Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell
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27 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

The final movie in Hammer's Frankenstein series could well be the best of them all.

Author: Infofreak from Perth, Australia
25 February 2004

'Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell' is an important Hammer movie for two reasons. First it was the last in the series which began back in 1957 with 'The Curse Of Frankenstein'. Secondly, it was the final movie for Terence Fisher, who directed all but two of the Hammer Frankenstein movies as well as other Hammer classics like 'Dracula: Prince Of Darkness' and 'The Devil Rides Out'. The previous entry in the series 'The Horror Of Frankenstein' had been a failed experiment. Fisher didn't direct it, Peter Cushing didn't play Frankenstein (Ralph Bates did), and it jumped the story all the way back to the beginning. So in watching 'Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell' we can just pretend it never happened. Shane Briant plays Simon Helder, a young doctor attempting to duplicate Frankenstein's experiments. He is charged with sorcery and is sentenced to an asylum by a judge who had previously done the same thing to the Baron himself. When Helder arrives at the asylum he is told by the director (John Stratton, who gives a wonderfully slimy performance!) that Frankenstein is dead, but Helder immediately suspects that "Dr Victor" (Peter Cushing) is in fact Frankenstein. Of course he is right and he soon becomes Frankenstein's assistant. Sarah, a beautiful mute girl known to the inmates as "Angel" (Madeline Smith) has been helping the Baron (who has injured hands), but she is just an amateur. Now that he has Helder he can continue with his life's work - creating another monster. Cushing plays an older and slightly nutty Frankenstein in this one, and Stratton is very good as his idealistic assistant. Madeline Smith is as beautiful as ever, but in case you're wondering, keeps her clothes on, so you'll just have to watch 'The Vampire Lovers' again, won't you. The supporting cast also includes Dr Who #2 Patrick Troughton and Bernard Lee (M from the Bond films). David "Darth Vader" Prowse once again plays the Monster, but unlike his silly one in 'Horror Of Frankenstein', this monster is very scary and repellent looking, being closer to a caveman than anything we've seen in the previous movies. It's an inspired touch and very effective. In fact the whole movie is inspired and could well be the best in the series in my opinion. While it's sad that it was Terence Fisher's epitaph at least he went out on a high note. I highly recommend 'Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell'.

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell (Terence Fisher, 1974) ***

7/10
Author: MARIO GAUCI (marrod@melita.com) from Naxxar, Malta
22 October 2006

Hammer's last Frankenstein outing is one of their best; despite the great sadness that went in its production (inherent in the film's overall effect but thankfully not swamped by it), the film emerges as a pretty solid and well-crafted chiller with a remarkable Gothic flavor (all the more impressive for being made on such shoddy finances - the film allegedly carried one of the companies' lowest-ever budgets!).

Script and direction keep the action of the plot moving, despite the necessarily cramped settings. Peter Cushing and Terence Fisher's own personal state of minds create a poignant, almost elegiac ode to Gothic horror: this was to prove their final collaboration (indeed, it was Fisher's very last film). The camera-work, James Bernard's score and the production design all contribute to make this a true harking-back to the heyday of Hammer horror (in view of the fact that a lot of changes were effected during the early 70s with varying degrees of success); still, along with BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB (1971), DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE (1971), DEMONS OF THE MIND (1972) and CAPTAIN KRONOS - VAMPIRE HUNTER (1974), this is one of the last great Hammer films.

The Baron had evolved a great deal during his sixteen-year period at Hammer (producing seven films in all, only one of which did not feature Peter Cushing and only two were not helmed by Terence Fisher), reaching its zenith perhaps in FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED (1969) where virtually no trace of humanity could be detected in the character! This final venture finds him more relaxed (or, perhaps, I should say resigned) but certainly no saner or less involved with his obsessive quest to achieve immortality!! The rest of the cast is equally admirable: Shane Briant, one of Hammer's bright young hopefuls, building upon his achievements in both DEMONS OF THE MIND and CAPTAIN KRONOS - VAMPIRE HUNTER; Madeleine Smith graces the screen with her presence, managing to give her character (an abused mute inmate) an inner strength and compassion that would normally be difficult to communicate without words; Dave Prowse's monster is a memorably designed hulk (somewhat overdone in the style of Fredric March's Hyde persona in the 1931 version of DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE) but who unreservedly elicits the audience's sympathy because, saddled with numerous body parts that do not belong to him, he is forced to go on living when his sole desire (possessing an ugly interior as well as exterior) was to end it all!; a few supporting characters are allowed to shine as well, notably Patrick Troughton, John Stratton and Bernard Lee.

