Frankenstein Created Woman (1967) 5/5
Peter Cushing reprises his role of the Baron, in this film going down the metaphysical road of soul transferral. He puts the soul of a wrongly executed man into the body of the woman that the man loved. Maybe not exactly the fantasy of her beloved, but close enough.
The producer summarised the story: “This time Frankenstein creates a beautiful girl from one who has been ugly. Only something goes wrong. She goes around chopping people’s heads off with an axe.”
There’s always a glitch, but nothing that can’t be ironed out.
Susan Denberg plays Christina, a disfigured girl who is also paralysed down her left side. When a trio of arrogant dandies (I can’t believe I called them dandies) pay a visit to her father’s bar, they mock her, angering Hans, who gets in a fight with them. Later, without witnesses, they kill her father, and Hans is arrested for his murder. Unwilling to provide his alibi, that he was in bed with the currently absent Christina, (gentleman that he is), he is found guilty and sentenced to death.
Christina, returning to the town, and unaware of both her father’s death and everything else that has transpired since, spots Hans upon the hill, about to be guillotined. There is a dramatic scene as she tries to reach him, and there is a desperation as he spots her approach, but this is Hammer-they don’t do happy endings. He is executed before she gets there. Seeing the one man, besides her father, who saw past her deformities and loved her, killed, she is overcome with grief and throws herself into a river, drowning. That’s ‘don’t do happy endings’ x2.
Cue Frankenstein and his ill-advised experiments. He never learns, does he? Not with scriptwriters like he’s got.
Once she is brought back to life, she is not the usual, patched-up lumbering monster, but is Susan Denberg, more easy on the eye than Christopher Lee. This would be Denberg’s last film, her career curtailed by a drug-induced breakdown.
Now resurrected, Christina is just a girl with no memory of who she is.
And-good news for us, her blemishes and deformities have gone, too. You don’t get that on the NHS.
Several times she asks the scientist to tell her of her identity, but which he declines to do. Here’s a few snapshots that might help:
So, now that she is blessed with beauty, no longer paralysed and having to hide her face beneath her hair, do you remember what I said about Hammer and happy endings?
Now the vengeful spirit of Hans begins to take her over, driving her on to take revenge, in turn, against the three men who were really responsible for the crime that cost him his life.
“Kill him. Kill him. Kill him, Christina.”
After murdering the last of these, (and taking Hans’ head along for the deed, sentimental girl that she is), she flees the pursuing Frankenstein, and, having nothing left to live for, throws herself again into the river, ignoring her creator’s pleas not to do so.
Farewell Christina. Farewell Susan Denberg.
I watched this while my wife had her earphones in, listening to music. When it finished, I said “It was quite good that.” She replied “It looked boring as Hell!”
I enjoyed this different take on the Frankenstein story. We are now ten posts in on the Hammer Chooseday series, and I am yet to make a fan of her. I’ve not given up yet, but I think it best I avoid the lesbian vampires.