A decent but not great overview of the Hammer series
This was originally broadcast on television, though I saw it as an extra on the FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN DVD. It is an overview of the Hammer Frankenstein series and it's narrated by Oliver Reed.
First the positive aspects of the film. For once all the Frankenstein films by Hammer are discussed--even ones made without Peter Cushing. I had no idea that their first Frankenstein film was THE FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE and it was made without Cushing. The program also discussed THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN, a 1970 version done without Cushing as well. This is because the film shows excerpts and gives plot synopses of the films in order--important if you are a compulsive nut like me who wants to see every one of these films.
As for the negative, the show is very superficial. It gives no background information about the movies nor does it give any feel for the actors or the production. If you are looking to learn anything about the life of Cushing, for example, you'll find nothing. Instead, it's a by-the-numbers rehash of the films and absolutely nothing more. Also, oddly, Oliver Reed's voice is very harsh and sounded very different than it did in his heyday. Perhaps his hard drinking and wild lifestyle was responsible for the voice change.
UPDATE 3/12/09: Because of this show, I almost immediately sought out THE FOUR SIDED TRIANGLE and was very surprised after I watched it. While it was a wonderful film, it was almost completely unlike any Frankenstein movie and I really feel that the TV program was way overstating it when it said it was. This film should not be confused with the Frankenstein series in any way--despite what the show said.
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