The DVD transfer is stunning, especially in widescreen. However, Paramount really dropped the ball by opting to release the edited U.S. version: I have to agree with those who condemned them for it, because the missing footage (the artery clamping scene chief among them - as it stands now, the dialogue follows on too hurriedly, making the cut extremely obvious; the scene was not particularly graphic, but it certainly amplified the Baron's character and his dedication to his work) is certainly important and, if anything, helps keep the film's pace balanced as the 'stitching' together of scenes {sic} is awkwardly handled on more than one occasion (see also Bernard Lee's funeral, where Cushing suddenly appears beside the coffin when it is dropped to the ground); similarly, the climax is marred by the loss of footage where the inmates tear the monster apart (on the DVD it would seem that the monster was entirely made up of bits and pieces of flesh, so easily is he dismembered, when we know full well this isn't so!); interestingly, however, though all these bits of added gore are to be found on my murky full-screen VHS, one shot from the DVD is not in fact present - the slashed throat of the John Stratton character!

The Audio Commentary is an immensely enjoyable and lively talk: though the subject matter wanders alarmingly, the relationship between the three participants is so genuine that one cannot help but be drawn into their reminiscences, opinions and idle chatter; indeed, I'd go so far as to say that it's perhaps the best Commentary on a Hammer DVD I've heard!

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Cushing Is Obsessed With Artificial Life in Hammer's Goriest Film

9/10
Author: Bensch
6 June 2007

"Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell" of 1974 is the final entry to Hammer's Frankenstein series, director Terence Fisher's last film, and arguably the goriest Hammer production (maybe along with "Scars Of Dracula" from 1971). The last Frankenstein film from Hammer is a vastly underrated, grim, eerie and excellent finale to the fantastic series, and it is fun to see how Baron Viktor Frankenstein (brilliantly played by Peter Cushing) becomes more and more insane and ruthless throughout the series. While he was just a dedicated scientist who had to use some macabre methods to achieve his goals intended for common welfare in the first features, Baron Francenstein is absolutely obsessed with the idea of resurrecting the dead, and has hardly any scruples in the pursuit of his objectives in this final feature of the Frankenstein series. Still, Frankenstein could not be described as a 'villain'. Some of his goals are still noble, he hates unnecessary cruelty, and he is certain to act in common interest of mankind. His obsessions, however have increased and become more extreme...

Doctor Simon Helder (Shane Briant) is an enthusiastic reader of the works of ingenious scientist Baron Victor Frankenstein. When he gets caught with snatched body parts, which he needs for his own attempts to create a human being, he is sentenced to imprisonment in an insane asylum, managed by an incompetent and perverted director and a bunch of sadistic guards. The only kind-hearted person in the asylum seems to be Sarah (Madleine Smith), a young woman who doesn't speak, and who is referred to as 'Angel'. Soon after Simon's arrival, however, the guards' sadistic practices are brought to an end by the mysterious Doctor Victor. And you can take a hard guess what Dr. Victor's real name is...

Peter Cushing once again delivers a wonderful performance as Baron Victor Frankenstein. Beautiful Madleine Smith also fits very well in her role of Sarah, and Shane Briant plays his role of Simon well. Observant Hammer-fans might recognize the man who plays the bodysnatcher, Patrick Throughton, for his role of Christopher Lee's vassal in "Scars Of Dracula".

"Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell" is a great, vastly underrated Horror flick that should not be missed by a Hammer-fan. The setting in the insane asylum, the typical Hammer score, photography and atmosphere and Peter Cushing's great performance make this movie a must-see for a lover of Horror. Highly recommended!

