The horror movie vault: The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Time for some more Lee and Cushing! This time we move from one classic monster to another, the morbid Baron Frankenstein and his horrific creature.

The Curse of Frankenstein is a British horror movie made in 1957 by Hamer film productions starring Peter Cushing as Frankenstein, Robert Urquhart as his friend Paul and Christopher Lee as the creature. It, much like the previously reviewed Dracula film is loosely based on its book counterpart.

At the start, we see a torn up and worn out Frankenstein held up in his cell awaiting his execution. A local priest visits him and he beings to tell him his story, starting from his early childhood. At a young age he meets the scientist Paul Krempe whom he hires as his tutor. Together they start with their experiments as Frankenstein starts his obsession with the dead. Throughout the years his obsession only grows bigger and bigger and at a time he begins to step over the line of morality. Can Paul help him or will he go too far?

I think that I enjoyed this movie more than the Dracula one. The plot was much more interesting, especially the ending. I did not expect them to take that route but I was very pleasantly surprised. On top of that Cushing carried the entire movie. He overshadowed Lee sadly but that is mainly because of the script. Lee’s monster felt very underutilized which is to the good of the plot since it focuses heavily on Frankenstein himself and his state of mind.

As you would expect in a movie like this, the production value as well as the acting is top-notch. But I feel as if I am preaching to the choir here, most people would know this. Still it’s nice to cover movies like these. They pretty much jump started horror and made it what it is. Especially this film. Apparently it managed to gross over 70 times its production cost. But surprisingly upon release, the movie received a lot of mixed reviews. Which I can sort of understand. It does suffer from a bit of a weak script but overall the pros do outweigh the cons. The general premise of the script was pretty good, it just could have been done better. I really liked the psychotic downfall of Frankenstein, and the ending of the movie, but I’m a sucker for movies like that.

Overall, although not amazing, The Curse of Frankenstein is a decent watch that any classic horror fan would enjoy. It might not be for everyone though.

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