Baron Frankenstein (the legendary Peter Cushing) is resurrected from the dead (what a twist!) by his colleague Dr. Hertz (Thorley Walters) as part of an experiment involving the retention of one’s soul over a specified period of death (science…dodgy…making my…brain seize).
So what does ol’ Franky-baby do when he’s up and about? Well he goes out for dinner…yeah, not really what I was expecting either…but eventually he gets up to the devil’s business we paid for as Hertz’s assistant Hans (Robert Morris) is wrongfully accused of murder and executed…which causes his girlfriend, the lovely yet disfigured Christina (Susan Denberg) to commit suicide…and the doomed lovers become the Baron’s next pet project. Soon ol’ Chrissy is back among the living; her face fixed, her hair now blonde (science!), and her subconscious packed fat with Hans’ soul…and this comely lass is hellbent on murderous revenge!
Now you may wonder how a Frankenstein pic will fair with nary a stitched together man-monster shamblin’ about. Thankfully I can tell you; “Pretty damn well!” The change of pace is refreshing; and Denberg plays the sweet victim and dangerous murder machine with equal skill and aplomb. Of course Cushing is pure magic on the ol’ sinful silver screen as always, and the revenge plot is engaging and satisfying as our horror heroine rips through the pack of dandies that gave her and her beau so much static when they were among the living.
Also of note is the normal rich color and production values that the Hammer horror flicks were famous for; the sets, costumes, and gore all pop off the screen with lavish, lurid aesthetics that bring beauty to the darkness…a balance that made these productions shine!
As for extras on this Blu-ray release from Scream Factory, this release has plenty to offer Franken-fiends! First up we get two audio commentaries; a newly recorded conversation featuring author/film historian Steve Haberman and filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr, and an archival track featuring actors Derek Fowlds, Robert Morris, and film historian Jonathan Rigby. Both are fascinating listens and shed plenty of light on all aspects of the film’s production, with only a few tidbits of repeated information between them. Next comes new interviews with Morris, camera assistant/clapper loader Eddie Collins and assistant director Joe Marks, followed by a feature on the glamorous ladies that have appeared in Hammer’s films, as well as two episodes of the World of Hammer focusing on Cushing and Frankenstein respectively (though for some reason the audio on these seemed faulty as Oliver Reed’s narration was drowned out by the audio of the clips shown). Bringing up the rear comes a collection of theatrical trailers, television spots, image galleries (featuring stills, posters, and lobby cards), and radio spots.
While definitely not your traditional Frankenstein yarn, Frankenstein Created Woman is nevertheless a solid, entertaining jaunt into the horror biz!