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

This final Hammer Studios' Frankenstein was a delight!!

7/10
Author: ricardosablan from Honolulu, Hawaii
11 September 2006

I thoroughly enjoyed this final entry in the Hammer Studios Frankenstein series. The acting and film quality were good, especially Peter Cushing. His presence on screen makes all the difference when it comes to interest and appeal. The stylish Victorian Era costumes add to the imagination. Though the "monster" was not as appealing, it can be overlooked by the direction of Terence Fisher and the commanding lead of Peter Cushing. I have always enjoyed all of the Frankenstein films from Hammer, and this entry is no exception. The ending left me wanting more! I recommend it to all horror enthusiasts who love this style of horror and Peter Cushing!

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

The Last Frankenstein Movie by Hammer and Last Terence Fisher's Film

6/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3 September 2014

A body snatcher (Patrick Troughton) is caught by a police sergeant (Norman Mitchell) and he snitches the name and address of his client, Dr. Simon Helder (Shane Briant). The doctor is arrested and accused of sorcery, and sent to a psychiatric institution. There he meets Dr. Carl Victor, a.k.a. Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing), who is presumed dead but actually he is alive and secretly continuing his experiments reanimating the dead. Dr. Helder worships Frankenstein and has studied his works and he becomes his assistant together with the dumb Sarah (Madeline Smith). One day, Dr. Helder discovers Dr. Frankenstein's secret laboratory and accidentally releases a Monster (David Prowse) in the institution, bringing panic to the inmates and staff.

"Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell" is the last Frankenstein movie by Hammer once again with Terence Fisher and Peter Cushing. This movie is also the last movie made by Terence Fisher and more graphic than the usual in a Hammer's film. The atmosphere is dark, with a nasty collection of eye balls and Peter Cushing is thinner and drearier. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): Not Available

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Hammer's most gruesome production?

6/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
17 May 2005

The last entry in Hammer's legendary Frankenstein cycle by far isn't the best one, but it probably is the most appealing chapter to enthusiast horror buffs due to the excessive use of blood and ugly make-up effects. "Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell" is the direct successor of "Frankenstein must be destroyed", since Jimmy Sangster's "Horror of Frankenstein" introduced a different lead-actor (Ralph Bates) and repeated the initial premise of the infamous baron. Terence Fisher's grand finale is set entirely in a mental asylum where good old Peter Cushing continues his deviant experiments undercover. He changed his name to Dr. Viktor and receives help from a gifted new-arrival who got convicted for committing the exact same sorcery-crimes (although Frankenstein considers it science). In their private asylum-chambers, the doctors create new life using the brains and body parts of unfortunate patients of the asylum. Although good campy fun nonetheless, this film slightly disappoints compared to its predecessors. I feel like Fisher could have used the grim asylum setting much better and even Cushing's characters isn't as 'evil' as it was in the other films. Simon Helder – Frankenstein's partner in crime – is entirely listless and Madeline Smith doesn't do much either, aside from looking really cute. The monster doesn't evoke feelings of fright and he actually looks more like a fugitive cast-member of the "Planet of the Apes"-series. On the other hand, you could say that this installment is one of the better since the scenery is raw and the monster is more repellent looking. There are some really nasty killings in this film and the medical experiments are extremely graphic (a gratuitous brain-transplant, anyone?). Purely talking trivia, this also is an interesting film as it was Terence Fisher's last directing achievement. This great director easily was one of the genre's most important icons, with on his repertoire most films of both the Frankenstein and Dracula franchises as well as some other milestones like "The Devil Rides Out" and "The Mummy". His last film (Fisher passed away in 1980) is great entertainment and nothing more.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Frankenstein

