and I ever advocated. My brain is in someone else's body.
See more »
This fifth entry in the Hammer Frankenstein' series sees Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) blackmailing a young doctor, Karl (Simon Ward) and his fiancée Anna (Veronica Carlson) into helping him kidnap the mentally incapacitated Dr. Brandt (George Pravda) and perform the first ever successful brain transplantation.
It is always difficult to make a fair and accurate assessment of a Hammer horror production, particularly one with the superlative quality of this particular work. Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed' is something of a change in pace for the series as Frankenstein himself appears to have fallen into madness rather than practicing misunderstood and unethical medicine as in the previous instalments. His methods are still unethical, that cannot be debated, but there is a noticeable emphasis this time around on the Baron's work being for his own advancement rather than for the benefit of man. Although the typical self-promoting dialogue from Frankenstein would indicate that he is attempting the surgery for the benefit of mankind, there is an undoubted distinction between the Frankenstein of this movie and the ones of the past. This new direction for the character is coupled with a monstrous personality that continually dictates that nobody matters as long as the Baron gets what he desires. Frankenstein is willing to go to any lengths necessary in order to accomplish his goal and his pure focus towards his goal only wanes a mere couple of times. The Baron's deterioration into lunacy is exceedingly well portrayed during a particularly violent (but short) rape sequence. The intensity on Cushing's face adds to the believability of the scene and the image is so powerful that it could linger in the viewers mind and give the movie a new, raw and brutal edge. Peter Cushing is able to adapt his style of acting to fit the new persona of the Baron and offers a remarkably visceral performance rather than the calculated performances of the past. As with almost every movie that Cushing participated in, his on-screen presence is powerful and commanding and this alerts the viewer to the necessity of paying attention to his character.
The film follows the archetypal pattern for Hammer horrors. The film starts off powerfully with two predominantly memorable sequences, the most sensational of which is the entrance of the diabolical Baron when he terrifies a petty thief. From there, the film moves towards the mechanics of the Baron's actions and his resolution to accomplish all that he seeks out to undertake. It is during this `mid-section' of the film that everything slows down while the emphasis is no longer on scares or action. However, through some very proficient direction from Terence Fisher the pacing and structure of this movie almost makes Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed' pre-eminent when compared to other movies of the era. Without a shadow of a doubt, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed' should be held in the highest echelon of excellence within the Hammer family if only for its superb composition alone. The movie ends with an exhilarating climax yet the viewer could feel cheated by the abrupt nature in which the film ends. The hasty ending is one of the few faults in this movie but in retrospect serves the series well as it does leave certain questions unanswered. The other faults with the movie are so intermittent that although they are noticeable, they rarely detract from the viewing experience. Having said that, there are a couple of scenes which seem to be unnecessarily prolonged which temporarily obstruct the otherwise smooth, flowing feel that the movie has. These scenes represent the very few moments where a viewer could temporarily lose their concentration on the movie. However, even considering the prolonged nature of the scenes in question, one cannot fault the pacing of the movie as Terence Fisher's direction shows impressive capability and he makes these scenes fit into the movie almost seamlessly.
Even with the sporadic lapses in quality Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed' is fundamental viewing for any serious horror movie fan. This is a movie based around great performances, stunning visuals, a haunting and atmospheric soundtrack as well as quintessential Hammer-style horror. My rating for Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed' 8/10.
11 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?