7/10
Author: kai ringler from United States
13 November 2007

I enjoyed watching this film very much, first off i am a Hammer Films fan of all of the horror creatures, not just Frankenstein, although it is my favorite creature. Peter Cushing was excellent in this one. David Prowse, aka Darth Vader did very well as the monster i thought. i love the idea of the film also,, a sanitarium, what a perfect place for the Baron to practice. Von Helder character was also very good, in fact probably stole the show for me. I also liked the character of Angel, and the Director as well, the film has it's funny moments as well, not to much that i didn't like about the film,, the brain transplant scene, well could have been better, and a few other scenes , but hey that's minor stuff, all in all i thought this was a great film to end the Hammer Films collection of Frankenstein, and i would recommend this to all horror fans,, and Peter Cushing fans also.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Peter Cushing brings a strong portrayal of the scientific attempting to create a human taking parts here and there

6/10
Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain
17 February 2016

Acceptable Frankenstein entry with colorful photography ,thrilling as well as chilling musical score by James Bernard and Peter Cushing , as ever , does a top notch performance in the role which made him a terror movie legend , it still stands as one of the great screen acting . Last of the Terence Fisher/Frankenstein films , this one deals with the Baron hiding out in a psychiatric institution and he , then , joins forces with another scientist who becomes his assistant . The latter is a young doctor who helped by a mortuary attendant and Bodysnatcher (Patrick Troughton ) took corpses from graveyards until being detained , accused of sorcery and condemned . In the insane asylum resides hidden the notorious Doctor Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) who along with inmate Dr. Simon Helder (Shane Briant) , being attended by the dumb-mute Sarah (Madeline Smith , this character was first offered to Caroline Munro) carry out creepy experiments . Victor and Simon set about constructing a man using body parts they acquire for the purpose , including the brain of a prestigious scholar . Both of whom create a weird being and bring it to life . As his brain came from a genius and his body came from a killer and his soul came from hell . After successfully re-animating him , things go wrong . Frankenstein whose experimentation with creation of life becomes an obsession , but his creature behaves not as he intended .

The classic actor of horror movies named Peter Cushing is terrific as Frankenstein , giving a portentous performance , as always . Atmospheric , slick terror film , creaky at times but it's still impressive . This exciting film packs thrills , chills , eerie events and lots of gore and guts . In fact , real human blood was used in this film , blood that could no longer be used for transfusions was sourced from the blood bank and used in the film, including in the notorious scene where Victor Frankenstein uses his teeth to clamp the artery of the monster . Intelligent and twisted screenplay has nice plot , including fine production design , enhancing its atmosphere thanks to its brilliant color by expert cameraman Brian Probyn . The script by Anthony Hinds or John Elder was revised several times to avoid repeating any elements from the Universal Frankenstein series , as part of this effort, new monster make-up had to be devised especially for this film . After the successful Universal Pictures as ¨House of Frankestein¨, ¨Bride of Frankestein¨ , ¨Son of Frankestein¨, ¨Frankestein meet the wolf man¨ and ¨ The Zingara and the monsters¨ , Frankestein personage was left until Hammer Productions took him and produced ¨The curse of Frankenstein¨ ; although Universal threatened a lawsuit if Hammer copied any elements from the classic version . Followed by six sequels as ¨Revenge of Frankestein¨ by Fisher , ¨Evil of Frankestein¨ by Freddie Francis , Frankestein created woman¨ by Fisher , ¨Frankestein must be destroyed¨ by Fisher , ¨The horror of Frankestein¨ by Jimmy Sangster and this ¨Frankestein and the monster from hell¨ by Fisher ; all of them starred by Peter Cushing and one by Ralph Bates , besides similar artistic and technician team as the cameraman Jack Asher , Production designer Bernad Robinson , musician James Bernard and make-up by Philip Leaky .

This ¨Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell¨ results to be the last of Hammer's Frankenstein movies , being compellingly directed by Terence Fisher , though inferior to previous installments . This was the final film directed by Terence Fisher before his death on June 18, 1980 at the age of 76 . It was also the 29th and final Hammer film that he directed . The first was ¨The last page¨ (1952), he subsequently shot classic horror films as ¨Dracula¨, ¨Dracula , prince of darkness¨ , ¨The brides of Dracula¨ , ¨The mummy¨ , ¨Phantom of opera¨, ¨The Gorgon¨ , ¨The devil rides out¨ and many others . Rating : Passable terror film , 6/10 ; essential and indispensable watching for Peter Cushing fans .

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Eyeballs, hands, etc.

8/10
Author: JasparLamarCrabb from Boston, MA
30 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A really creepy twist on the Frankenstein legend. Peter Cushing is priceless as the good doctor. He looks like a fop, but is in fact quite possibly the most callous of all Dr. Frankensteins. He's ruthless, cold and completely amoral. In other words, he's perfect. Victor Frankenstein, committed to an asylum for the criminally insane, has taken the place over and is up to no good. Terence Fisher's smooth direction and one of the most hideous monsters make this late Hammer entry a real classic. The creature is a grotesque collection of body parts, stitched together in the worst ways imaginable. David Prowse is ideal as the monster and Madeline Smith (as Cushing's mute assistant) is quite a stunner. Fisher sprinkles the film with a lot of great touches: the nervous as hell asylum director; two over-zealous orderlies; Cushing not only dropping a discarded brain, but stepping on it too. One complaint - the obvious miniature used for the asylum exterior...it's needless given the number of real castles all over Europe. Nevertheless, a great movie!

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Neolithic Lobotomy Gone Astray.

7/10
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
5 October 2013

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell is directed by Terence Fisher and written by John Elder (AKA: Anthony Hinds). It stars Peter Cushing, David Prowse, Shane Briant, Madeline Smith and John Stratton. Music is by James Bernard and cinematography by Brian Probyn.

Working under the name of Doctor Victor, Baron Victor Frankenstein (Cushing) is head physician at an asylum for the criminally insane. When Simon Helder (Briant), a gifted doctor himself and a follower of Frankenstein's work, is committed to the asylum on sentence of sorcery, the pair quickly form a partnership that will unleash Frankenstein's latest project…

Actually made in 1972 but released two years later, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell came out as Hammer Horror was limping along on its last legs. It was to be the last in the Frankenstein series and the last film directed by the brilliant Fisher. The reputation of the film is a very mixed one, certainly the box office returns and critical notices at the time point it out as a misfire. But what I have come to find is that staunch Hammer Horror fans have a kind regard towards the film, and I think that is fair given that it pretty much goes back to past glories, if not in scope, but in narrative and atmospheric toning.

Yes it is viable to say that it's pretty much a re-jig of the earlier Revenge of Frankenstein, so in that it's a bit lazy, but I like to think that the return of Cushing, Fisher and Hinds suggests they were making one for the fans here, and it's not without merits in spite of familiarity and budgetary restrictions. It's great to have Cushing back as Victor, his personal life woes giving him a gaunt look that suits Frankenstein's character arc no end, this in spite of the daft wig he dons and a moment of Superman type heroics that doesn't quite sit right. Briant is ebullient and good foil in the mixed up surgeon stakes, and Smith adds the Hammer Glamour without having to strip naked.

Why? Why? Why?

But it's with the setting, the asylum and its characters, and the monster itself where it hits heights not acknowledged by the critics. Prowse's monster is a return to tragicreature territory, with the brain of a genius who wanted out of life, the hands of a skilled craftsman and a Neolithic monstrosity of a body, once the creature knows what he has become his sadness pours out in droves. Prowse doing a great job of conveying such tragedy with visual reactions and bodily movements. The mask unfortunately means when it speaks the lips don't move, but it's a fine Hammer creation regardless.

The asylum inmates are in terms quirky and troubling, and with most of the shoot restricted to a couple of interior sets, the sense of being incarcerated is evident. Props are minimal, with a few of the good doctors odd looking tools and machines dotted around the place. The gore is used sparingly, but the impact is in the grand traditions of Hammer, while the back stories to Smith's mute and Asylum Director Adolf Klauss (Stratton) are edgy strands waiting to be pulled at in the name of Guignol entertainment. It's not a great send off for Doc Frank in Hammer world, not least because the finale lacks punch, but for loyal fans of the studio's creature features there is love and honest respect shown by the makers. 6.5/10

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